Latte Heart Size - Page 2

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

#11: Post by DerSchoeneBahnhof (original poster) »

Your espresso is watery and thin with no crema. It should mix a bit with the milk and be a nice brown color before you get the milk to print the heart on the top. This could be a million things, but likely stale coffee. Use specialty beans with a roast date printed on the bag that's within the past week - no longer than a month.
Ha yes, it's not espresso, it's used ground beans and hot water. The milk is fake, water + Barista Carl's Blend drops. I don't want to waste beans every time I practice... once in a while I practice with real milk and espresso. Maybe I can sprinkle cocoa or ground cinnamon on my fake coffee.

The link you posted is a rosetta, much more advanced.

I'll work on rushing less and practicing with different pouring speeds.

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mrgnomer

#12: Post by mrgnomer »

Personally, when I started with the latte art, I don't remember any ranking. "Rosettas" were the in thing and it's all I practiced till I got it.

Hearts are now hard for me after getting used to rosettas. They're a different pouring technique. If hearts are difficult after you get good at rosettas, rosettas may not be easy after you get good at hearts. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who got good at hearts first and tried rosettas.

In any case it's the foam texture that makes the difference with the pour, IMHO.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

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jrcdzn

#13: Post by jrcdzn »

I AM NOT AN EXPERT!!!

One thing I recently learned is to keep the milk moving at all times after you steam. This keeps any separation between foam and milk from occurring. It's nearly instant as the air bubbles want to go to the top, A slight swirl of the pitcher keeps it happy.

Also, I would not set the cup on the counter as you pour; I would keep both cup and pitchers in your hands and have the ability to move them as needed.

Last tip, get the spout of your pitcher close to your coffee (almost touching) when you begin the art portion. Another recent revelation.

To echo someone else's comment. Rosetta and Heart are not dependent on each other, and one is not necessarily more challenging than the other. They are both equally hard. The rosetta is about moving the pitcher spout backward before you run the stream to connect. On Any given day, I make better rosettas than hearts, and on all days, I am just happy to drink my creation.

beans+crumble

#14: Post by beans+crumble »

That heart that you poured in the video was good! You got the width/large size that you were hoping for!! Good job... Latte art is nothing but practice over and over and over and over etc. Some days everything clicks... other days they are a disaster! and I've been steaming milk for about 6 years now and still mess it up more than I like to admit. Home baristas like us, just don't steam pitcher after pitcher for hours on a regular basis like cafe baristas do. I agree with the other poster who recommends holding the coffee cup in you hand (tilted about 45 degrees) and get the pitcher spout as close as possible to the espresso when pouring the design. I've steamed on a Breville before and I would recommend that you turn on the steam wand and let it go through its warm up/water purge without putting the tip in your pitcher of milk. Once the machine is all ready to go, briefly turn off the steam, place the tip in the pitcher and turn it back on to texture your milk (just do it quickly before the machine purges thinking you're done steaming). This will keep any of that water out of your milk... water in your milk can make things a bit harder. Keep practicing and most importantly have fun!

DerSchoeneBahnhof (original poster)

#15: Post by DerSchoeneBahnhof (original poster) »

That heart that you poured in the video was good! You got the width/large size that you were hoping for!! Good job... Latte art is nothing but practice over and over and over and over etc. Some days everything clicks... other days they are a disaster! and I've been steaming milk for about 6 years now and still mess it up more than I like to admit. Home baristas like us, just don't steam pitcher after pitcher for hours on a regular basis like cafe baristas do. I agree with the other poster who recommends holding the coffee cup in you hand (tilted about 45 degrees) and get the pitcher spout as close as possible to the espresso when pouring the design. I've steamed on a Breville before and I would recommend that you turn on the steam wand and let it go through its warm up/water purge without putting the tip in your pitcher of milk. Once the machine is all ready to go, briefly turn off the steam, place the tip in the pitcher and turn it back on to texture your milk (just do it quickly before the machine purges thinking you're done steaming). This will keep any of that water out of your milk... water in your milk can make things a bit harder. Keep practicing and most importantly have fun!
Oh, I didn't include the purging part in the video. I did run steaming until hearing about ten "pulses" from the machine, then stopped it, then started recording the video.

