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Written by the Coffee Gator team
Latte art is a wonderful way to express (or espresso) yourself! It's surprisingly simple to do once you get the hang of the pouring, and it only needs a few materials.
You don't need many items to make latte art in your own kitchen. You simply need:
There are four steps to making perfect coffee art.
Fill your pitcher with cold milk to the bottom of the pour spout dent. Use your electric milk frother to froth the milk into the right texture. It should look a bit like melted ice cream: not bubbly, not too thick or too thin.
You want to submerge the frother wand toward the bottom of the pitcher to get a nice whirlpool motion going on. Coffee Gator recommends the Frothy Electric Milk Frother for this task.
Then, heat the milk to 150° F. While the milk is heating, move on to the next step, as you want all your supplies to be ready at the same time.
Because espresso is the best immediately after it's pulled, it's important not to let it sit out for too long. Pull your espresso shots while the milk is heating. Pour your coffee into the cups, ensuring that you leave plenty of room for the milk.
By this point your milk will be hot and ready. Groom it first by tapping the pitcher on the countertop and swirling it around by hand; this removes any bubbles that may have been created during the steaming process.
Tilt the cup slightly and begin pouring from a high point. Your milk stream should be about as thick as a pencil at first, and you should aim for the center of the cup. Move the milk lower as you pour; when the cup is half full, you should be pouring from as low as possible. This is also the phase where you make the initial shape you want to use for your art. (More details on pouring technique come with the latte art designs later on in this post.) Gently stop pouring, and then you have your canvas ready.
This is where you can truly get creative, especially if you have syrup as well! There are some suggestions and instructions for latte art designs later in this post.
Once you have your pouring technique down, the sky is the limit when it comes to latte art!
To make a latte heart, you start in the center of the cup. Pour until the cup is three-quarters full, then move the pitcher very close to the cup. As soon as the cup is almost full, pour the milk in a line from one side to the other through the center. The energy of this will create the indentation at the top of the heart and the point at the bottom.
The rosetta, or fern leaf, is a latte art design that is stunning to look at and surprisingly easy to make. Tilt your cup to a 45 degree angle and start pouring high. Move to the back of the cup as you move the pitcher closer to the cup. As you get closer, start moving your hand back and forth while moving the pitcher toward yourself. When you get to the end, quickly cut through the wavy design from bottom to top.
To make etch spirals in your latte, you want slightly thicker foam that will sit at the top of your latte. Pour the milk so that it makes an even circle on top of your espresso. Then use syrup to draw a spiral on top of the foam, beginning at the center of the mug. Take your toothpick or latte art tool to draw five evenly spaced lines going from the center of your latte out. In between those lines, draw five lines from the edge of your mug to the center. Voilà!
Making syrup circles in your latte art is in some ways the opposite of making etch spirals. Again, you want slightly thicker frothed milk than usual, pouring it so that it sits in a circle on top of your coffee. Then use your syrup to draw as many lines as you want across the center of the cup. (In general, four lines - in the shape of a plus and then an X - will do nicely.) Use a latte art tool or toothpick to draw a spiral from the center of the cup to the edge.
To make a latte bear, begin by pouring a large circle for the bear's head, and a smaller one for the muzzle. Then, use a spoon to pour two small bits of milk onto the edge of your center shape (for the ears). Use your latte art tool or toothpick to make dots for eyes, and two more dots inside the ears. Use the tool to draw a nose and details on the muzzle as well.
In general, it's best to make latte art with whole milk. Skim and low-fat milk doesn't froth as well, while whole milk creates strong microfoam and holds together well when frothed. If you need a non-dairy alternative, oat milk works for latte art as well.
There are a lot of reasons why you may be having trouble creating latte art. They can include:
Higher quality tools help make higher quality art, and one of the most important tools when making latte art is the milk frother. The Frothy milk frother helps you get the perfect consistency for latte art, without bubbles or other issues.
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