What Is Needed For Latte Art?
Latte art, or as it is known in more professional circles; microfoam art, is commonly used by baristas in coffee shops to give a few different types of coffee a beautiful artistic flair and impress coffee lovers.
The designs can become quite complex and occasionally requires a lot of training to make more unique creations.
While not an essential skill for non-baristas, it is an impressive trick and does not require much money to learn.
Microfoam art is most commonly seen made on top of lattes and cappuccinos which are defined by their use of espresso instead of standard coffee.
A lot of coffee drinkers do not enjoy espresso due to how strong it is as well as the intensity of its caffeine, so a lot of people tend to just stick to regular coffee, but can standard coffee be used for latte art?
So Can You Make Latte Art With Normal Coffee?
Yes! You can make a standard coffee without needing to have access to espresso for your coffee.
But for this you will sacrifice more time needing to invest a lot more time into preparing the process as you will not be using an espresso machine and therefore will have to purchase a separate milk frother or spend a significant amount of time whisking milk to the correct consistency.
What Is The Difference Between Espresso And Regular Coffee?
Coffee beans that are labelled as espresso will have had a longer roast time and will therefore generally appear darker and shinier.
They are also packed in a way to make them easy to use on espresso machines, you can make espresso with standard coffee beans however but quality will vary.
The way espresso coffee is made standards out as it is brewed via steam pressure that will push water throughout coffee grounds making the final coffee oilier and richer with a cleaner more intense flavor than a standard coffee.
This is why espresso is served in much smaller portions than regular coffee.
The brewing process of normal coffee is much more standard using heated water to saturate your coffee grounds and then dripping this coffee into a serving receptacle. This gives it its milder taste.
Why Is Espresso Used For Latte Art?
When making drinks with espresso instead of just consuming it as an espresso shot, it is often mixed with steamed milk to soften its flavor, not cancelling out the caffeine, but making it a more accessible drink than straight-up espresso.
The simple combination of adding steamed milk to espresso is known as latte being the Italian phrase for coffee and milk.
Adding a frothed milk to an espresso is what we know as a cappuccino.
A coffee maker called Luigi Lupi began experimenting with frothed milk being added to espresso and was the first person to create latte art with a simple heart design.
The phenomenon spread globally and is now a standard for serving lattes and cappuccinos in coffee shops.
Latte artists compete in championships and there are even now 3d versions of latte art being made as well.
Latte art also improves the taste of an espresso shot because when you steam the sugar it becomes sweeter making an espresso shot have a less bitter taste.
It is recommended to add steamed milk to an espresso first to balance flavors before adding foam to finish the design.
Latte art also improves the sensory experience of drinking espresso as well as proving that effort has been put into the presentation of your drink helping establishments become reputable.
How To Make Latte Art With Regular Coffee?
As previously mentioned, making latte art will generally require an espresso machine, but this is not the case if you are making latte art with regular coffee.
This is because you are not brewing espresso coffee. This coffee will not have the same taste as a latte or cappuccino in a coffee shop, but will just be mimicking the appearance.
If you do not want to invest in an espresso machine, you can invest in an Aeropress machine which will make a similarly strong coffee to an espresso.
So here is a step-by-step guide to making latte art on a standard coffee!
Brew Your Coffee
Just brew a coffee how you typically would leaving enough room in the mug for your latte art, because you are adding extra milk, consider this when making your coffee, and if you want stronger coffee, consider the Aeropress.
Steam And Froth Your Milk
A safe accessible way to make heated frothed milk is to fill a microwave safe container halfway with milk, and shake until the milk has doubled in volume.
Remove the lid and warm for 30 seconds or until at a preferable temperature. You can also purchase a milk frother for a small price to simplify this process.
Add The Milk
Pour in the heated milk using a spoon or something similar to stop the foam going in.
Do The Latte Art
Now you can get the container as close to your coffee and begin letting in the milk and foam and carry out your design.
There are many different designs available and are all done in different ways but nearly always used frothed milk like this.
The simplest design to start with is a heart for most people, but there are many in-depth guides that will talk you through how to execute any design you want perfectly!
So now you know how to do latte art on regular coffee!
This process does not require too much time so if you fail at first try again and make sure to closely follow the steps to make sure you do not make any mistakes.
You will get the best results using whole milk due to its high fat content for a good flavor, but some lower fat milk will produce a foamier milk, but this foam has much less integrity than a denser one.
Once you are confident with your skills you can do this technique on any drink that suits foamed milk!