Latte art isn’t just the preserve of the coffee shop barista. You can with a little known how get creative at home, and handily you don’t need heaps of kit either. Latte art doesn’t add anything by way of taste to your coffee, but it does say quite a bit about you and demonstrates to your guests that you’ve put a bit of time and effort into crafting the perfect coffee for them to enjoy when they visit…
The most important thing you’ll need to craft your latte art is a milk micro foam, but how on earth do you go about making that without an all singing all dancing coffee machine?
HOW TO MAKE LATTE ART AT HOME
First of all, choose a good quality milk, we firmly believe whole milk is best mainly because of the fat content in the cream which makes it great to work and easily creates a froth. If you can’t have dairy, then the go for a either an oat or soy milk because they are pretty think and will give equally good results.
But whatever you do don’t forget about choosing the right coffee, if you don’t have a decent coffee to underpin your latte there’s not much point! You’ll probably want to consider using Farrer’s luxuriously dark Classic Espresso blend, or our popular Rwandan Rutonde Kinini coffee. Ideally, you’d choose to grind your coffee at home so it’s a fresh as possible, but if you haven’t got a grinder don’t worry too much and order your coffee pre-ground.
So, you’ve chosen your coffee and you milk no it’s time to get busy creating your latte.
STEP 1 – HEATING YOUR MILK
Firstly pour a cup of milk into a microwave safe glass and then pop in the microwave for 50 seconds, then leave the milk to stand for around 2 minutes, pop in the microwave again and heat for a further 20 seconds and then leave to stand again for a further 2 minutes. Repeat this process once more and leave to stand. Ideally you need to keep the milk temperature at around 55-65°C.
STEP 2 – PREPARING THE ESPRESSO
In the meantime, prepare your espresso and set aside. Pour half of the milk you’ve heated into a clean glass jar and pop on the lid. Once the lid is secure shake the jar as vigorously as possible until the milk froths and is roughly double its original volume and place into a slightly warmed metal jug (boiling water will warm it sufficiently, but remember to pour it out before adding the milk to the jug!), and tap it lightly on the counter to help knock out any bubbles in the milk.
STEP 3 – CREATING YOUR LATTE
Now it’s time to start creating your latte, note this is easiest when using a round bowl-shaped cup. Firstly, pour your espresso into the bottom of the cup and then tilt your cup to one side so that, when you start pouring your frothed milk, it goes underneath the espresso. Once your cup is around ¾ full, the milk will start to form on top of the espresso, continue to pour the milk slowly into the centre of the cup remembering to tilt the cup until the milk forms on top of the coffee.
STEP 4 – CREATING YOUR LATTE ART AT HOME
Now you’ve done the hard part it’s time to have a little bit of fun and get creative.
HOW TO MAKE A LATTE ART HEART
The easiest shape to start off with is the heart and here’s how to create it…
Keep pouring the milk but while doing so bring the jug down to just above the surface of the liquid in the cup and swirl the jug from side to side as you pour and create a circular shape.
As this forms pull the jug in a straight line down the centre of the cup pushing away from you. This will pull the milk down to form a heart shape.
Once the cream looks rounded, pull the pitcher in a straight line down the middle, pushing away from you, this will pull the milk down to form a heart. Then simply serve.
(Image by @jocelynhsu on Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/QZiJS6WBDho)
HOW TO MAKE A LATTE ART BEAR
Once you’ve perfected the heart you can pretty much go for it. Why not try making a bear?
To start follow the steps for making a heart just don’t pour the milk down the centre of the circle as this creates the heart shape. Instead just pour the milk from a little higher and then steadily move the jug closer to the cup so that the pour is thicker and then stop pouring. This should result in a fuller circle.
Then get a spoon and scoop up a little milk and drop two dots equally distanced towards the top of the circle, these will form the ears then grab a toothpick and draw the eyes in the centre of the circle and then the snout and the mouth.
The main things to remember is that your pouring technique is key, the speed and height above the cup are all important. If you pour slowly and evenly at a decent height and distance you will be able to achieve pretty much any shape you desire, but obviously practice makes perfect!