Posted on by Barista Life

The Ultimate Guide to Doing Latte Art

Latte Art Guide Barista Life

In a world where everyone is on the go, it doesn't allow us baristas the ability to perform latte art as much as we'd like to.  If you're a Starbucks barista, you may not even have been trained on how to perform the different types of latte art out there.  We at Barista Life want to change that!  We want to teach and train baristas from all shops on how to wow their customers by throwing a beautiful work of art on top of your customer's drink.

What is Latte Art?


Latte Art Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the latte. It can also be created or embellished by simply "drawing" in the top layer of foam. Latte art is particularly difficult to create consistently, due to the demanding conditions required of both the espresso shot and milk.[1] This, in turn, is limited by the experience of the barista and quality of the espresso machine. The pour itself, then, becomes the last challenge for the latte artist.

Beginner Level

1. Latte Art Sunrise

Latte Art Sunrise Tutorial

    Latte Art Sunrise Process: Taken from LatteArtGuide.com
    (1) Begin by resting the spout of your jug against your cup and allow the milk to flow in the center of the cup. While this is happening, rock your jug side-to-side about 1 centimetre (1/3 of an inch) to each side. When a semi-circle forms stop the pour.

    (2) Next, repeat step 1 but inside the already created semi-circle. Rock your jug side-to-side just like in step 1 until a circle forms inside your already created semi-circle. Stop the pour when your cup is full. You will notice that there is now one big circle with a ‘halo’ around it.

    (3) Now grab your chocolate powder and cover the lower half of your circle with chocolate. This will create the landscape of your sunrise.

    (4) Now it is time to etch in (draw) the sun-rays. Grab a pointed rod such as a tooth pick or barista thermometer and create sun rays on the halo of your design. Simply dip your rod in the coffee about a centimeter deep and then push out to the outside of the cup while lifting your rod. Repeat this several times around the circumference of the halo.

    (5) An optional final step is the repeat step 4 but with the darker color of the espresso/chocolate. You will find this will create a nice contrast in the sun-rays. With that you’re all done to enjoy your coffee and sunrise, even if you slept in ;).

     

    2. The Rosetta

    Latte Art Rosetta Tutorial

    Rosetta Tutorial: Taken from LatteArtGuide.com

    (1) Rest the spout of your jug against your cup. Next let the milk flow in and move your jug to the opposite side of the cup and start shaking side-to-side at a consistent pace until a white cloud starts to appear.

    (2) When this cloud appears, continue shaking your jug side-to-side at a consistent pace and start steadily moving your jug back towards you. Make sure that the spout of your jug is resting on the cup as you do this as it gives you more control.

    (3) The closer you come to the end of the cup make your shakes smaller and smaller until you start to form a little ball/heart shape.

    (4) Once you have no more room/your cup is almost full. Pull your jug up to create a thin steady stream of milk and follow through the middle of the waves to create your rossetta. And you’re done! A Super simple yet elegant coffee design.

     

    Intermediate Level

    3. Inverted Rosetta Tulip Tutorial

    Inverted Rosetta Tulip Tutorial

    Inverted Rosetta Tulip Tutorial: From LatteArtGuide.com

    Latte Art Inverted Rosetta Tulip Process

    (1) Begin by pouring a rosetta near the center of the cup by shaking your jug side-to-side at a steady pace while moving your jug back towards you. Make sure to keep the spout of your jug resting on the cup in order to have more control. However, do not complete the rosetta design, but rather just the rosetta waves. Then stop the pour.

    (2) Next rotate the jug 180 degrees from it’s original position. Now you will begin to create a tulip within the rosetta waves.

    (3) Begin by creating the initial tulip circle in the middle of the rosetta waves. This is done by doing a subtle jug shake while at the same time moving the jug slightly away from you. When you do this, make sure to drag the jug forward in order to distinguish the circle from the rosetta pattern. Now repeat the same process above two more times but within the created circle. Now you should have 3 circles poured within each other. Once you have done this it is time to complete the latte art.

    (4) Once you complete the 3rd circle, instead of stopping the pour, lift your jug up in order to create a steady stream of milk. Now run this stream of milk through the center of your design in order to complete the design. And there you have it! An inverted rosetta tulip! It’s not that hard to do but a refreshing change from typical patterns.

     

    4. Indian Chief Latte Art Tutorial

    Indian Chief Latte Art Tutorial

    Indian Chief Latte Art Tutorial: From LatteArtGuide.com

    Latte Art Process

    (1) Begin by pouring a rosetta on one side of your cup. However, instead of running the milk through the middle of the rosetta waves like you normally would, pull the milk along side of the rosetta waves, just like when we learnt the swan design. This creates the hair of your Indian Chief.

