The Creative Life of Latte Art

Creativity reaches all aspects of life. In today’s digital world we’re always looking for inspiration and getting hands-on with something handmade. People are even going so far as to get creative with their morning cup of coffee. On the latest episode of Creative Living we break down all things coffee and find out just what Latte Art is.

As one of the biggest trends in crafting today, formal descriptions say, Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring micro foam into a shot of espresso. Or in other words, adding steamed milk into an espresso to create a design.

Skilled artists turned baristas lend their talents to your foamy delight in coffee shops across America but you can make Latte art just as easy as anyone. Here are a couple of hacks to help turn your coffee into a canvas:

1) When you start, practice with water on the speed and height of your pour. Work on pouring water into your empty mug slow & fast, high & low and zig-zag or wiggling techniques until you feel comfortable to move on to the real thing!

2) The secret to a good latte is the foamy consistency of the steamed milk. If you don’t have a proper steaming wand at home you can still steam your milk. Use whole milk and heat in a saucepan until it gets to be 140-160F. Stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. The best way to get it frothy is to use a whisk by placing it vertically in your cup with the steamed milk then rolling the whisk back and forth between your hands until your milk gets foamy or you can pour the warm milk into a blender for the desired frothy consistency.

3) Start by pouring your espresso into the bottom of the cup; a rounded bowl shaped cup is easiest when you are just starting off and mix in the steamed milk to incorporate into the espresso.

The second half of the pour is when the Latte art comes in and there is a distinction between the foam and the coffee. Practice your moves with high-low, zig-zag and making circles with the foam to create a design.

4) You can buy a stencil to help you create designs and even embellish your design with powder or chocolate. Just remember, Latte art takes practice and practice makes perfect.

If you really want to go get schooled, take a class…many coffee shops, culinary schools and community centers hold one-day classes on Latte art for beginners. Check local listings in your area for one near you. There are tons of lessons and tips on-line as well as books like “Coffee Art” by world renowned latte artist, Dhan Tamang, to give you step-by-step instructions.

So with a job well done, you can “Sip” back and enjoy your coffee because you made it with a whole “Latte” Love!  We just encourage you to get inspired and start living a creative life today!