Wednesday, June 23, 2021

10 Easy Latte Art Designs for a Perfectly Frothed Cup of Latte at Home

In the world of high-end cuisine and fine dining, the presentation of the food and beverages has always been regarded as the most significant thing that appeals to the people in the first place.

No matter how best the ingredients are or how expert the chef is, the way the food and beverages are furnished make the first impression in most of the cases.

Thus in other words, it can be said that this impression in the form of how the food and beverages have been presented will either uphold or wash away the expectations of the people.

A perfectly furnished dish can easily captivate people’s attention, making them want to try it without questioning its smell, taste or ingredients.

On the other hand, a poorly presented food or beverage can spoil the mood of the people, making them drive away from it.

Quite similar is the case of your favorite hot beverage i.e. coffee.

While there is not much to experiment or add a sense of personalization or the way in which you usually expect your cup of coffee to be in, something known as ‘Latte Art’ has over the past few years gained much popularity among the coffee lovers and non-lovers alike.

What is ‘Latte’?

Just like the other famous forms of coffee such as Cappuccino, Americano, Espresso, etc., a ‘Latte’ or ‘Café Latte’ is one such famous type of coffee which is more popular due to the art designs that can be incorporated on its soft and silky foam surface.

The usual composition of a cup of ‘Latte’ is one or two shots of Espresso and steamed milk that adds the soft and silky foam surface on top, giving it a perfect texture.

The ratio of the espresso coffee and the steamed milk in a single cup of Latte is one third and two third respectively.

The coffee type of ‘Latte’ originates from America.

A thing to remember about ‘Latte’ is that the most important thing that makes it stand out from the other types of coffee is its rich texture and appearance.

A beginner’s guide on how to do a ‘Latte Art’

While you can always hop on to your nearest coffee cafe or bar for some fancy cup of instant ‘Latte’, the good thing is that instead of doing this, you too can try adding up a little bit of creativity in a cup of ‘Latte’ prepared at home.

Tools you will need to make ‘Latte’ at home

To begin with, let us make a list of the four essential items needed to spark creativity to your cup of ‘Latte’.

  • An espresso maker or a coffee machine with a steam wand
  • A wide and shallow cup, preferably in white color to compliment the rich golden brown texture of the ‘Latte’ but not necessary
  • A pitcher or a jug but with a pointed spout
  • A toothpick or anything thicker than it for the ‘Latte Art’

Quick tip

According to expert coffee makers or baristas, the two essential elements that form the basis for a perfect cup of ‘Latte’ are – 

  • Fresh shots of espresso with rich thick foam or crema
  • Full cream milk that has been steamed to turn into the right texture for a cup of ‘Latte’.

The process

Before we move any further, remember that making your first cup of coffee won’t be easy in any manner so even if it does not turn out to be as good as what you usually drink at your favorite coffee cafe, do not get disappointed.

Keep trying and hopefully you will get better.

1. Knowing your coffee beans and grinding the amount you need

While you can buy the already grinded coffee brands from your nearest supermarket, it won’t be bad if you look out for some organic shop that is known for selling fresh coffee beans.

Go and get your roasted beans and if necessary, leave them for some time as this impacts the brewing process due to the carbon dioxide emissions that happen in newly roasted coffee beans.

An important thing to remember at this point is not to place your coffee beans in the fridge as many people suggest doing.

Instead, store it in a cool and dry place, away from dust and moist and if also available, in a glass jar or container with an airtight seal so that the freshness level is retained for as long as possible.

Also, do not grind more beans than the amount you need, on the possibility of storing it for next time use.

If you have a digital scale in your kitchen, that will be really helpful in keeping a check on how much coffee beans to grind and how much to use for making a single cup of latte.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, you can still use a measuring cup for this purpose.

2. Frothing or making the foam

For the frothing or making the foam for your latte, ideally use milk at a cold temperature.

This is because using normal room temperature milk or hot milk can raise its temperature before the foaming happens, so it risks burning the milk and spoiling it.

3. Steaming the milk in the jug

Now insert the steam wand into the milk jug or pitcher and start steaming it.

In this process, insert the wand deep inside the pitcher to the extent that it is just one and a half centimeters away from touching the bottom of it.

Now as the milk level rises during the steaming process, slowly raise the steam wand as well.

During the whole process, make sure that the bubbles and foaming made seems to be quite uniform and without any unusually big bubbles being formed.

A uniform steaming process will ensure that the main purpose of this step is well achieved in the form of smooth and velvety textured milk.

