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  • Latte Art - Tips Please

    I would like a little help. To date one very average achievement using 300mm jug. Looked at various Utube videos for help. I believe the milk is ok - seems nice and smooth and creamy - I am not sure about consistency. When I pour milk into coffee I try to pour thru coffee but I dont seem to be able (especially if using 600mm jug) to see when the lighter milk colour rises to the surface when one can start moving the jug side to side to create the picture and therefore no pattern formed. As I said did have one very moderate success with  smaller jug.
    Any suggestions - doesnt look too difficult on the videos. :-

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

    Originally posted by 696B707A7C6A696B70777E7C6B190 link=1238493006/0#0 date=1238493006
    I would like a little help. To date one very average achievement using 300mm jug. Looked at various Utube videos for help. I believe the milk is ok - seems nice and smooth and creamy - I am not sure about consistency. When I pour milk into coffee I try to pour thru coffee but I dont seem to be able (especially if using 600mm jug) to see when the lighter milk colour rises to the surface when one can start moving the jug side to side to create the picture and therefore no pattern formed. As I said did have one very moderate success with  smaller jug.
    Any suggestions - doesnt look too difficult on the videos. :-

    Thanks
    All I can suggest is 1000 cups, price....Some get it on attempt #3, others on #1003. It will come- eventually.

    There are some terrific courses around. Simon James still takes the latte art course at the Coffee Academy and you could do a whole lot worse.

    Dont give up....You will get there....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

      There are lots of threads on latte art for beginners.

      The key is practice....and more practice. If you think your milk is good, it can be better. Getting the right texture is key. Not too much foam, not too little.

      Oh, dont forget to keep on reading...and learning. Youll get there!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

        Originally posted by 4143585254424143585F565443310 link=1238493006/0#0 date=1238493006
        I try to pour thru coffee but I dont seem to be able (especially if using 600mm jug) to see when the lighter milk colour rises to the surface when one can start moving the jug side to side to create the picture and therefore no pattern formed
        Maybe try moving the jug closer to the surface of the coffee. Then it will hold up more.

        Also, when you pour, you will see the flow of the crema around it - move the jug away towards the end of the cup when you want to start the art, to the point where it flows nicely to form leaves as you jiggle. Sure that didnt make sense, but anyway, keep watching videos and trying, and you will get there.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

          So when you are pouring, the milk doesnt break the surface of the crema and you are left with effectively a pure white top?

          If this is the problem, then the solution is to not stretch the milk as much as you are. It is effectively too thick. Try stretching less and see how that goes...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

            Relax and breathe...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Latte Art - Tips Please Follow up

              Thanks for all the replies - Have had a slight improvement but still quite poor.
              When I talk about pouring milk thru the crema I dont have a pure white top  as referred to by Bjeck14.
              During the pour I expect to see after a short while what I refer to as a small white lighter colour pool breaking the surface as an indication that it is time to start the sideways movement to create the picture.

              Maybe the milk is not stretched thick enough or creamy enough to show this effect to start the art work ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                Pricespringer (you have to explain that one sometime, its got me intrigued!)...

                You could be right on both counts.

                1. How hot is your milk?

                2. Another trick to make sure your milk is good enough...

                Have you ever beaten egg white to make meringue? If you have, you will know that the whites become glossy and smooth. This is the kind of milk that you want.

                If you have steamed and not got this kind of "glossy" look then you can still achieve it by "swirling" the milk in the jug.

                Are you a wine drinker at all? Ever "swirled" your wine in your glass?

                Its very simple and youll be able to do it with a small amount of practice.

                You can "swirl" your milk after steaming to get rid of bubbles and give it the nice meringue gloss...just get a bit of a rhythmic side to side action with your wrist and youll find the milk moving around in a circle in the jug...youll get the rhythm once you practice a bit...take your TIME!

                Honestly, you blokes at times just want everything to happen straight away...I didnt tell you to relax and breathe as a joke. I meant it seriously...

                Even the GREAT Scottie Callaghan recognised the difference between us women folk and you men folk. Basically, us ladies are inclined to be relaxed and not so stressed about the technicalities of pouring milk...I mean, I can prove this...just check out how many Latte Art threads are started by women! :P Now...you blokes...well, youre desperate to get it right and are so competitive! SO...do as I say and RELAX...

                Now...are you cheesed off at my tone now!? If so...take a breather! Relax and see that I am right.

                If you are tense and stiff, you will not produce the milk you want, pour the latte art youd like to see.

