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Thread: Latte Art - What is important?

  1. #1
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    Latte Art - What is important?

    Hey guys, pretty new hear...
    Just starting to get into latte art and i want to know what people think are the most important things that make good latte art... eg Grinders, Milk, Technique etc etc...

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    The grinder really doesnt come into it and also not really the milk.
    Technique? Yes.
    How you steam the milk and then how you pour it are the critical techniques.

    However the 3 most important things that make for good latte art are:
    1) Practise
    2) Practise
    3) Practise

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    And the crema
    A good contrast always makes art stand out more

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    btw wanted to ask a quick question is it better to steam milk before or after pouring the shot. Cause its confusing :-/

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 494C504F574A494E5F4A3A0 link=1283901114/3#3 date=1284203234
    btw wanted to ask a quick question is it better to steam milk before or after pouring the shot. Cause its confusing *:-/
    Its easier if you steam the milk after pouring the shot, if youre still practicing and take a while to do this, then you can place the shot on your warming plate?

    Also, if you steam the milk first and leave it on the counter to rest, without keeping up the movement in the jug it becomes more likely to split (i.e. foam separating out of the milk?)

    hope this helps :)

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Ive seen many people wiggle their arm vigorously and inconsistently while trying to achieve a rosetta.
    I find that slow and consistent wrist movements work the best.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I think the 2nd post is good.... Practice and practice :) It takes a while but you definitely see improvements over the time!

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Another tip I was taught was, while starting out learning latte art,
    get used to seeing how the milk and crema react,
    and this was done by just pouring straight into the center, increasing the flow rate as nearing the top of the cup, and trying to achieve a "cloud" or "spot" in the center, where the milk has marked the crema.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I also watched a youtube video where the guy used 1 drop of detergent in water in order to get microfoam down pat.... you could try that also! :)

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    milk is $1 a L at woolies

    i am not sure how much of that $$ goes to the farmer ::) but just buy more milk and "support" the farmers practice steaming it and tip it down the drain.

    now if i can just get my car to run on milk.....

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    haha! Yeah thats true hey! :P

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    just watch lots of youtube videos and copy them. And steam the milk and pour the shot at the same time if you can.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Yeah some of the you tube videos are actually really helpful! :) Just keep drinking lots of coffee and youll get better mate!

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I think Ive watched almost every video on Youtube about latte art.
    :-[

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I am similar to the others who have already posted. I am definitely not an expert when it comes to latte art. I would say most of the time I get an average rosetta (or other art depending on what im trying to pour) and then every so often I will get something better.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2328303A2627252C263E490 link=1283901114/5#5 date=1296368613
    ve seen many people wiggle their arm vigorously and inconsistently while trying to achieve a rosetta.
    I find that slow and consistent wrist movements work the best.
    This is the most important thing for mine. you see the pros quickly pouring beautiful art, but when youre starting out just pour slowly, and see how the milk reacts depending on where you pour from. Moving your milk jug closer to the crema will see more of the white show whilst further away will make the milk pierce the crema and sink underneith it.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    In no particular order:

    Symmetry for patterns such hearts, rosettas and tulips

    Definition of pattern (no bleeding)

    Contrast of colour between crema and milk

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Theres a lot of misconceptions in this thread regarding the importance of crema in latte art. You can still pour wonderful art into espresso that has absolutely no crema. The contrast youre seeing is simply milk stained brown. There was a video showing this, but i cant for the life of me remember the guys name.

    As for actual advise, you really cant avoid practise. If youre living with anyone, offer to make them a coffee. If you make two coffees at a time rather than one, youve doubled the amount of practise you get.
    Typically i start my pour with a small stream poured from relatively high up, once the cup is about half full i drop down close and increase the pour speed a little, this gets the milk sitting on top of the drink and allows you to get the art started. From there its up to you :)

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 655E515A4A4C3F0 link=1283901114/16#16 date=1298592701
    Theres a lot of misconceptions in this thread regarding the importance of crema in latte art. You can still pour wonderful art into espresso that has absolutely no crema. The contrast youre seeing is simply milk stained brown. There was a video showing this, but i cant for the life of me remember the guys name.
    Quote Originally Posted by 655E515A4A4C3F0 link=1283901114/16#16 date=1298592701
    Theres a lot of misconceptions in this thread regarding the importance of crema in latte art. You can still pour wonderful art into espresso that has absolutely no crema. The contrast youre seeing is simply milk stained brown. There was a video showing this, but i cant for the life of me remember the guys name.
    The guys name is James Hoffmann - 2007 World Barista Champion - and while yes, you can pour latte art with no crema, the definition and contrast is extremely poor!

