The beginner's guide to making your own latte art


The beginner’s guide to making your own latte art at home

Who doesn’t love a bit of latte art? The pleasure of ordering your coffee, having it brought to your table, looking down and being met with a beautiful creation made from coffee and milk froth.

It’s a warming feeling when you can appreciate the creative skills of your barista knowing they’ve taken a little bit of extra time to add latte art to your coffee. It might only last a few moments but it brings a smile to the face of any latte drinker. What if you could bring that same joy to your daily cup of coffee created at home? Or to put a smile on the face of your family and friends? With the right equipment and our tips for beginners it is possible to make your own latte art at home.

Making latte art at home

What is latte art?

Latte art is a way of making coffee by pouring microfoam or froth into a shot of espresso. The end result is an enticing pattern or design on top of your drink. If you really want to take your coffee art game to the next level, it’s also possible to incorporate more intricate details in the top layer of the foam. This level of technique has become so popular amongst the coffee-community that there is now a huge range of latte art competitions across New Zealand and even a World Championship that celebrates and showcases the skill and creativity of latte artists from across the world.

Who’s responsible for creating art from milk foam?

It seems there are two baristas responsible for the latte art we enjoy today. David Schomer is known for starting his latte art in the mid-1980s, while Luigi Lupi in Italy was doing the same thing. David Schomer took his expertise to the next level and wrote a book about it. We have these two creative baristas to thank for the latte art we enjoy today.

Latte art – a combination of art and science

Latte art might seem to be all about the art of coffee, but it actually comes down to science. Microfoam is what’s poured into our cup and it’s possible to create beautiful designs when steam is added to milk and rapidly heated. This alters the physical characteristics of the milk and is referred to in science as ‘denaturing’.

You are only limited by your imagination

We’ve all experienced beautiful latte art when ordering a coffee from a barista, but how to do it yourself at home? Latte art looks impressive and it is, but with a few tips on how to do it, you’ll have it perfected at home in no time.

Tips from our experts

Our experts have put together a beginner’s guide on how to make your own latte art at home. With the right equipment, a little bit of know-how, together with practice and coffee-drinking, you’ll be wowing your fellow latte drinkers before you know it.

What equipment do you need to create latte art?

  • A jug
  • A cup
  • A latte art tool or if you’re starting out, a toothpick or something similar in size
  • Nespresso machine
  • Coffee capsule
  • Milk

The right milk base for your latte or hot beverage

Choosing the right milk will have an impact on the amount of foam and creaminess of the milk.

While many coffee drinkers are trying dairy alternatives, using non-dairy milk will make a difference to the end product. Whole milk allows you to have a full and thick foam and low-fat and skimmed milk will result in more foam with larger bubbles.

For optimal milk froth, use whole or semi-skimmed milk at a refrigerated temperature of about 4-6 degrees Celsius.

The power of a milk frother

There are an assortment of milk frothers on the market.

An integrated milk wand, such as those on our Creatista range, a great option for the more advanced latte artist.

Our advice is to start with a good, high quality product like the Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother .The Aeroccino3 Milk Frother makes it possible to be your own barista and all at the touch of a button. Not only, can you create light, velvety hot milk froth for your latte or cappuccino, you can also use it to make light and creamy cold milk for your iced coffee creations.

In a unique design, it will look right at home beside any coffee machine. It really is the easiest and quickest way to make hot or cold milk froth. It can prepare enough hot or cold milk froth for two Nespresso cappuccinos, in just two minutes.

Nespresso's first connected milk device, the Barista Milk Frother offers a dedicated latte art option on an integrated touch screen. Barista invites you to discover a world of recipe possibilities combining your favourite coffee ingredients. Prepare iced coffees, hot chocolates, mocha recipes and more.

How to pour the milk for latte art

Start pouring a little high. Once the cup is half full, lower the jug to make the foam appear. Pour at a steady speed while holding the cup at an angle. If you pour too fast the crema will come apart and if you pour too slow the foam gets left behind.

Latte art designs

Latte art designs

So many images and patterns to try.

If you’re not sure what designs to start with, start simple and small. Not all your attempts will work but practice makes perfect. Some suggested designs for latte art beginners include a heart, rosetta, etch spiral, chocolate syrup circles and a teddy bear.

Keep practising and in no time you’ll be impressing your family and friends with your new skill. They’ll be lining up to experience your latte art designs. It really does come down to practice, so keep making and enjoying those lattes.

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