Latte Art Beginner- Unable to find right advice - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
LM03 (original poster)

#11: Post by LM03 (original poster) »

In response to dchoo, I believe you're right that it's something wrong with my consistency and I think I've figured it out (though I can't put it into practice until I'm back in), I think it's my whirlpool technique being poorer than I thought, as I've noticed a significant shift in texture throughout a single pour. I have some ideas to take care of this, and I think this will help as i have spent a concerning amount of time practicing my theory and hand movement with little result.


#12: Post by coffeechan »

I've found steaming milk is 75% of good latte art. The better the milk is textured, the easier designs pour out and flow. Steaming milk is harder than it looks especially with different machines and levels of steaming power. Commercial machines will more easily get an aggressive swirl and whirlpool compared to say a single boiler or thermoblock machine. My own machine the Breville Dual Boiler requires me to stretch with kissing the surface of the milk and texture with only a slight submerge. This produces the aggressive vortex I need for the best textured milk. The more powerful the machine the more you can submerge the wand and still get a very good vortex. Appearance of milk is one indicator, but I can steam suboptimally and still have a very glassy milk so its not the only indicator to pay attention to.

Some other tips are to dump a bit of milk off the top if you've stretched too much and there's way too much foam. You can still salvage a pour by doing that, but yes you waste milk and it's not always appropriate for a dry cappuccino. Keep the milk moving swirling in the pitcher until the pour if possible and of course tap out any big bubbles. These additional tips can only do so much though. If the milk isn't integrated, the pour is still going to be hard.


#13: Post by tburres »

Lance Hedrick has a pretty good and detailed youtube on steaming that I found helpful.

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#14: Post by iploya »

For what it's worth, latte art is not easy. A pro barista gets to practice dozens or hundreds of times *per day*.


#15: Post by BaristaMcBob »

You need to understand ALL the variables. Latte art is like a chain. Each link has to be understood.

The type of milk
The size of the pitcher
The amount of milk in the pitcher, relative to the size of the cup
The starting temperature of the milk
The temperature of the stretch phase
The duration of the stretch phase
The temperature and duration of the texturizing phase
The final resulting milk
The positioning of the cup
The vertical canvas prep pour
The horizontal art pour
The finish stroke

Lance Hedrick does a great job explaining all these variables.


#16: Post by jgood »

I found it helps with consistency to use the same quantity of milk each time, and to be consistent with a very long purge before steaming. I did try several steam tips and after much f'ing around went back to the original one with 3 small holes. I did find that an old school "burn" steam was better for me.