In every barista’s life – whether a professional or a self-proclaimed – there comes the day when he feels artsy and wants to use latte paint. If that day has come, this is the article that will walk you through the first and the most critical steps. But before pushing you off the nest, we want to make sure you know the things you need to keep the motivation alive.
Beware, Be Aware
First things first, latte art is not just art; it’s art with a brewed beverage. Even the pros can get a little shaky at it unless they have reached the level of mastery. Now, of course, this sounds like the most demotivating fact to read, but its purpose is to convey the message that you might fail at it numerous times, and that’s not because you’re bad at it, but because it’s normal. So the key is to stick to it and be stubborn till you finally nail a crappy-yet-distinguishable picture.
Things You’ll Need
It isn’t rocket science; you might find almost all of the things in your kitchen cabinets:
- A regular cup
- A medium-sized pitcher
- Skimmed milk
- Coffee supplies — ideally from some of the best The Coffee Factory
- Prepared crema
- Creativity (don’t look in the cabinets)
Setup – How To Get Started
- Fill a cup with the ready-to-go crema.
- Prepare a pitcher of skimmed milk.
- Feel like an artist.
- Use your dominant hand to hold the pitcher while using the other to grab the cup.
- Tilt the cup towards the pitcher; this lets you pour milk out of the pitcher with negligible hand movement.
- Bring down the pitcher close to the cup – a distance of 1 inch between both would suffice.
- Now simply pour the milk, begin from the center of your canvas (center of the crema). Be confident, but be steady and slow as well.
- Start moving the flow from the center to the bottom-end, and gradually increase the pouring speed by tipping the pitcher with your thumb; a gentle thumb pressure is the magic trick.
- Design: This is a tricky part. Each design requires a barista to move the pitcher in a specific motion; however, you may want to start with the basic zigzag action. This should be done as the milk is poured from the center to the bottom.
Now that you know about how the process is handled and other general details, it is time to learn the correct way to practice.
Latte art is all about coordination. As you have read above, the pouring process takes place in several seconds, but within this short period, a barista has to deal with multiple elements, such as: