Ok, some more latte art shots that are really starting to take form now.
A few changes I’ve made to my routine after chatting with Ben of previous posts fame (and a professional coffee trainer).
1) Stretch the milk less.
There are two stages to steaming milk, stretching and rolling. Stretching is the name given to when you are actively incorporating air into the milk by leaving your steam wand close to the surface of the milk and drawing air down into it. Basically if you do this for the entire time you will get lots of big foamy bubbles (which is bad for latte art). If you don’t do it for long enough however, you’ll just get hot milk, with no velvety texture at all. I however, have probably been over stretching to make sure I get nice texture (which i think adds to the mouth feel when you make a nice latte), but also makes it really hard to pour latte art with any definition.
So now I just stretch for a few seconds (this is specifici to my Silvia of course) before rolling. Rolling is when you put the steam wand deeper down into the milk and get a vortex going around it, which rolls the milk around and distributes the heavier foam throughout the rest of the milk…giving you a really nice consistency.
2) Pour slowly and wiggle
If you pour too quickly it’s really difficult to make sure you’re getting all the milk in the right place to do art. So now I start by pouring really slowly, and when I see the milk starting to break through the crema on top I wiggle the tip of the jug to bring the heavier foam out, which I can then start pouring through side to side to get the shape of the rosetta.
3) Make good espresso !
Bad espresso will never lead to good latte art. The better the espresso (nice dark reddish/brown crema, well extracted) the more well defined the latte art is going to come out. If you pull a weak blond looking espresso, it makes it that much harder to get a nice looking rosetta on top.
p.s – if this is getting boring, let me know.