Latte art is basically the ability to draw on coffee or more specifically the most common coffee used for latte art – espresso, because of its density. The drawing happens in two ways. You can either pour milk in the cup of espresso thus creating a pattern form, special design or a portrait on the top espresso layer which is mainly foam. The other latte art style is named etching and it is done by using a plastic stick. However for a good latte art to be created you need a good espresso machine and a barista who knows what he is doing and possesses some talent. Latte art has been around us for centuries, but it has become more popular in the last years and you can even go to classes which educate you to be a barista. Barista is basically the formal name of the artist who creates the latte art.
Latte art has been developing independently in every country, but it gained developing speed since the inventing of the espresso coffee and the progress in the research of micro foam. Of course as every other art, latte art also has a birth place and for such it is considered that Italy has been the country that gave birth to latte art. In the latte art there are two main ingredients – coffee, usually espresso and a mixture of crema and foam. Foam is buffed up milk and it is done by using air. But that mixture dissipates quite fast so the latte art can be enjoyed for just several minutes.
The most important ingredient for a successful latte art creation is the espresso itself. It needs to have a cream like surface which is called crema. When the espresso is well prepared the barista starts pouring milk into the espresso while moving the pitcher. This way he creates various forms and shapes which appear on the top layer of the crema. Of course to do that you will need some practice and a really steady hand. The use of etching is much harder, but it results in clearer and definitely more attractive designs.
Due to the lack of precision when pouring milk you can only create simple shapes and forms like the most used ones which are hearts and various flowers. While if you use the etching technique you can even create portraits of people and objects. Of course to create such things you must be very experienced and well trained.
Latte art is a beautiful way to change the way your beverage looks like. Despite the fact that you can order a specially drawn espresso you can also learn the latte art yourself just by practicing or visiting special classes. And the best part of latte art is that you can learn it in your home just by practicing on your morning coffee without having to buy any extra stuff, but however the mixture between ordinary coffee and foam will result in more translucent forms, but still visible.