                Watch the blokes who are winning these comps...do they make it look easy? Well, yes of course they do! AND why does it look easy? Because they are RELAXED!

                There is no special science to all of this...

                It all comes back to

                RELAX...NO TENSION!

                Trust me...Im a professional... :-*

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                  Originally posted by 22323E3E25300E36303D510 link=1238493006/7#7 date=1238841071
                  Honestly, you blokes at times just want everything to happen straight away...I didnt tell you to relax and breathe as a joke. I meant it seriously...

                  Even the GREAT Scottie Callaghan recognised the difference between us women folk and you men folk. Basically, us ladies are inclined to be relaxed and not so stressed about the technicalities of pouring milk...I mean, I can prove this...

                  Now...you blokes...well, youre desperate to get it right and are so competitive! SO...do as I say and RELAX...

                  Now...are you cheesed off at my tone now!? If so...take a breather! Relax and see that I am right.

                  If you are tense and stiff, you will not produce the milk you want, pour the latte art youd like to see.

                  Watch the blokes who are winning these comps...do they make it look easy? Well, yes of course they do!

                  AND why does it look easy? Because they are RELAXED!

                  There is no special science to all of this...

                  It all comes back to

                  RELAX...NO TENSION!

                  Trust me...Im a professional...
                  Oh Scoots.... I did not know if I should cry or laugh.... Ya right of course...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                    Assuming that you are getting nice glossy milk that is not settled before you are pouring-  have you tried

                    1) changing the height of the pour as you are pouring?
                    2) changing the thickness or thinness of your milk stream?
                    3) changed the flow of the milk into the cup

                    Try mimicking exactly what the other people do in the videos with the same shape cup (preferably bowl shaped ones) and see how that goes for you.  You can divide the latte art pour into a sequential process and break it down in terms of something like start, middle, end or cup with shot, cup 1/3 full, cup 2/3 full, cup full and design finished.  

                    Then ask yourself why X happened at that time and why that was important.  

                    I hope these are a step in the right direction and having said all that, follow what scoota gal said and relax, and btw dont overthink the whole thing.  

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                      Originally posted by 4555595942576951575A360 link=1238493006/7#7 date=1238841071
                      SO...do as I say and RELAX...

                      Now...are you cheesed off at my tone now!? If so...take a breather! Relax and see that I am right.  
                      Im hoping that Scoots take this stone from my hand grasshopper relaxation technique worked for you but if not, you may wish to view Scott Raos lesson on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxAvYoymUbM

                      I found it more productive than the 2 hour formal lesson I did as doing well and teaching well are two very separate things!

                      Epic76

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                        Nice tips, Im gonna have to try this next time i pour

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                          I have come to the conclusion that one of the important factors is crema.  If I have fresh coffee I always do a better job on the art.  If the coffee is old and I have a poorer crema then it is very difficult to get anything that looks like it was done on purpose.  If your worried about how you are doing the milk try using extra milk but only stretch it 10%  This should give you enough density(dont know what else to call it right now) in the milk to pour your first latte art.  In my experience you are more likely to pour something that resembles art if the milk is stretched less.  The only other tip is to watch the videos on youtube and then watch them a few more times.


                          Justin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                            Im a complete newbie, having got a SB 4800C earlier this year. Having done the first hundred or so lattes, I honestly thought this machine was not capable of the job. Well, what a change a few hundred more cups makes! It can be done - I can do some pretty good concentric hearts and rosettas now.

                            My tips are:
                            1) Get good crema on the coffee. Actually, not as important as you might think. Poor crema just gives me low contrast art.
                            2) Steam the milk right - as posted above, not too much foam is best for latte art. Should be glossy in the jug when completed, and a few taps and swirls in the jug can get it to this point quickly, if it wasnt quite right after steaming. If theres too much froth, a bit difficult to do the art, just make less foam next time. For me, my tip of the day is to tilt the jug toward you while steaming, such that the "swirl" swirls up at the back of the jug. As it comes back down to the milk level, it tends to mix with the foam better, thereby getting the floating foam recombined with the milk, and pulverising any bubbles.
                            3) Swirl the coffee cup just before you start the pour to break up the crema. Let it settle for a second or so, so it doesnt "swirl" your artwork! This point may or may not be a big deal. I found it helped me.
                            4) WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS. The biggest, most important thing I noticed was the height of the pour. Pouring from high doesnt start the art - lower the pour when you want to start it. Watch to see what I mean.
                            5) Use a big bowl shaped coffee cup - its much easier. Once you get good, you can start trying taller mugs - these are nowhere near as easy.
                            6) Start with mug tilted toward you, then slowly roll back level as you are shaking the milk out.
                            7) Hearts - pour at a spot towards the front, and dont move the spot much - wiggle a bit, let the rings flow out, then finish the pour moving away from you, through the heart.
                            8) Rosettas (once youve had success with hearts!) - Start at the back with a high pour, moving around. Then lower and start the shake, roll the cup back, and move the pour spot toward the front of the cup, then finish the pour moving away from you, through the zig-zags, thus making the rosetta. It might help to mime this a few times - it all seems to happen quickly when youre pouring.