4. Spinning the milk in the jug

After the steaming process, comes the spinning of the milk in the jug.

Move the steaming wand from the center and place it closer to the side of the jug and near to its bottom.

Due to this, the milk in the jug will start to spin or rotate in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.

5. Maintaining the temperature of the milk jug or pitcher

During the frothing, steaming and spinning of the milk in the jug or the pitcher with the steaming wand, make sure that the right level of temperature is maintained throughout.

Maintaining the right level of temperature is very important as it will make sure that the milk in the jug has enough room to allow for all the three processes of frothing, steaming and spinning to take place properly and turn the milk in the right foam.

For maintaining the temperature, make sure to have a kitchen thermometer to regularly measure the temperature and avoid any chances of scalding.

6. Pulling the espresso shots

The strength and texture of your latte depends on how well you pull the espresso shots from the espresso machine.

Start with the following steps to pull a perfect espresso shot.

Grind the coffee beans up to the level that they are coarser than flour but finer than the table salt. In addition to this, only grind the amount that you need to properly fill in the porta filter of the espresso machine. Do not keep already grinded coffee beans in advance as they will lose their freshness and quality overtime in a grounded form.

Now fill the porta filter of your espresso machine up to the quantity that is enough for a double-shot. Usually, this quantity should be between 14 to 18 grams for a double-shot. Most espressos are made with double-shots so it is okay to try this quantity at home as well.

After filling the porta filter, you will need to press or tamp the grinded coffee powder to make it settle in tightly and with a smooth level surface. Apply firm pressure with your hand to achieve this.

Finally, it is time to place the porta filter in the espresso machine and place your cup at the mouth opening from where the espresso shots will pour out into your cup.

If everything in the previous steps had been carefully performed, the color of the extracts or the shots should be dark brown in the beginning. This will eventually turn into a lighter shade of golden brown color.

Another thing to notice here is that the shots or the grinded coffee extract should continue flowing out in a uniform manner, without breaking the flow or causing any delays in between.

If this is not happening, probably the grounded coffee powder in the porta filter (step 3 in this list) wasn’t compressed properly and there might be cracks in between.

7. Almost done

Now pour the frothed milk with foam in the cup having the espresso shots but do not fill it completely.

Leave some space for placing the foam on top. Remember that this is the surface which will actually work as the canvas for latte art designs.

10 Latte art designs to try now at home

Now that you are done with the basic preparation required to do the latte art, it is now time for some real action.

The following is a list of videos that show how easy it can be to make some different basic latte art designs at home and that too with not much time needed.

Additional ingredients that might be required for practicing these designs, other than the ones mentioned above, are – 

  • Dark chocolate syrup or sauce; and
  • Caramel sauce.

Now just follow the steps in each video closely and carefully to begin trying some really amazing and easy latte art designs.

Remember that the way you hold the coffee mug in a tilted position, precision, thickness of the frothed milk, your pouring flow (not so fast and not so quick as well) and not breaking it in between are the basic things that you need to take care of for a perfect cup of coffee with latte art design at your home.

1. Making a latte art heart with easy pour of frothed milk into the espresso shots

Video credit: How Cast Food Drink YouTube Channel

2. Simple heart latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: Starting at 35 seconds – ending at 57 seconds

3. Heart in a heart latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 1 minute 2 seconds – ending at 1 minute 40 seconds

4. Rosetta latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 1 minute 45 seconds – ending at 2 minutes 15 seconds

5. Rosetta with a heart latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 2 minutes 23 seconds – ending at 3 minutes 9 seconds

6. 4 Leaf tulip latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 3 minutes 11 seconds – ending at 3 minutes 52 seconds

7. Heart in 3 leaf tulip latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 3 minutes 56 seconds – ending at 4 minutes 44 seconds

8. Twisted 8 leaf tulip latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 4 minutes 51 seconds – ending at 5 minutes 48 seconds

9. Swan latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 5 minutes 50 seconds – ending at 6 minutes 36 seconds

10. Inverted 3 leaf tulip latte art design

Video credit: Coffee D’Latte YouTube Channel

Time stamp: starting at 6 minutes 37 seconds – ensign at 7 minutes 36 seconds

Conclusion

While you can easily find many other online videos on the internet on how to do the perfect latte art designs at home, you can begin with practicing the basic designs in this article.

Just remember that practice makes perfect.

So keep trying and practicing more and more.

Then once you think that you are for sure becoming a pro in any particular design, why not invite some friends and family members for a coffee party at your home and see what they think of how well you have achieved so far.

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