Prepare a good Cappuccino, that's good, but if it's beautiful, it's even better! Have you ever heard of Latte Art or tasted it in a coffee shop ? Would you also like to draw pretty patterns on the top of your cappuccino by incorporating milk and milk froth? Discover our tips for a successful Latte Art and wow your friends by making your own designs at home.
What is Latte Art?
Before teaching you how to make a magnificent latte, let's first go back to the very definition of this art. Latte is actually the shorthand for the word caffè latte in italian, meaning coffee with milk. We agree that the word sounds much better in Italian than in French!
Latte is a blend of espresso coffee, hot milk and a fine foam of milk. As explained the Wikipedia site, the Latte Art is a technique specific to baristas, making it possible to create designs or patterns on the surface of a latte. The most common shapes drawn on the top of coffees are the heart, leaf, or tulip.
Succeeding in latte art cannot be improvised and requires excellent dexterity and artistic sensitivity. Now let's find out how decorate your cafe with pretty designs.
How to make frothed milk?
The secret to good milk froth lies in the type of milk used. It's as obvious as that! However, be aware that you can obtain frothed milk with all types of milk. It is the caseins in the liquid (which contain gas) which will produce foam when emulsifying. However, the fat content is important, because it is this which gives the creamy effect to the foam. Prefer the use of whole milk, but if you find it too heavy, take semi-skimmed milk. Making frothed milk from skimmed milk is also possible, but does not provide the same taste pleasure.
To get a good milk froth, there is only one recipe, but it requires the use of different utensils. The principle is always the same. In a pitcher, pour 125 cl of previously heated milk then froth the top (25% of the milk). Be careful with the chosen container because the milk will necessarily froth! You should therefore not take a container that is too small or with too low edges, otherwise you risk splashing or spilling your milk.
Here are the different utensils needed to create your milk froth:
- The steam nozzle
The steam nozzle is the tool par excellence of true professional coffee baristas. Directly integrated with the good ones espresso machines, the nozzle should be submerged in milk, just below the surface and off-center to the side. It then emulsifies the milk with steam, while heating it. It is the ideal tool for obtaining the best foams.
- The automatic milk frother
This small household appliance is in the form of a tank. Once filled with milk and switched on, the appliance then produces a creamy and hot foam, without the slightest effort.
- The hand-held emulsifier
The hand-held foamer is a kind of mini electric whisk. Immerse it in cold or hot milk, then turn it on to increase the volume of milk. The principle is similar to that of an electric mixer.
- The microwave oven
Microwave is the easy homemade trick to frothed milk. First, pour the cold milk into half of a fairly deep container, then close it well and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Then remove the lid and heat it in the microwave for a maximum of 30 seconds. The technique is comparable to that of snow eggs to make a floating island.
Draw a leaf on your coffee
The leaf is one of the basic designs in the world of Latte Art, but you still have to know how to make it! Pour the milk into your hot coffee, high enough in relation to the cup (about 20 centimeters high). The liquid then falls to the bottom and leaves the surface of the coffee still brown. Maintain the flow while gradually approaching the edges of the cup. Once the spout of your container touches the rim of the cup, the design will begin to appear.
Then increase the flow of milk so that a foam falls on the surface of the coffee. Stretch the milk stream downwards by moving back and forth from right to left.
Know that a simple movement of the wrist is enough to form the pattern! Be careful, bet on a smaller design at the start, the foam will move away. Once you've reached the bottom of the cup, come straight back up, to snap off the leaves of the plant and form its stem. The leaf then appears.
Chances are you won't get it right on the first try, after all, you're not barista and you have to take a hand. You can use a cup that is large enough for smoother movements.
Make a heart on coffee
This pattern is the simplest of the Latte Art. To achieve this, you have to take a cup half filled with coffee. Take the height to pour a small flow of frothed milk in the middle of your cup of coffee and move closer to the surface by making slight vibrations of the wrist. The milk will flow to the bottom of the coffee.
When your cup is two-thirds full:
- Stop moving
- Slightly increase the flow, staying well in the middle. Your pitcher should be near the surface and a circle is supposed to have formed.
- Then fold it straight down to the edge closest to you, crossing the circle and you will see a heart appear.
Did you only manage to get a circle of milk?
It does not matter. The heart is one of the easiest patterns to make, but also to catch up. Use a toothpick or needle, then draw a line through the middle of the circle to create a pretty heart.
With our Kabioca capsules dedicated to Nespresso machines, nothing will be easier than making your own Latte Art. The creamy foam of our coffees resulting from its high pressure percolation is the perfect base layer for all your works.