Sunday, February 27, 2011

Behold the Latte Art

Well, sort of. Here's the update. After receiving the awesome Rancilio Silvia espresso maker as a holiday gift (from myself), I set about to drag my '90s era barista-self into the third wave.

At first, I tried to find someone who would take my hand and teach me the fine art of microfoaming and latte art, but to no avail. So I set about on a totally DIY course, reading coffee forums, watching endless videos of people pouring milk and practice, practice, practice. My conclusion: it's harder than it looks.

After two months, this is probably the best I've done. A friend on Facebook called it a tornado, which I'm willing to go with. As my art evolves, I'll continue to post. And I'm always open for hints, suggestions or other schooling.

FYI, this was made with Cafecito Organico's Espresso Clandestino.


Regular Chumpington said...


My experience was similar - tons of practice. Also helps to go to Intelligentsia or Urth where they usually get it right 100% of the time and pay attention to the texture. You can probably get the Intelligentsia guys to expound at length on how they do it. Just dispense it as flattery and casual interest to get them to chat.

The two biggest takeaways I've had in my limited successes are:
- make sure you're just shooting steam from the wand; many espresso machines will kick out a ton of spitty watter at first which makes things fall apart and you'll just wind up with warm milk
- A good lip on the pitcher you keep milk in is critical so you can get a tighter pour (I had a very wide-lipped pitcher and it just wasn't happening, especially on the detail at the end), and pour with total conviction and without fear.

I'm still not where I want to be either and am sadly out of recent practice, but those two tips took me a long way. Also watch the movements they do - Urth's "leaf" pour (for lack of a better word) has a very precise movement that they do every time.


Anonymous said...

for that perfect rosetta, it's all about slight wrist movements while pouring. practice that and you're golden :)

sku said...

Thanks all, great tips! And yeah, I spend a lot of time at Intelligentsia oogling their art.