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Latte Art

gjander's picture

Latte Art (post #43238)

I am in the process of opening a coffee shop/espresso bar here in Northern Virginia.  One of the things we are planning on doing is something called "latte art".  Basically, it is a way of pouring steamed milk into the crema on top of an espresso that creates a design in the coffee.  I believe this will send a message to our customers that our coffee is different--better--than what they have had in other places.  In my mind, it is akin to presentation in the food world.  It is one thing to cook tasty food, but if it doesn't look appealing you've lost the battle right away.  My question is, have any of you ever had coffee with latte art and did it make any difference to you?  I'm attaching a picture of a latte with a beautiful rosetta design in it.


shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43238, reply #1 of 20)

I've never had latte art, but from your photo I can attest that it would definitely make a difference! Beautiful work - it says that someone really cares about what they're putting out. Good luck!

"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown

soccermom's picture

(post #43238, reply #2 of 20)

This is so beautiful! Last week's Toronto Star had a story about a man doing hearts for Valentine's. Yours is better.





gjander's picture

(post #43238, reply #5 of 20)

For the record, I didn't make that design--it was just one from the web.  I've been practicing but am not up to that level yet...

ashleyd's picture

(post #43238, reply #7 of 20)

Yep, gotta work on the microfoam to get that good!

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TracyK's picture

(post #43238, reply #3 of 20)


I have seen that before, though rarely... and it does make an impression (kind of like when you order a Guinness and the bartender makes the shamrock in the foam). I can't say it'd be the sole reason I'd return to a place (the coffee better live up to the looks, as I'm sure yours does!), but it makes an impression.

Keep us informed when you're ready to open, I live in Northern VA and am always up for a good -- and pretty -- latte!

You say I'm a b---- like that's a bad thing.

gjander's picture

(post #43238, reply #6 of 20)

That would be great if you could make it out to check out the place.  We're in Clifton--about 25 miles from D.C.  We should be open in early March, though I have vastly underestimated the amount of time that everything takes so far.

sarahendipity's picture

(post #43238, reply #8 of 20)

There's a place in Vancouver that does latte art. They also make a pretty mean cup of coffee. i don't drink coffee(yuk!) but my husband loves to go there when we are in the city. We saw the owner on a local cooking show doing the latte art and were interested to see it so that is why we went in the first place, but the coffee is good too. There are some neat pictures on the walls of different designs, but there doesn't seem to be much mention on thier website.



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Jean's picture

(post #43238, reply #4 of 20)

That's pretty special!

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MER02's picture

(post #43238, reply #9 of 20)

Wow. I'd go for a latte that beautiful!

Show us some pictures of your designs.

Have you looked at art books that teach how to marble paper? Same idea.

gjander's picture

(post #43238, reply #12 of 20)

I'll post some of my own creations after I've received my commercial equipment and had a chance to practice more.  I've got the basics down but have gotten kind of frustrated by trying to do this on a home machine.  It just takes too long to make each one and there is too much lag between steaming the milk and pulling the shot.

Wolvie's picture

(post #43238, reply #13 of 20)

early march, eh? I hope time moves fast - and that the opening goes well.

BTW - your efforts aren't that bad, you know - with a commercial machine, I'm sure they'll be great!

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.   Henry Steele Commager



gjander's picture

(post #43238, reply #14 of 20)

Yeah, that's what we're hoping for.  Plumbing and electric is done and being inspected this week.  We've still got drywall, flooring, cabinet/appliance install, and painting to go. 

RuthWells's picture

(post #43238, reply #20 of 20)

Wow, that's exciting!  Best of luck as you get up and running.  Is your DW going to keep designing kitchens, or will she be in the cafe with you?


Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

SueL's picture

(post #43238, reply #10 of 20)

I think presentation is always a plus.
But I have had some poorly made lattes in the past (quite a few in fact) and in those instances no amount of latte art would convince me to order another. In the end, the only thing that matters to me is that the drink is excellent.

gjander's picture

(post #43238, reply #11 of 20)

That's actually one of the benefits of it--it is impossible to make art without at least most of the elements of a good latte.  The milk must be properly steamed to a wet, silky microfoam, and the beans must be fresh to produce enough crema.  It doesn't guarantee great coffee but does enforce better technique.

SueL's picture

(post #43238, reply #15 of 20)

The steamed milk and the crema is not where I usually find the problem. Often it is a low ratio of espresso and many times there is so much syrup in the flavored ones that it no longer has the espresso character. Places like Starbucks I have to get an extra shot. The venti size does not have the same ratio as the others. It's weak. I don't feel I should have to pay for extra shots for them to correct their product. (So I usually avoid Starbucks and a few other places, especially ones in malls).
Anyone in the Dayton Ohio area can take my word for it that Boston Stoker knows how to make a good cup. They sell nice cigars as well, but I no longer smoke.

soccermom's picture

(post #43238, reply #16 of 20)

That's funny; at Starbucks I order a restretto latte, which includes only the first half of the shot, making it a sweeter, milder drink--and they don't charge me any less for using half the espresso. Too bad we couldn't hook up!

DDs and I tried their new chocolate drink, Chantico, as samples. We split 2 espresso cups of it between three of us and found it too much (well, I did, but DDs said they could have had more). It's like a cup of fudge sauce. A really healthy snack at 390 calories and 21 g of fat in 6 oz!!!





SueL's picture

(post #43238, reply #18 of 20)

We should swap drinks. I like mine strong and roasty. I'd rather keep the sweet in the dessert. There is so much contrast in flavors for me to sip espresso while having tiramisu (even though they have a similar base flavor)'s a wild ride, but hey, somebody's gotta do it! LOL
Dang...I think I'm going to be making tiramisu today and it was supposed to be Chinese! Think Marco Polo! ;)

Jangomango's picture

(post #43238, reply #19 of 20)

This is exactly right.
Here in Melbourne is coffee heaven - every little sidewalk cafe has their precious and well paid barista making fabulous latte's and cappucino's from dawn to midnight. We always seek out the barista who can do beautiful artwork because that means that the coffee is usually perfect. It really does make a difference. Good luck and keep practicing.

Geoffchef's picture

(post #43238, reply #17 of 20)

Cool! Best of luck in your venture, and yes, presentation counts.


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A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary