How to make latte art with ease

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make all the difference. A heart, a tulip, even a smiling face—the graceful patterns crowning your morning latte can provide that extra spark of joy to ignite your day.

Latte art is a celebration of coffee culture and time-honored barista tradition, but you don’t have to work at a coffee shop to learn how to make it.

Whether you want to elevate your morning routine into a moment of artistic expression or put a smile on someone else’s face with your newfound skill, join us as we embark on the aesthetic journey of how to make latte art.

The right tools for latte artisans

A true artist knows that creating a masterpiece requires the right tools. Likewise, our latte art journey begins with these must-haves:

● A quality espresso machine

● A steam wand 

● Various milk pitcher sizes

● Fresh whole dairy milk or your favorite plant-based alternatives

The heart of a latte—and by extension, its artful expression—lies in its velvety steamed milk. Ensure your espresso machine comes equipped with a steam wand, or consider acquiring one separately to achieve the ideal texture every time. 

Steaming your milk

Ever been intrigued by how to make latte art that maintains its intricate design? The secret lies in how you texture milk.

Texturing the ideal microfoam milk at home involves three straightforward steps:

1. Start with a base of cold milk

2. Position the steam wand in your jug so that the tip of the wand is just below the surface of the milk and slightly to the side to create a whirlpool

3. Engage the steam wand

4. Slightly lower the jug so that the tip of the steam wand just breaks the surface and adds air into the milk

5. Make sure you’re creating a vortex while this is happening

6. Once the milk reaching ~100 degrees F (or body temp) you’ll want to raise the jug to stop the introduction of air

7. Continue to steam in a vortex to integrate all the foam you created

8. Warm and whirl until you achieve the desired final temp (try not to go past 160F for dairy and 140/150 for plant based).

After steaming, let it settle briefly. Gently tap the pitcher on your countertop to release any larger bubbles, and then give it a generous swirl to ensure a consistent, pour-ready texture.

Preparing your coffee canvas

The quality of coffee is equally important; it is the canvas of your latte foam art. So, knowing how to make espresso is imperative. 

Preparation aligns closely with your standard espresso-making method, but with a few nuanced adjustments to prime it for latte art.

● Dose, grind, and tamp your espresso as usual.

● Pull your shot, preferably a double, and transfer it into a wide-brimmed cup.

● Immediately begin pouring the milk. Lingering too long post-extraction risks the precious crema dissolving, compromising the texture necessary for latte art.

If your espresso isn't producing the desired crema, that rich and bubbly golden layer, make certain you're using freshly roasted coffee beans and that your espresso machine is properly dialed in.

Mastering the pouring technique

Now, let’s explore how to make a latte with careful pouring techniques. With your espresso in one hand and a pitcher of steamed milk in the other, you are now prepared to delve into the artistry.

In these three final steps to our journey of how to make latte art, let’s navigate the intricacies of the pour:

1. Initiate by tilting your cup slightly towards the pitcher. With the pitcher elevated, pour the milk gently into the espresso's center. The objective is to let the milk sink beneath the crema, maintaining its pristine layer.

2. As you cross the halfway point, gradually even out the cup's tilt while simultaneously lowering the pitcher closer to the espresso's surface. This motion is crucial in shaping the primary pattern and setting the stage for the finishing touch.

3. Bring the pitcher as close to the surface of the coffee as possible and increase your pour speed.

4. At this point, you should see the white milk foam begin to surface and separate from the coffee mixture.

5. Either stay in the center of the cup for a heart, or move side to side to create more intricate designs like a rosetta.

6. Conclude by drawing the pitcher in a linear motion across the latte's surface.

The specifics of these steps will vary according to the pattern you’re trying to create. To get a feel for the exact motions, center your practice on steps one and two. You know you’ll have succeeded if a creamy, distinct dot appears at your latte’s center.

Crafting different designs

Steamed milk cascading into rich espresso unfurls a lovely canvas, where the milk naturally "folds" into itself, anchoring a creamy centerpiece for your latte art. 

With this foundation established, note some classic latte art design techniques to help you advance your craft: 

● Heart – The quintessential starting point for aspiring baristas. Maintain a centered pour until that luscious milky dot takes form. As your cup approaches fullness, elevate your pitcher and draw a sleek milk line through the latte's core to form the heart.

● Tulip – A timeless pattern, the tulip is crafted by segmenting the pour into rhythmic dashes rather than one continuous flow. Once your creamy nucleus starts to emerge, momentarily halt your pour, then resume in brisk bursts. The goal is to produce a series of harmonious dots, culminating with a definitive line slicing through the ensemble.

● Rosetta – Often dubbed the leaf or fern, the rosetta offers a more intricate latte art design. Much like the tulip, but with an added flourish: during your milk pour, impart a gentle side-to-side oscillation with your wrist, creating a rippling tapestry. Seal your rosetta with the signature central line.

Beyond these foundational designs, the world of coffee art is vast and waiting for exploration. Implement tools like toothpicks for finer details or sprinkle toppings for added flair. Embrace your inner artist, relish the journey, and of course, savor the delightful latte you've artfully crafted.

Breville: Your partner in perfecting latte art

Just as an artist chooses the best tools to help them hone their work, Breville’s espresso machines offer precision, consistency, and unparalleled quality to ensure every pour sets the stage for a masterpiece.

From state-of-the-art steam wands to intuitive interfaces, Breville empowers you to embrace the captivating latte art experience with confidence and finesse.

Ready to elevate your coffee experience? Discover more and embark on your barista journey with Breville.



1. Coffee Science. How to do Latte Art – A Beginner’s Guide.

2. Crema Coffee Roasters. Latte Art Guide.


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