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How to Make Latte Art Like a Barista

Create coffee designs like a pro with these easy-to-follow tips.
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It's half the fun of going to your neighborhood coffee shop: That moment when your barista presents you with a warm, freshly made, foam-topped latte, complete with lovely latte art. A perfect steamed-milk flower may look like magic, but once you've learned how to make latte art, you'll see it only adds a few seconds to the whole process. And it always makes that morning or afternoon pick-me-up feel like something special.

 

Have you always wanted to learn how to make latte art at home? We get that! At ChefSteps, we're all about perfecting those special touches that take a dish or beverage from good to great -- and espresso drinks are no exception. To take our latte-art game up a level, we invited java expert Charles Babinski, co-owner of G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger in Los Angeles, to our Seattle headquarters to show us how to draw a beautiful "rosetta" atop our lattes. We've practiced the technique a bit, and now we're here to pass those hard-won skills on to you.

 

Will it take a little practice? We won't lie to you: Unless you're the Georgia O'Keefe of milk paintings, it definitelly will. But it's as much fun to practice playing with dairy products as it is to nail those goregeous flower designs. So read on for all the information you need to learn how to make latte art like a pro. Once you've perfected the process, invite some friends over and make some of Martha's specialty latte recipes. Think: Pumpkin Spice, Spiced Chai, Eggnog and Matcha Green Tea.

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Tilt the mug away from you like this.

1. Hold it right.

The process begins once you've made your espresso shots, poured them into a mug, then steamed your milk. Place your mug of coffee in one hand, and tilt it slightly away from you -- this way, you'll be able to create a latte pattern without needing to move your pitcher hand as much.

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Pour into the center of the cup of coffee.

2. Pour steamed milk into the center of the cup.

Take the pitcher in your free hand, hold it about an inch above the cup and pour the milk into the center of the cup. Pour steadily and slowly.

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Move pitcher closer to the mug.

3. Drop the pitcher closer to the cup; start pouring faster.

Gently move the pitcher closer to the cup, and tip it with your thumb to slightly speed up the pour.

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Wiggle that pitcher!

4. Wiggle pitcher.

Toggle the pitcher gently and fluidly back and forth to begin creating a zig-zag pattern.

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Finish up your design.

5. Untilt the cup, slow down, raise the pitcher a half an inch, and finish.

Back the pitcher toward the edge of the cup that is closest to you while untilting the cup. Slow down your pour slightly, raise the pitcher about a half an inch above the flat cup, and drizzle a small stream of milk back across the center of the cup to finish the rosetta pattern.

 

Keep practicing these steps, and you'll be a master latte artist in no time.

 

Psst: Know what goes great with a latte? A coffee-flavored dessert! Martha has so many java-enhanced recipes on the site. Some of our favorites: Espresso Creme Brulee, creamy Coffee Custard, or Espresso Cherry Shortbread.

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