    (2) Next, stop the pour and rotate your cup 90 degrees to the side in which you created the hair of the Indian Chief.

    (3) Now drop your jug low to the crema of the espresso beside the widest part of the hair and allow the milk to slowly pour out of the jug. This will start to create a ‘blob’ shape. Slowly start moving your jug down towards the bottom of the cup until you create an oval shape, or rather, the head of your Indian Chief. Stop the pour when the cup is full and you’re satisfied with the head shape. Don’t worry if it’s a bit wonky, we can fix this in step 5.

    (4) Here is where we introduce the etching technique. Make sure to have a thin rod shape object such as a tooth pick or barista thermometer. The trick here is to dip your rod in the dark area of the crema to use as ‘paint’ which will contrast to the white of the milk. A good tip is when drawing your patterns instead of moving your rod in a straight motion parallel to the coffee, submerge it as you go. This ensures that you use all of the dark crema that is stuck to your rod when you dipped it into the coffee.

    (5) Now we create the facial features of your Indian Chief. It is up to your discretion and creativity to make any facial expression you wish. However I find it’s best to start with the nose as it gives you a central point that defines the face. Also if the head of your Indian Chief is wonky you can fix this with your rod by running the rod around the circumference of the shape to make it more round.

    (6) Once you are satisfied with the facial features of your pattern serve it up and watch the smiles and impressed smirks it brings.

     

    5. Latte Art Tulip Tutorial

    Latte Art Tulip Tutorial

    Latte Art Tulip Process: From LatteArtGuide.com

    (1) Rest the jug on the side of the cup facing you and start the pour. Rock the jug side-to-side at a steady motion while moving the jug to the opposite side of the cup. Stop pouring when a semi-circle forms on the opposite side of the cup and lift your jug.

    (2) Rest the jug on the cup again on your side of the cup and repeat the process in step 1. However, this time form the semi-circle within the one you already created. Then stop pouring and lift your jug.

    (3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 until your cup is almost full.

    (4) Finally, make your last semi circle, but instead of stopping the pour, lift the jug vertically (like you would to complete a heart) to create a thin steady stream of milk and follow the jug through to one side of the cup to the other. This will create a suction that will compete the coffee design.

    6. Latte Art Heart Tutorial

    Latte Art Heart Tutorial

    Latte Art Heart Process: From LatteArtGuide.com

    (1) Rest the spout of your jug against your cup and then rock the jug side-to-side at a constant pase until an circle or apple shape starts to form. Seek to introduce the milk into the center of the cup while holding it on a slight tilt – I find this helps a bit.

    (2) When your circle has formed, pull your jug directly up to create a thin steady stream of milk. This will create a suction that will arch the top of the circle in order to create the love heart curves.

    (3) When the cup is almost full, keep the flow of milk steady and then follow-through the milk from one side of the cup to the other to create your coffee art heart. And you’re all done! Super simple wasn’t it?

    Side note: In the video I did a double heart. Where I made one circle then another within it. You can make a heart like this too. However, begin with the basic one of making a single heart with just one circle.

    7. Latte Art Swan Tutorial

    Latte Art Swan Tutorial

    Latte Art Swan Process: From LatteArtGuide.com

    (1) The Swan is created in one pour. To begin start by making a rosetta on one side of the cup. However, instead of running the milk through the middle of the rosetta waves like you normally would, pull the milk along side the rosetta. This creates the wing.

    (2) Next, when your jug reaches the bottom of the wing hold your jug still while shaking the jug side-to-side like you would when making a heart. This creates the body of the swan. Make sure the shakes are small as you only want to make a small circle body. Also nudge the jug forward a little like you would when making a tulip coffee design.

    (3) Once the body is complete you will hold the jug still and ‘drag’ it towards you to make the swan’s neck. When you reach the top of the cup, bend the swan’s neck down in a ‘U’ shape motion. It is important to keep the jug close to the crema of the coffee when making the neck as you want the foam to drag behind.

    (4) Finally, hold the jug still and shake it side-to-side to make a small circle like you would when making a mini heart. Lift the jug to create thin and steady stream of milk and follow-through with the milk through the circle. This creates the swan’s head and you complete the coffee design.

     

    Product Spotlight: The Barista Life Latte Art Pin

    Barista Life Latte Art Pin

    If you have mastered the art of the latte, or you just love coffee, take a look at our latest latte art pin.  It's a great symbol to let everyone know that you know what you're doing behind that bar!

    Buy Barista Life Latte Art Pin