Pitcher size for latte art?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Postby Capac » Jun 13, 2018, 10:12 am


I was wondering what pitcher size is the best for pouring latte art? The smaller the better?


Postby MNate » Jun 13, 2018, 11:27 am

I'll jump in to see how many answers I get right! (I'm far from an expert):

-size of pitcher mainly matters for getting the microfoam right. Ideal size is so when you fill it with milk it's only about a third to half full.
-Shape of the spout makes a difference on the pour but it's a bit personal preference and what you're going for. Decent has two spout types and they do pour different.
-Shape of the pitcher makes some difference but I've found this a little specific to the machine. For my Silvia I find the Toroid pitcher to help provide motion to the swirl since the machine is less powerful and only one hole, whereas my other machine with a five-hole tip and steam all day does better with straight sides, for me.

And always, there is personal preference and skill makes up for most anything!


Postby emradguy » Jun 13, 2018, 1:28 pm

Yup, skill/practice is the ultimate game changer. As for best pitcher size it depends on how powerful your machine steams, how much milk you want for your drink(s), and how much milk waste you find acceptable.

Let's first assume your machine provides all the steam you want. If you're making a 5oz cappuccino or flat white, you can probably get by with a 12 oz pitcher, but it'll use up just about every drop of the milk to pour the cup. If you want a little wiggle room, a 16oz pitcher will give you that, but then you'll have a couple ounces of milk waste. If your cups are 7oz, you'll definitely need that 16oz pitcher, and if you have 10 or 11oz cups, you might need to got an even bigger pitcher. Likewise, if you intend to pull a couple of shots for small cappas or cortados, you'll have to decide if you want to steam twice or use a large pitcher. Of course, it also depends on how thick you steam the milk to, though if it's too thick you can't pour art well.


Postby Capac » Jun 13, 2018, 3:36 pm

I use 6 oz cups and I'm thinking about getting 500ml (17oz) motta europa pitcher. I already have a 12 ounce pitcher, but I don't like its "nose" the best.


Postby emradguy » Jun 13, 2018, 6:42 pm

The Europas are great...to me, worth the premium you're going to pay. I own a bunch of them...2 of each size, in fact. I use 5oz, 7oz and 11oz cups, plus a couple of gibraltar glasses. I typically will use the 35cl pitcher for my 5 and 7 oz drinks, but do have some milk waste. if I use the smaller 25cl pitcher for that size drink and my milk is a little thin, I sometimes run out just as I'm pouring the final stripe across the design to bring it all together, and that's disappointing, so I usually opt for the milk waste. I can't remember the last time I used one of the 75cl pitchers, as the 50 is about right for the 11oz latte I make my wife. If you look at the Barista Hustle site and read about why they are doing their own pitchers now, you'll find the industry doesn't pay too much attention to alignment of the handle and spout. I have to say, looking carefully at my Europas after reading their article, I found they are pretty well made in this regard. Some right on, some slightly off, but none off enough to ruin my latte art (check out the photo I posted earlier today in the show off your art thread - I think it's in the Knockbox tab).

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Postby spressomon » Jun 13, 2018, 9:48 pm

I have a small cadre of smaller steaming pitchers, however recently purchased a Motta Europa 250ml as I was tired of throwing away milk used in my 2-3X size pitchers for my small cappuccinos (5-6oz total) and flat out love it! I've used it with the Slayer, a couple different Bellman steamers and also a Breville Duo Temp Pro.

Super easy to get very 'luxe micro foam with minimal waste for my small cappas.

All the other pitchers are shelved.
No Espresso = Depresso


Postby MNate » replying to spressomon » Jun 14, 2018, 12:16 am

Yeah, each pitcher I get keeps getting smaller. I'd recommend OP go much smaller than 17oz for a 6oz final drink.


Postby onhereforaclass » Jun 15, 2018, 8:13 pm

For me It is all about preference, Simply if you feel more confident pouring with smaller pitchers you should go for it, likewise larger pitchers might be more comfy in other situations.