Advanced latte art technique (free pour)

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by dr_barrista »

Hi everyone! I'm struggling in mastering more involved latte art patterns, such as the seahorse. I cannot manage to get a clean free pour at the end. For example:
Between 0:30 and 0:32 the foam does not stay on the canvas. I guess that is because I steamed too much milk, so the foam was not "dry" enough (or maybe because the foam separated?), so I removed some milk from the pitcher and tried again. But then I get something blurry: there is still some liquid left which leaves smudges (for example between 0:45 and 0:47); this also happens if I steam the precise amount of milk needed (I use a Rancilio Silvia Pro). Do you have any advice :)?

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Kaffee Bitte

#2: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

In cafes the baristas are definitely steaming more milk than needed per drink. Mainly due to pour techniques for art. One of the big ones for these fancy ones is pouring into a second pitcher for greater mixing of the microfoam. Provided you have the wet paint foam, this mixing is vital to pull off the highly detailed slow pour art.

Watching the video, you aren't far off from what you are after. That was good pour technique in my eyes.

At home I steam for low waste, and often my art is merely okay. I don't see a point in wasting milk for me. At work I steam at least 4 ounces more than necessary for the drink if it will have latte art. This leaves more time for foam development and also allows proper mixing.

Also some blending will be inevitable at times when you have heavy crema. I have pulled super crema shots where the microfoam just rolls underneath. Crema wants to be king sometimes I guess
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110


#3: Post by iyayy »

extra milk.
i was thinking that i needed to steam more, since the last bits will break or be very weak.
while im far off from this video, at least i passed my fl moon phase. :lol: thanks for telling.

dr_barrista (original poster)

#4: Post by dr_barrista (original poster) »

Thanks! Indeed I use a second pitcher to help mixing (I pour steamed milk from the first pitcher into the second, and then back into the first). I also feel that I get slightly better foam quality by injecting air during less time (but stronger) and having more time to mix the foam with the vortex while heating.

But no matter what I do, I do not manage to get a clean free pour at the end (there are always some overspill of white liquid leaving whitish patches); an other example :

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#5: Post by guijan12 »

And you think it's not good.... :shock:

I would be very happy if I could pour like that! :D
But if I could pour like that, I would also want to improve even more. :idea:

I'll keep an eye on this thread; hope for tips to improve my skills.


dr_barrista (original poster)

#6: Post by dr_barrista (original poster) »

I'm not saying it's not good, I'm definitely happy with the progress I've made (2 years of training as a home barista :) ) but I've reached a point where I am stuck :).

dr_barrista (original poster)

#7: Post by dr_barrista (original poster) »

An update with some progress :):

The following two things have helped:
- I have replaced the 3-holed nozzle of the steam wand by a 1-holes nozzle
- before drawing lines I remove nearly all the milk to keep only some drops of foam.