Steamed milk poured into coffee or an espresso shot results in a design or pattern on the latte’s surface. Latte art is not a new way of taking coffee or creating art in a coffee cup, but more than two decades old, especially in North America. It is also embellished or created by a simple process of drawing on the foam’s top layer. This art also demands an initial production of espresso with microfoam and crema before masterfully combining them together to come up with the most deliciously looking art.
Consistent creation of Latte art is not easy, particularly because the conditions for its creation for both the milk and espresso shot are quite demanding. The beauty, creativity and uniqueness of coffee art is left to the barista’s espresso, including the espresso machine’s quality. Pouring in latte art is exactly what puts every latte artist to the test and the most challenging part.
Having the perfect foam is very important and some latte designers have liquid thermometers with them to avoid scalding by ensuring the milk has been removed at the right time from a steamer. The objective is having the cream heated slightly below the boiling level. Maintaining the temperature for a long time will see the milk scalding away.
Essentially, two mixtures of colloids, microfoam and crema, are brought together. Crema is a combination of brewed coffee and coffee oil’s emulsion while microfoam is a kind of foam in milk. Both colloids are not stable since crema disperses from the espresso as the microfoam splits into liquid milk and dry foam. The process of degrading happens quite fast in just a couple of minutes. This is why latte art requires efficient photography; its life is very brief.
Latte art styles
Two styles of latte and coffee art are known, which include etching where a tool comes into use after pouring to create the remarkable pattern. The other style is free pouring, a very demanding and delicate process where the creation of the pattern takes place the same time as the pouring. Ordering coffee to refresh yourself and being served with the most artistic latte art is a very gratifying experience, chiefly because latte art is a pleasure to look at.
A global obsession
It is not clear how long tiny creative art forms in coffee cups have been formed but in the United States alone the art has been around for over twenty years. It all started in Seattle when simple patterns started emerging as the hot beverage was poured into the foamy area of the coffee. However, it is now a global obsession with online galleries created, including coffee houses that provide a piece of art on every drink, competitions and classes on how to create these patterns.
Top latte patterns
The first designs that went well with many people were hearts and still some of the most common patterns observable today. Through a preparation of milk foam and espresso in the right way, it is possible for a barista to creatively pour milk masterfully by moving the milk pitcher within the coffee. The result includes wonderful temporary and remarkable designs.
Latte art photography is so unique considering the patterns are temporary and they have to be suspended in time before dissipating or the espresso passed to the expectant customer. It is an inspiration to every customer and makes every coffee user visually satisfied even before sipping the coffee. Such quality food photography has been appeasing prospective coffee drinkers for years and still does.