Pouring base issues - latte art HELP needed

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#1: Post by jimbobrey »

Any tips on why my base breaks apart at the edges when pouring in? You can see in this video how liquid kind of comes up at the edge and warps the pattern rather than keeping it in a nice circular form. Should I not swirl the coffee at the start so the crema stays thick or any other ideas? Seems to be happening to lots of my pours unless milk is way over textured and then the base is really thick but then obviously can't draw finer patterns like rosetta. HELP PLEASE!

N.B this is with a 350ml cup and steaming milk in a 480ml pitcher (Pesado)

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#2: Post by beans+crumble »

I vote for the milk is a touch too thin and that's why you're getting the distortion. Try adding just a tiny bit more air and see if that helps. Don't go over textured like you talked about... just a touch more to give it a bit more structure. Good luck!

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#3: Post by iploya »

I'm glad you posted this. It's one of the biggest issues I also have when pouring. I'm aware of some of the variables but haven't put it all together to master it quite yet.

Cup shape is one of those variables. Your cup here seems a bit unusually shaped, like wide and non-spherical, unless that's distortion from your camera lens. It seems like that is affecting the milk dynamics as the pattern moves closer to the cup wall. I'm sure there must be a way to adjust though even for a non-ideal cup shape. But usually the cups I see on art videos are a full 180-degree, like a full hemisphere.

Emilee Bryant on YouTube is good at talking about such issues. You could check out some of her tutorials on common mistakes, or possibly PM her with your video link.

EDIT: I'll add one more thing to try. You may be adding too much milk to the base. Try it with less milk before you bring the spout down and starting the art. You might have to tilt your cup further to compensate, so you have sufficiently close "spout proximity" (Lance Hedrick term).

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#4: Post by emradguy »

It looks to me like your early side to side motion is too fast and too narrow for the pour rate. Try a gentler wider swing with a little bit faster flow out of the pitcher. The wider gentler wiggle and faster pour rate will allow the crema to intersperse more between the leaflets of milk. Use less (lower number of) side to side wiggles in that early part too, to compensate.
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BaristaBoy E61
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#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I would suggest 'Milk Sharing', by pouring the milk from the steaming pitcher into a 2nd pitcher and then back again to create the right texture and then the right level of milk in the pitcher from which you're going to pour from to create your latté art.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"