A step-by-step guide to making that beautiful latte art top baristas put on your coffee

Photo: Instagram/@tobysestatecoffee

Have you ever wondered how baristas create the beautiful art in your latte? They can create palm fronds, leaves, hearts, flowers — even animals — and make it look easy.

Great latte art isn’t all about looking pretty — it’s also an excellent technique for ensuring a consistently smooth, great-tasting milky coffee.

Toby’s Estate is one of the leading brands of specialty and high quality coffee in Australia. We asked their green bean buyer Charlotte Malaval and head roaster Nicholas Rae to show us how to create the perfect latte art.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure your have the milk at the right temperature to begin with.
  • It should be creamy and a little frothy and not too hot (or it will burn the coffee). Different milks will need different temperatures: for example soy milk needs to be cooler otherwise it will split the coffee and you will end up with a lumpy mess.
  • Practice pouring it from one jug to another jug to get a thin, consistent stream before you pour it in the coffee.
  • On the top of the coffee, there is a lighter brown, powdery-looking layer. This is called the crema.
  • Aim the tip of the jug pourer one quarter of the way into the middle of the crema.
  • Circulate both the cup and the jug so as not to break the crema layer.
  • Bring the jug down close as your pour it in.
  • To make leaf pattern, swing the jug in a small zig-zag pattern from side to side quickly, but neatly.
  • Throughout this process, remember to make sure you are pouring a consistent stream.
  • To finish it off, pour one straight line from the top of the cup to the bottom and lift the jug pourer up quickly to avoid spilling drops and ruining the art.

A cinch, right?

Being daunted is OK. It takes top baristas years to learn.

Watch Malaval and Rae below in a video we shot on Facebook live as they take us through how to make beautiful latte art.

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