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Thread: Latte art = good coffee. Common myth

  1. #1
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    Latte art = good coffee. Common myth

    I have read and heard this quite a number of times, and from my point of view at least, itís just not the case.

    Latte art does not mean the coffee will be good, or even drinkable for that matter.

    If i can figure out how to resize some photos I will post some pics and describe the coffee used in each cup. I donít consider myself to be great at art but can hold my own in the smack downs I have competed in.

  2. #2
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    This is a pic of a flat white on the house blend. Pours consistently good coffee. Roasted well and dialed in nicely. Toffee choc and hints of berries.
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    This one was made in a Colombian Cerro Azul Gresha. Should have been a great coffee. Roasted well and at a green price that most of us won’t look at should have been exceptional.

    However the coffee was old. I did my best but was difficult to extract a nice shot, so this one is a dbl ristretto and I didn’t finish it as it tasted flat.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    I donít think anyone is claiming that well-textured milk will magically improve bad espresso...
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    I don’t think anyone is claiming that well-textured milk will magically improve bad espresso...
    Disagree there mate.

    But I did miss explaining that in the second pic the milk was steamed by a trainee which was too think.
    Through some tricks and removing some extra foam the milk was saved.

    I think some people would be surprised just how many assume the coffee is good cause it looks nice

  6. #6
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    I don’t think anyone is claiming that well-textured milk will magically improve bad espresso...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    Disagree there mate.
    Ummmmmmmm.. (scratching head emoji time)
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  7. #7
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    My main point being that latte are can be done with poor espresso and average milk.
    If you think it must be good cause it has latte art, you may be mistaken.

    I hear it at work and I read those comments on this forum

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    Its just like sex.
    Good looking- doesnt mean good loving.
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    /\
    |

    Touche`

  10. #10
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Of course it doesn't.

    What it does tell you is that the shot has decent crema, the milk is well textured and the barista has at least some basic competence and attention to detail, so it's still a good indication of quality.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Very true, but on the other hand I have found that latte art absolutely increases the quality of the drink, not because it looks pretty (although I do smile when I am served well-crafted art, which one could say enhances the experience ), but well-textured milk really lifts the sweetness and gives a creamy texture to the drink. It's because the milk is well-textured though, the art is just sort of like a stamp of 'proof' of that. It just doesn't guarantee the drink will be nice hehe. The espresso base matters for sure.

    Ronin that swan and tulip are incredible... nice work!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Of course it doesn't.

    What it does tell you is that the shot has decent crema, the milk is well textured and the barista has at least some basic competence and attention to detail, so it's still a good indication of quality.
    You don’t need crema to produce latte art MM
    Look at any of the vids on YouTube with matcha, hot choc, velvet late (beetroot powder), blue algae ect. None of these have crema. It’s all about setting the milk evenly
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ronin that swan and tulip are incredible... nice work!
    Thanks, but I can do much better.
    The swan neck has a sharp corner and the tulip was started a bit high in the cup or I’d have another layer or 2 in it. It’s only a 10 stack ��
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    You donít need crema to produce latte art MM
    Look at any of the vids on YouTube with matcha, hot choc, velvet late (beetroot powder), blue algae ect. None of these have crema. Itís all about setting the milk evenly
    Yeh, but each of the examples you list have different viscosity to the base of an espresso shot. When using espresso as the base, surely you need at least some crema to provide the contrasting colour to the textured milk? I can't say that I've bothered wasting a shot to try it though.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Yeh, but each of the examples you list have different viscosity to the base of an espresso shot. When using espresso as the base, surely you need at least some crema to provide the contrasting colour to the textured milk? I can't say that I've bothered wasting a shot to try it though.
    nah, i've poured latte art in a crema-less aeropress shot. there's the contrast of white on light brown as opposed to dark brown. you can make a design easily. but yes, it won't contrast as well as a shot with crema.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    nah, i've poured latte art in a crema-less aeropress shot. there's the contrast of white on light brown as opposed to dark brown. you can make a design easily. but yes, it won't contrast as well as a shot with crema.
    Fair enough. I guess when I think about it, when I travel with an aeropress and pour milk into the brew it picks up some colour (though I usually get some faux crema on the top of the aeropress brew too).

  17. #17
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    You donít need crema to produce latte art MM
    Look at any of the vids on YouTube with matcha, hot choc, velvet late (beetroot powder), blue algae ect. None of these have crema. Itís all about setting the milk evenly
    OK, show me a video of latte art being poured on an espresso shot with zero crema and I'll buy it.

    In the context of this discussion, I think it would be pretty easy to tell whether the shot was crema-rich and therefore potentially good - or flat, lifeless and crap - even if there is some kind of pattern. But I'm happy for someone to prove me wrong...

  18. #18
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    OK, show me a video of latte art being poured on an espresso shot with zero crema and I'll buy it.

    In the context of this discussion, I think it would be pretty easy to tell whether the shot was crema-rich and therefore potentially good - or flat, lifeless and crap - even if there is some kind of pattern. But I'm happy for someone to prove me wrong...
    Ahhh I remember watching a video that did this direct comparison, the fellow scooped the crema completely off, and still poured great art that had a nice contrast. Have looked everywhere and I can't find it though sorry.. but it is doable.

    But relating to the original post, just came across this, very interesting article!

    https://baristahustle.com/blogs/bari...ee-taste-worse
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    OK, show me a video of latte art being poured on an espresso shot with zero crema and I'll buy it.

    In the context of this discussion, I think it would be pretty easy to tell whether the shot was crema-rich and therefore potentially good - or flat, lifeless and crap - even if there is some kind of pattern. But I'm happy for someone to prove me wrong...
    YouTube is your friend MM
    Search for it, or if I have time later I’ll do it & list the links
    The whole point of this thread is to open minds. What is commonly believed is not always fact. While this forum is great for home and beginner baristas, it’s not speciality coffee level.

    No disrespect intended

    The reason I started posting again periodically is to give back. I learnt from this forum s long time ago and now I’m in a position of knowledge to assist in others journey.

    Coffee snobs are the best and worst customers, but I’m getting off subject now

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    A terrible experiment with... Er... tea :-)


    Might have got better practice but... why?
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  21. #21
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbilleter View Post
    A terrible experiment with... Er... tea :-)


    Might have got better practice but... why?
    Hahaha ah nice work, tea art!

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