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What is Latte Art all about?

via Aneta Wieczorek
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Latte Art has become very popular in recent years. If you happen to go out to a café from time to time, you have certainly seen a beautifully served brew using the striking Latte Art technique. This is simply a drawing on the coffee, which looks extremely original. A huge impression and excitement is created by the beautiful patterns on the surface of the coffees. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as the drawings look truly exquisite. In this article, we will explain what exactly Latte Art is and also give you some tips on how to prepare them.

What is Latte Art?

There is no denying that Latte Art is a tried-and-tested method of decorating served coffee. Various interesting shapes and patterns can be created in this way, such as swans, rosettes, flowers and hearts. The year 1986 marks the history of this unique technique. According to popular belief, its creator was David Schomer, who served coffee with a lot of foam to his guests in his café. The foam formed into a variety of very interesting shapes. Initially, these were just roses and hearts. It is particularly noteworthy that the term Latte Art was first used by Italian barista Luigi Lupi in 1996. It is worth being aware that it is quite complicated to make Latte Art professionally. Above all, a sense of aesthetics is required. One can already speak in terms of art in this method of decoration. Beautiful drawings are admired by coffee lovers all over the world. You need to be able to appreciate the work of baristas, which is not at all as easy as it may seem. It is best to use the services of proven and reputable baristas who have been in the market for many years and have a positive reputation. Nowadays, the art of creating patterns on the surface of coffee has practically become a sport. There are numerous competitions and competitions dedicated to Latte Art. The most recognised is of course the Latte Art Championship, which is organised by the Specialty Coffee Association. The world competition brings together participants who win at the national level. Experienced specialists judge the designs on the coffees. They take into account not only the overall feel, but also the creativity and complexity of the pattern. Unusual patterns can be created in a very short time by specialists in their craft.

Latte Art Techniques

Two main Latte Art techniques can be distinguished: etching and free-pouring. Free-pouring involves pouring milk directly from the jug. By appropriate wrist movements and manipulating the distance from the cup, the barista can achieve the desired pattern. There is no denying that etching is a slightly more demanding technique. It is a technique that requires additional accessories to create the desired patterns. This primarily involves small sticks and styluses. In this way, it is possible to obtain not only simple patterns, but also complex drawings such as seahorses, roses and alpacas. It is safe to say that the barista's imagination is really the only limitation. The timing of the coffee is very important when it comes to etching. It is worth remembering that the patterns stay on the surface of the coffee for a much shorter time than is the case with free-pouring. Properly frothed milk is the key to success with Latte Art. It must have the right density and a temperature of around 60 degrees Celsius. To achieve perfection, regular practice is essential. Special decorators can be used by those looking for a simpler solution or who do not have the patience to paint on the coffee.

coffee machine

Preparing Latte Art

You can also find special stencils for coffee on sale. You should start by improving your skills coffee preparationif you want to start creating interesting drawings on your coffee. It is important to remember that Latte Art is only an addition and a supplement, while the coffee itself is the base. It is best to buy high quality coffee and milk with a fat content of at least 3.2%. Not everyone knows that milk increases in volume by 20% during the frothing process. It is essential to use strongly chilled milk, i.e. milk straight from the fridge. You must not be discouraged if your first attempts prove unsuccessful. You will only learn to create simple and uncomplicated patterns with practice. The coffee in cafés and restaurants, on which the baristas create the patterns, usually comes from an espresso machine. As a rule, these are modern automatic espresso machines, but capsule and transfer machines can also be found. There is no doubt that high quality equipment is also important when it comes to patterns. Latte art involves pouring foamed milk over coffee. Initially, this technique was reserved for experienced baristas only. The term Latte Art should be familiar to all coffee and café lovers. Without well-foamed milk and coffee essence, it will not be possible to make Latte Art. The milk should be whipped with a hand frother. Three basic patterns are used to create drawings from milk. These patterns are the heart, the tulip and the rosette. All more elaborate paintings are based on these patterns. To beginners, Latte Art may seem very complicated, but everyone knows that practice makes perfect.

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