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Coffee lovers everywhere, can’t wait for their regular “fix”. Its one of those things that you look forward to every morning, evening, or any other time of day. And with so many parameters affecting how much you get to enjoy your coffee, many people consider making a coffee an art in itself.
If you like your coffee with milk, you would have come across a different kind of art: latte art – the decorative patterns made in the foam topping your espresso drink. Ever wondered how to make latte art?
There are two key ingredients for making the perfect latte: a fresh shot of espresso with an adequate amount of crema and properly textured steamed milk.
There’s a science behind the reason why you can’t make latte by simply adding regular milk to coffee.
To make the ‘microfoam’ that is poured into your cup, baristas usually add steam to milk and then rapidly heat it. This scientific process is called “denaturing” as it caused the physical properties of milk to be altered.
Milk is essentially composed of sugar, fat, and proteins. When steamed, the fat and the sugars are broken down into smaller, simpler sugars that make the milk sweeter.
Once your textured steamed milk is ready, the next step is pouring it into your cup of espresso, which involves some physics. Barista pour the steamed milk in such a way that the milk drains first and finishes with the foam in order to create the design.
Some possible mistakes to look out for make when making latte art:
Pouring the milk too slowly: This causes the milk to separate in the milk jug, resulting in less-aerated milk pouring into the coffee and more-aerated milk remaining in the jug.
Lifting the milk jug away from the coffee surface when pouring: When you raise the jug away from the surface of the coffee, it causes the milk to dive into the crema rather than resting on top of the crema to form your art.
Keeping the spout of the milk jug too close to the coffee surface: This has the opposite effect, as the milk tends to skim the surface of the coffee, so it doesn’t create a pattern.
So, now that you know the key aspects of pouring to make good latte art (height, position, flow) you can try to pour your own cup.
How to make latte art
There are three basic phases of making latte art:
1. Making the perfect foam
2. Pulling your espresso
3. Pouring the milk.