Do you ever sigh as you look down into your store-bought cup of joe, unable to take that first sip?
Its not because the coffee is too hot, of course. You just don’t want to mess up the coffee art. It’s understandable. Trees, dogs, dinosaurs — the truth is in the foam.
But paying a pretty penny for a pretty picture can get old quick. There’s good news for those willing to make an investment of their time. You can make your own lattes, complete with art. The process is a bit simpler than you may think.
Brew Your Own Creations to Bring Your Latte Art Home
The first step to creating bomb latte art is to make your own lattes. But how to make a latte that serves both as your morning brew and your easel? It’s easy if you know how.
Espresso machines are a good way to get started on the road to really great lattes because they simplify the process. You grind the beans down, put them in the machine and add water. After that, all that’s left to do is steam and froth the milk.
Steaming and frothing the milk for latte art is the most important part of the process, and one that can be tricky. But never fear! By following the directions outlines below, you’ll be able to create your milky masterpiece in no time.
If you’d rather have a device that can do it all, purchase a latte machine like the Gourmia. These types of machines brew the espresso and steam the milk for you, so all you have to do is pour it in the cup.
Making latte art is achievable whether you’re steaming your own milk or pouring it from a machine, but milk consistency is key! Even though a latte machine will steam and milk for you, you may have to manipulate it to get the proper milk consistency for latte art.
If you don’t have a machine with a steam wand, you’ll need to steam the milk yourself and froth it with a frothing wand like the Bean Envy. You’ll also need a small metal frothing pitcher to make art with the pour.
How to Froth Milk to the Perfect Consistency
This is where many people go awry. But not you! You’ll follow these simple instructions to the T, and wow all your friends and neighbors with your breathtaking coffee drawings.
ChefSteps advises that the milk must be velvety, creamy and have enough body to create the art. This is achieved with two stages: stretching and texturing.
Stretching the milk adds air to create foam. Do this by holding the frothing wand or steaming wand at the top of the pitcher of milk, allowing air to be mixed in. Foam will be created, and the milk will grow in the pitcher.
Once the milk has grown by about half it’s volume, press the device deeper down into the pitcher. This will create a whirlpool and add depth and body to the milk. Once the milk is creamy, smooth and thick, tap the pitcher on the table to pop any large bubbles of air. Now you’re ready to make the art!
Coffee Drawing in Three Simple Steps
Follow these three steps to create simple designs in the coffee. Eventually you’ll be able to create more elegant designs, and who knows?
Maybe one day you’ll surpass even the most boastful baristas with your awe-inspiring liquid artwork.
1. At the Bottom of the Cup
Choose a cup that’s relatively shallow and rounded, and pour your espresso shot at the bottom of it. First, you’ll want to mix a little bit of milk in with the coffee, so pour from a few inches above the cup, moving the pitcher around. This will ensure the milk gets mixed with the coffee, creating the light brown base.
2. Separating the Milk from the Coffee
When the cup is around ½ full, Makezine advises lowering the pitcher of milk to an inch or so above the cup. That will prevent the milk from mixing any more with the espresso on the bottom. Once the milk is pouring white over the brown backdrop, you can create a picture with it.
3. The Masterpiece
Experiment slowly with the art. As you pour the milk in (and it’s no longer separating!), you can move the pitcher around the cup to create whatever shapes you want. You’ll want to hold the cup in your hand so you can tilt it as well, manipulating the coffee already inside to help you form leaves, hearts and other shapes.
Need some inspiration? Check out the Capuccinable channel on YouTube for tips on how to make great latte art!