Yeah, definitely a frustrating thing to learn. I may be getting a heart shape but I can't for the life of me (at least not yet) get alternating lines even when rippling.

Is putting the pitcher closer to the surface going to increase how fast the milk travels on the surface?

I'll keep practicing :-) Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am stubborn...

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mrgnomer

#16: Post by mrgnomer »

I found rosetta lines come from pouring the milk in a steady stream and starting a wiggle just as the pour starts to rise at about 1/2-2/3 full then a quick but steady wide wiggle from far end to narrower close end and finish with a stream back through the middle. Most of the rosetta I don't see until the pour is almost finished. I think the trick is getting to know how the milk rises and then controlling where it goes before it gets there in a one step ahead kind of way.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

beans+crumble

#17: Post by beans+crumble »

DerSchoeneBahnhof wrote:Oh, I didn't include the purging part in the video. I did run steaming until hearing about ten "pulses" from the machine, then stopped it, then started recording the video.

Yeah, definitely a frustrating thing to learn. I may be getting a heart shape but I can't for the life of me (at least not yet) get alternating lines even when rippling.

Is putting the pitcher closer to the surface going to increase how fast the milk travels on the surface?

I'll keep practicing :-) Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am stubborn...
Placing the spout close to the espresso helps the milk float on top of the espresso (vs diving below the surface) and thus makes your design visible. When you set up your base you pour a bit higher from the espresso surface, encourages the milk to go below leaving the surface brown. After the base is set up, the spout is moved closer to the espresso and the milk will remain on the surface. The speed of milk flowing on the surface is more related to how much you're tilting the pitcher pouring the milk out... more tilt faster, less tilt slower.

DerSchoeneBahnhof (original poster)

#18: Post by DerSchoeneBahnhof (original poster) »

Argh, after 4 months of practice I am still miserable at steaming. Maybe 50% success rate getting nice microfoam.

Is there some light bulb that hasn't been triggered yet or am I just wasting my time for this (seemingly useless) pursuit?

Ugh. Frustrated. :|

beans+crumble

#19: Post by beans+crumble »

You may be being too hard on your self... milk texturing is difficult and latte art pouring isn't any easier. It just takes time... no short cuts, no magic, just time & practice. There is something to be said about overthinking a technique... we can get in our own head and get in the way of success. Letting go and just placing pitcher to steam wand and being in the moment with what's going on in the pitcher will surprisingly go a lot further than one thinks. Just make sure your set-up is solid: correct pitcher size for the cup filled to the right volume, lock that wand in the spout, tilt pitcher so the wand tip is pointing to 3 or 9 o'clock, steam tip depth is proper, & turn it on and then "get out of the way"... listen to the cues from the milk & watch what's happening in the pitcher and roll with it... don't over think it. 50% success rate is good... with time (and just relaxing & having fun) that percentage will improve.

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Kaffee Bitte

#20: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

Latte art is one of the most fleeting forms of art. You are generally lucky if it lasts four minutes. Usually much less as the drinker of said art will rapidly mess it up. It is just a slight bump in ooh factor before the coffee tasting. Personally I enjoy seeing it when in a shop because that means the barista has some training and skills. I take it more as a sign that the shop is worth trying, since they take the time to train for art the coffee must at least be worth a shot or two.

I have used a lot of commercial machines over the years, and each one had me using a different set of techniques for steaming, usually just different angles or depth, but it is always a little learning curve when switching. Same with espressos pulled on a new machine, it takes time to figure a good grind range to get the right flow and then you switch coffee and have to figure that one out too. It feels like a house of cards sometimes. Lol

As far as pour technique goes that old saying says it best. "It's all in the wrist.". It really is just a matter of subtle wrist movements when you come down to it. You can practice some of the movement with water in the pitcher over your sink. It won't be thick like milk, but it is a fluid and it's movement in pour can be similar though not perfect. It can be a decent guidepost in between actual milk foaming. It should also help with building muscle memory, which is such a big help once built.
Keep your wrist free moving is key. Don't lock it.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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