How to Make Coffee Art

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Coffee art, also called latte art, is a fairly new twist that baristas and devoted amateur espresso enthusiasts are adding to their latte drinks. The art is created by pouring the steamed milk into the espresso in a pattern that creates an image with the foam on the top of the coffee cup. Coffee art ranges from simple hearts to detailed faces. Once the artist becomes skilled enough, the only limit to her repertoire of images is her imagination and the size of her circular canvass. There is a steep learning curve, however, and most practitioners recommend starting with a simple image of a leaf.

Things You'll Need

  • Professional-grade espresso machine and accessories Espresso Coffee cup 1 cup milk
  • Fill a cold pitcher with 1 cup of cold milk.

  • Steam and stretch the cold milk until it is at body temperature.

  • Tuck the wand into the milk and stir, creating a clockwise whirlpool. When the milk reaches 155 degrees F, shut the machine off.

  • Tap the pitcher on the counter a couple of times until the microbubbles come to the top, creating a smooth layer of foam.

  • Pull the espresso shot into a large cup. It helps if the espresso has a thick cream. Cut the espresso shot before it turns white.

  • Tap the milk pitcher once more on the counter and give it a swirl to mix the steamed milk and foam together .

  • Slowly pour the milk down the middle of the espresso, directing the flow through the cream down to the bottom.

  • Move your pitcher backward when the foam breaks through the cream while swinging it gently and evenly from side to side. The foam moves across the top of the cream, making a leaf design.

  • Pour a thin, brief stream of milk through the center of the design to create the stem of the leaf when the foam has broken all the way through the surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice makes perfect. It's unlikely you will get a perfect leaf on your first try. Just keep at it, and after starting from scratch a few times, you should be well on your way to a lovely leaf.

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  • Photo Credit Image by journeyscoffee
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