LATTE ART: AN ENCOUNTER BETWEEN TECHNIQUE AND CREATIVITY
Latte Art is a technique that consists in decorating cappuccino and macchiato.
More and more baristas are seeking to invest in vocational training to learn the techniques and secrets of the perfect Latte Art. An attractive decoration denotes great skill and is also increasingly appreciated by customers as a visual and spiritual “cuddle”.
This article provides a quick overview of the various decoration techniques available, which vary according to the tools used:
- Undoubtedly the most popular is the one known as Free Pouring, which involves creating figures such as a tulip or leaf simply by pouring milk from a milk jug. One of this method’s factors of success is its speed of execution.
- Etching is a variation on the theme consisting in combining the figures created with free pouring with the use of a stick to etch the foam.
- The 3 D method, instead, achieves relief decorations by using the foam and a spoon (nowadays replaced by a special gun). This is a very slow but striking technique, developed primarily in Asia.
- Another method is Painting: using paint brushes and food colourants results in true “paintings”, with the cappuccino’s foam serving as the canvas.
The first step to approach Latte Art is often Topping, that is, the creation of various decorations with chocolate or caramel flavoured toppings poured onto the cappuccino’s foam. However, it is worth noting that these change the flavour of the drink.
All these methods help to create a more attractive cappuccino presentation and communicate a sense of professionalism, but Latte Art alone is not enough: first and foremost, it is important to brew the espresso and prepare the milk foam correctly.
Learning to apply Latte Art is no mean feat. It takes dedication, lots of study and perseverance. There are no fixed time frames as these depend on the level you wish to achieve, but the sense of satisfaction is boundless! So…don’t be discouraged and keep up the good work!