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D4F4952555F493A0 link=1283901114/17#17 date=1298671734
    and while yes, you can pour latte art with no crema, the definition and contrast is extremely poor!
    Exactly

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Just piping in here, Ive found that cup shape is also an important factor,
    the best ones would probably be those with a rounded bottom, and wide mouth.
    I generally feel that tall skinny cups are difficult to pour into, as it doesnt allow you to bring the jug close to the cup until nearing the end.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F342C263A3B39303A22550 link=1283901114/19#19 date=1299671394
    Just piping in here, Ive found that cup shape is also an important factor,
    the best ones would probably be those with a rounded bottom, and wide mouth.
    I generally feel that tall skinny cups are difficult to pour into, as it doesnt allow you to bring the jug close to the cup until nearing the end.
    I agree to a point.

    I went looking for wide mouthed cups with rounded bottoms, thinking this would help me finally get the hang of pouring rosettas.

    And it did!

    (I found them at an OMaras auction and the smallest lot contained 300 of them.* ;D )

    However.....

    I no longer need them. Something else "clicked" and after much, much practise it doesnt matter to me what shape the cup is in order to pour reasonable art.


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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Also.

    To start with, the trick is to keep the milk pouring at a constant rate while moving the jug from side to side. its like patting your head and rubbing your stomach simultaneously.

    with practice, by altering the milk flow rate in combination with the jug movement, you can determine the look of your latte e.g., a fine thin fern or full wide rosetta.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    kinda like this.




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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    if you practice in tulips, you will get better latte art all together. Hard work at the start as they are far more difficult than that of bowls.

    Also I find, for the average consumer, they dont care for 15 leaf tulips or tripple rosettas, all they want is a great coffee. So a simple heart, 4 leaf tulip or rosetta is all that you really need to be able to pour. Less is more in this case

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    All good advice.* I never stop practising and must have seen every video of latte art on you tube.
    I often wonder how long latte art has been around and what cafes were doing before that...I am guessing just a white spot in the middle of the cup.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 51545B5B4C5D350 link=1283901114/24#24 date=1300100105
    All good advice.* I never stop practising and must have seen every video of latte art on you tube.
    I often wonder how long latte art has been around and what cafes were doing before that...I am guessing just a white spot in the middle of the cup.

    Its not so much about serving the customer 3 perfect rosettas in a cup, but more the challenge of actually pouring them! Although, I do agree with you. Quality comes first!

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I have also found the type of jug I use is critical, i have a jug with a slightly pinched-in spout at work and it just doesnt allow enough foam to flow out with the milk.
    My jug at home has a much wider spout and I have much more success with this, and at the other extreme my parents have a jug with a huge spout and again its impossible (or nearly) to control the foam in the pour.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Practise
    Practise
    Practise

    It annoyed the crap outta me when I couldn;t do it. They looked like undergrown shrubs, not beautiful rosettas. Start with tthe jug pouring into the side of the cup furthest away from you, then slowly make small wrist movements left and right whilst moving the jug slowly towards your body. This is how I do mine.
    Etching is very easy too, if you want to send out nice looking coffee but can;t do rosettas yet.
    Good Luck!!




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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 496B6D76717B6D1E0 link=1283901114/17#17 date=1298671734
    and while yes, you can pour latte art with no crema, the definition and contrast is extremely poor!
    And most importantly, the flavour would be lacking.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B3532723A332E722B33325C0 link=1283901114/23#23 date=1300089594
    Also I find, for the average consumer, they dont care for 15 leaf tulips or tripple rosettas, all they want is a great coffee. So a simple heart, 4 leaf tulip or rosetta is all that you really need to be able to pour. Less is more in this case
    AMEN...

