Serious coffee drinkers like you and me don’t just consume plain coffee that’s why we want to perfect how to do latte art. You see it in coffee shops and professional baristas do it on your cappuccinos when you order at the café. Well, the great thing is you can also do it at home and you can save tons of money as compared to ordering specialty coffee every day.
You don’t need to be a professional to make your own latte art and you can enjoy a glorious cup of coffee with whatever design you want to make. It’s great for impressing your guests too.
The Perfect Espresso
The number one thing you need to ensure is that you have the perfect cup of espresso before doing your latte art. You don’t make gourmet coffee with just a regular brew or instant coffee mixes. Espresso is the heart of your specialty coffee. And just to give you more insights, here are some good health reasons to drink coffee. So let us first learn some tricks on brewing the perfect espresso.
A good espresso starts with clean and high-quality water. Sediment, scale, and unwanted minerals affect the taste of the water and will also affect the taste of your coffee. To help purify your water, check out this Home Master Whole House 3 Stage Water Filtration System Review.
Coffee beans need to have the perfect grind for espresso. You don’t use the same grounds for brewing on a drip type coffee maker in an espresso machine. Espresso requires a fine grind, as fine as table salt. It will help them clump together so you can achieve espresso quality result. Take a look at this guide on the best coffee grinder.
You need to compact the ground coffee with a tamper to restrict the flow of water so that the coffee and water will interact. It’s essential to have a firm level tamp to achieve even extraction.
The water temperature is crucial to brewing the perfect espresso. It’s ideal to heat the water from 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit and some espresso machines allow you to control the temperature.
About 25 to 30 seconds should pass between the beginning of the extraction up to when your glass is full.
Those are just some of the factors that make up a great espresso. Feel free to experiment and adjust each of them to achieve the right flavor and intensity. This is essential to making good lattes or cappuccinos before applying latte art.
How to Do Latte Art
Now that you have the perfect cup of espresso, you can start doing your own latte art. This involves frothing and steaming milk. If you want an automatic machine, here is the best milk frother.
To make the perfect foam or froth, a great trick is to put your pitcher of milk in the fridge before using it. A cold pitcher will give you more time to steam your milk so you don’t scald it. The cream will also be stiffer and easy to handle. Do it at least 30 minutes before use.
Turn on your wand or milk frother. This is how your start doing your latte art. Submerge the wand into your pitcher then raise it up just when you can hear some hiss. Don’t raise it too far because it will form too many bubbles. You can tilt the pitcher so you can see the inside. The milk should be swirling evenly as you do this.
Allow the milk to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To do this, you could use a liquid thermometer to help you be exact about removing the milk from the steamer. It’s also an essential component in doing a latte art. Place the steam wand on the side of the pitcher, deep into your milk so that the pitcher can position to spin counterclockwise.
Spin the milk gently with the steam wand while it is near the bottom of the pitcher. Keep doing this counterclockwise until the milk heats between 150 to 155 degrees. Do not exceed 160 degrees.
To make good latte art, you should aim for small, light bubbles called microfoam and not big bubbles. The foam needs to have lightness without sacrificing the body. You can now remove the pitcher and make sure to clean the steam wand with a cloth.
Let Sit and Swirl
Let the milk settle for a few seconds to allow it to form a more velvety texture. Then swirl the milk vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.
This is the final and most important part in doing your latte art. The way you pour your milk will create the shapes and designs that you want for your latte art. We will look at different design options but let us first take into account the most important tricks to make it work.
It is easiest to do latte art in rounded bowl shape cup. Pour your espresso first to the bottom of the cup and add a small amount of your steamed milk and swirl it. The speed and height of pouring are the main aspects of pouring technique. Pour it slowly and evenly at a fairly high distance. This will allow the milk and the espresso to continue to incorporate.
Latte Art Patterns
Now let’s look at the patterns or shapes and designs that you can do for your latte art.
A flower pattern is simple, elegant and relatively easy. But you might need to practice a little to perfect this latte art. To do this, pour the milk about an inch away from the bottom and gently shake the pitcher back and forth once you fill half of the cup, slowly moving it backwards. The flower design will move forward as you fill the cup. Do it with a shaking motion on your wrist instead of moving your whole hand.
The heart pattern is also easy and is a great latte art. Put the pitcher close to the top of the mug and introduce a bit of milk. Then lift the pitcher an inch up and pour one revolution of a circle. Make sure to move the milk pitcher and not the cup. Hold the steam of milk in the same place and wiggle the pitcher back and forth as you make a ringed circle. Toward the end, swing the milk up to create the bottom tip of your heart.
Those are just a few ideas that you can do for your latte art. As always, you can create and design your own.