Milk Frothing Techniques For Latte Art
“ART SHOULD BE BORN FROM THE MATERIALS”
– Jean Dubuffet
This quote represents the pursuit of Latte art perfectly.
Milk is thickened to a silky, paint like consistency by steam and poured over a heady espresso with a crown of créma.
With deft movements of the hands, the thick velvety milk is poured onto the dark brown, almost black ‘créma crowned’ espresso, and Latte art is born.
The deft movement of the hands requires skill. Skill comes from practise and observation, eventually turning into a knack.
This article is about one of the main tools you need to get latte art right – Milk Frothing.
You’re reading this article probably because you have the other tools already, which are an espresso machine and a frothing jug.
The milk frothing techniques described in this article are universal to all espresso machines equipped with steam wands, although all the videos in this article are filmed with Tecnora espresso machines.
Must haves for perfect Latte Art-the essentials
- Espresso Machine: only a true espresso machine, a.k.a pump espresso machines can give you the required gold coloured crema for merging with the milk to create the pattern or design. Consider it as the pattern creating dye.
- Milk Frothing Jug: facilitates the frothing of milk due to the shape of the jug and the spout helps in guiding the silky textured milk as it is poured into the cup. Consider this as the brush.
- A Large Mouthed Bowl Shaped Cup: The bowl shape is essential- the curved cup shaped bottom holds the espresso and keeps the crema in place, while the large mouth gives the milk the real estate it needs for the design to take shape. Consider this as the canvas.
- Thermometer(not mandatory): between 55 and 65 degrees celsius, milk retains its thick velvety texture as the proteins are stretched and the structure ‘holds’ up. A thermometer definitely helps to monitor this temperature, but with a little practice, you can achieve the results by the eye.
Here are 5 videos. each demonstrating the right way to froth milk.
Some videos are in real time and some edited. We have also included contributions from our customers who have uploaded these videos on Youtube and shared their skills with others.
Uploaded by one of our customers Mr. Sridhar Yeluri, here is the video description replicated as it is:
Making of cappuccino Double and single shot, Frothing milk – micro foam tutorial. Basics :
1. Keep your machine on for 15mins to 20mins before making espresso.
2. When machine is ready Brew mode always take 2 blind shot till the green light goes off, load your portafilter with coffee grounds after green light turns on count exactly 30sec than pull shot.
3. Fresh roast and ground coffee beans recommended
4. Use full cream milk for best results. Flipping temp will be usefull for very light roast beans or when you r in a hurry. Frothing techniques, very soon i will post a video. Tamping pressure not crucial with pressurized portafilter, machine itself can create up to 16bars pressure. distribution and leveling grounds important
Shot in real time.
Frothing By Observing The Sound:
We suggest you take the plastic sleeve out and use the stainless steel tip. Start by dipping the tip only just below the surface of the milk and adjusting the steam flow knob till you get enough steam flow to get a ‘surfing’ sound, not a shrill sound but a soft surfing sound and keep it there for about 10 to 15 seconds to allow enough froth to generate (count slowly to 15) and holding this position move the cup to the left or right to allow the steam to penetrate throughout the area of the milk just below the surface of the milk.Once you see enough foam on the surface, raise the cup higher allowing the tip to go deeper into the milk and repeat. Now you should get a soft rumbling sound. Pay attention to the sound, it is a good parameter to judge if you’re getting it right. Remember, you will need to adjust the steam knob to control the steam flow to get the correct flow or force of steam to get the surfing sound. Try it a few times, you’re sure get the knack of it.
Another real time video shot in our facility.
This video was shot in our manufacturing facility in real time. No fancy edits and no models. No fancy lights and no fancy cameras. To get a foamy, silky texture, always use chilled milk. See how in under a minute you can get a thick paint like texture to the milk perfect for latte art.
Remove the panarello sleeve and follow the instructions given in video#2.
Follow these simple tips and techniques to froth milk to a creamy, silky, paint like texture for your cappuccino. This video shows how to froth milk using a panarello and without one using only the steel wand like they do in coffee shops.
The difference between a rumbling sound and a surfing sound.
Another video that shows you how you can take your milk frothing skills to the next level by ear.
So get going and start practising. Once you have the most important tool right, which is the stretched, velvety milk, the next step is to observe the thousands of videos on Youtube that teach you Latte Art.