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Is putting the shots directly into the cup important for art? I pull my shots into shot glasses the transfer to a pre heated cup, will this affect my attempts at latte art?

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    ^^^^^ Id like to know what everyones opinions are on this too.....

    CountryBeankin - Hmmm Im no expert; still actually a newbie at latte art... Heres something I observed: The other night at Tafe when I was practising before restaraunt service I was extracting into shot glasses and transferring into the cups so I could keep an eye on my crema and flow of coffee. When it came to pouring my milk and attempting some art I had no luck. Looked crap

    When I was doing orders for customers I was extracting the coffee directly into the cups to save time and get their orders out as soon as possible. I poured my milk, attempted a heart. Guess what? It looked like a heart. I even attempted a rosetta while not even thinking about doing it. While it wasnt perfect - it was an attempt and I do now have an idea of what I should and shouldnt be doing.

    Maybe the pouring of the coffee into the cup from the shot glass "upsets" the crema? :-?

    Maybe you should try both ways and see what works for you?

    I like this thread. Ill take everyones advice on board. Thanks everyone :)

    I do know now that I need to have my jug postioned closer to my cup and crema! ;)

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I have noticed that the creme is unsettled when pouring from shot glass to cup. I avoid doing it for this reason. Straight into the cup for me!

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Yeah, what a super thread. I need the input - including the exhortation to practice practice practice. Im glad to get the advice against transferring.

    It encourages me towards graduating from my Breville 4800 which doesnt fit any of my coffee cups - just the espresso cups, which dont have any room for art after the shot is in them!


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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    1. extract a shot of espresso straight into your cup (you can start steaming/texturing your milk while this is happening).

    2. split your milk straight away between a couple of jugs pour half out into a smaller jug 300,400 or 600ml....Practice this for the right consistency ! you dont want the milk too thick or too thin remember time is of the essence if your milk splits and gets too thin.... game over
    3. swirl the espresso in the cup before starting your pattern keep the crema easier to work with.
    4.pour your pattern out using the smaller jug(probably half full no more )... better control I find.
    5. do a couple of laps around the cup with the milk first to mix and keep the crema workable...... slow and steady is the speed (some people stop half way full ....this will let you focus on a point to start chosen pattern(watch you tube for this).
    6.keep practicing.....rome wasnt built in a day

    Good luck

  36. #36
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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    I find I only split milk when I texture milk for two. If Im doing a latte for one I generally just texture and pour. Heres this mornings latte :)




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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    oooohh left handed........those green cups are pretty cool.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Thanks, I like my green cups too. Left handed...just rotate so that the handle is pointing away from you and then pour the art. right handed the handle pointing at yourself. (if you are actually left handed and pour the milk with your left hand then its the opposite). ;)

  39. #39
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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Heres a "right hander" :)

    For me the texture of the milk is the key to a good latte art. Good Crema from the espresso helps a lot but if you have good textured milk you can even do the free pour despite a lack of crema. So even though a latte may look good does not necessarily mean its good coffee. Its a good indication though since in most cases, those who put the effort in to learn latte art would firstly care about the espresso that they pull.




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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Quote Originally Posted by 21333D2B37520 link=1283901114/37#37 date=1338470019
    Thanks, I like my green cups too.* Left handed...just rotate so that the handle is pointing away from you and then pour the art. right handed the handle pointing at yourself. (if you are actually left handed and pour the milk with your left hand then its the opposite).* ;)
    I had a laugh yes I get it

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    One tip I have for practicing, if you dont want to use coffee every time, you can make a small hot chocolate (I use 2 tbsp milo with enough hot water to dissolve it.
    You still need to go through a lot of milk, and the crema you get from hot chocolate isnt great. But it is much cheaper than practicing with espresso. And handy if you have kids or non-coffee drinkers.

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    Re: Latte Art - What is important?

    Cheaper than milo is cocoa powder from the bulk store.* Just make a paste with 1 tsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp sugar and a little warm water.* Add a little more water once you have a paste to make your shot and then you can attempt to texture with your frothed milk.* Thats something like 1.25 g of cocoa powder (at $10.99 / kg, that makes it 1.4c per shot as opposed to about 25c for your home-roasted double espresso)

    Cheaper than tea!




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