As coffee lovers and baristas, we treat each cup of coffee we serve as a work of art. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring you receive a cup of coffee representing the farmers, roasters, and overall story of every step that went into making it.
Even though we see each cup of coffee as a work of art, some coffee drinks do literally receive a beautiful art piece on the top.
When you order a latte or cortado at a specialty coffee shop you can expect to receive a beautiful design floating on top of your beverage. This is called latte art.
This fun detail sets the latte apart from other coffee beverages, but some may wonder, “is there a point to this art?” “How is it made?”
How is Latte Art Made?
Though latte art may look simple, it requires patience, practice, and precision. You can’t simply pour milk over an espresso. Both the espresso and the milk must first be prepared accordingly. The espresso needs to be fresh and properly pulled. This creates a foamy layer on top called crema.
Steam is then added to milk, quickly heating it and changing its composition. It can scald the milk and create the wrong texture if done incorrectly. When done correctly, however, it creates microfoam, which is a lighter and sweeter form of milk.
Finally, the microfoam is carefully placed on top of the crema. Assuming the elements were prepared correctly, the microfoam should stay visible on the surface. This allows the barista to draw patterns as he or she pours. This must be done quickly and confidently, leaving no room for error.
Once the pattern is finished, the beverage is quickly served. Though latte art doesn’t last long, you’ll have enough time to snap a pic for Instagram.
What’s The Point?
If you get a coffee drink featuring latte art, you can trust the barista has invested time and effort into learning the craft. Latte art shows an appreciation for coffee and attention to detail. It’s a visual complement, a final flourish declaring the beverage you hold has been prepared with passion.
Whether you want to appreciate the intricacies of latte art or you simply need a caffeine boost, stop by our Cafe near the University of Minnesota campus today.