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An Introduction To Latte Art

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chances are, if you frequent any trendy coffee shop, are Italian, or have an Instagram account (quick plug – you can follow us on IG here), you will be familiar with the concept of latte art.

Simply put, latte art is the method of preparing a cup of latte so that a pattern (such as a rosetta, love heart or tulip) appears on the surface of the drink.

This will, as a latte dictates, involve producing an espresso with crema and microfoam, and then combining these two to make the latte art.

This form of latte art (there are two) is called ‘free pouring’, and it is the most common.

A pattern can also be achieved after the coffee has been made by drawing – or etching, to give it its proper term – in the foam.

Etched latte art usually has a considerably shorter lifespan than free poured latte art – this is because the foam dissolves into the latte a lot more quickly.

Latte art can be rather tricky to master – especially on a consistent basis – simply because of the demanding nature of effectively blending the shot of espresso and milk in the required manner.

Good quality latte art is also dependant on both the quality of the coffee machine as well as the experience and expertise of the barista.



According to the history books (these days read: the internet), latte art developed completely independently in two countries: Italy and the United States.

This art form followed the introduction espresso and the development of microfoam, which, as mentioned above, are combined to make latte art.

In the US, latte art was developed and popularised by one David Schomer in the 1980s and 1990s.

The heart shape was one of the earliest examples of his latte art.

Schomer, a resident of Seattle, later brought latte art to the masses in his course "Caffe Latte Art".

At the same time Luigi Lupi (a latte art proponent from Italy) met Schomer on the internet and they exchanged videos on various types of latte art.

You can learn more about Schomer’s techniques in this YouTube video on Latte art.

Over to you

Have you come across latte art, and, if so, what do you make of it?

Have you seen any particularly impressive patterns, and, if so, where?

Make sure you get in touch with us here at the Cafe2U Blog to give us your comments!

And don’t forget you can also tag us on Instagram to show us examples of your cafe latte art!

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