                            When you get it, shout a loud "YES!".

                            All the above youve probably seen or heard yourself, but for me the big breakthrough was noticing that the art started when the pour height was right. Of course, the milk needs to be correctly steamed (as above, per others).

                            Im painfully aware that Im a beginner, but I wrote this to encourage you - it is possible.

                            Finally, theres a really good YOUTUBE video of the experts making a real mess of it - I found that video to be a real encouragement. When you see a brilliantly filmed pour, just remember that you dont know how many they filmed before they got that one!

                            Have fun!

                            Oops, wait... are you using a pressurised basket, that makes fake crema? - this might be a problem. If you dont know what I mean, search this topic here (fake crema, pressurised baskets, etc).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Latte Art - Tips Please

                              Originally posted by 4078797C4F5A7F7E7563100 link=1238493006/13#13 date=1242657134
                              Im a complete newbie, having got a SB 4800C earlier this year. Having done the first hundred or so lattes, I honestly thought this machine was not capable of the job. Well, what a change a few hundred more cups makes! It can be done - I can do some pretty good concentric hearts and rosettas now.

                              My tips are:
                              1) Get good crema on the coffee. Actually, not as important as you might think. Poor crema just gives me low contrast art.
                              2) Steam the milk right - as posted above, not too much foam is best for latte art. Should be glossy in the jug when completed, and a few taps and swirls in the jug can get it to this point quickly, if it wasnt quite right after steaming. If theres too much froth, a bit difficult to do the art, just make less foam next time. For me, my tip of the day is to tilt the jug toward you while steaming, such that the "swirl" swirls up at the back of the jug. As it comes back down to the milk level, it tends to mix with the foam better, thereby getting the floating foam recombined with the milk, and pulverising any bubbles.
                              3) Swirl the coffee cup just before you start the pour to break up the crema. Let it settle for a second or so, so it doesnt "swirl" your artwork! This point may or may not be a big deal. I found it helped me.
                              4) WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS. The biggest, most important thing I noticed was the height of the pour. Pouring from high doesnt start the art - lower the pour when you want to start it. Watch to see what I mean.
                              5) Use a big bowl shaped coffee cup - its much easier. Once you get good, you can start trying taller mugs - these are nowhere near as easy.
                              6) Start with mug tilted toward you, then slowly roll back level as you are shaking the milk out.
                              7) Hearts - pour at a spot towards the front, and dont move the spot much - wiggle a bit, let the rings flow out, then finish the pour moving away from you, through the heart.
                              8) Rosettas (once youve had success with hearts!) - Start at the back with a high pour, moving around. Then lower and start the shake, roll the cup back, and move the pour spot toward the front of the cup, then finish the pour moving away from you, through the zig-zags, thus making the rosetta. It might help to mime this a few times - it all seems to happen quickly when youre pouring.

                              When you get it, shout a loud "YES!".

                              All the above youve probably seen or heard yourself, but for me the big breakthrough was noticing that the art started when the pour height was right. Of course, the milk needs to be correctly steamed (as above, per others).

                              Im painfully aware that Im a beginner, but I wrote this to encourage you - it is possible.

                              Finally, theres a really good YOUTUBE video of the experts making a real mess of it - I found that video to be a real encouragement. When you see a brilliantly filmed pour, just remember that you dont know how many they filmed before they got that one!

                              Have fun!

                              Oops, wait... are you using a pressurised basket, that makes fake crema? - this might be a problem. If you dont know what I mean, search this topic here (fake crema, pressurised baskets, etc).
                              Great post and well done...

                              Many think it is a simple switch... They have become spoilt with the easy that many things get done. Many people watch professionals doing tricks on TV and or even their hobby / sport / music and think... That can not be that hard.

                              PRACTICE... Sure a few have that knack that many of us would love to have, but for most it is practice...

                              TassieBean... Keep up the good work and commitment..

                              Comment

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