Latte art - A heart in your steamed milk

in 5 minutes

Latte art is a high-level skill and the perfect complement to a good cup of coffee. With a lot of practice, you too can conjure up a beautiful heart on your cappuccino. Our step-by-step guide shows you how to make the perfect steamed milk – and how to create heart and bear designs on the surface of your coffee’s crema.

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Most important: the right steamed milk

To create designs like the heart and the bear, you always need milk foam with the right consistency. After all, successful latte art is not only about your pouring technique, but also about how you steam the milk. A finely textured, slightly creamy “microfoam” is ideal for this purpose. Milk foam is produced when the milk’s proteins mix with air from your espresso machine’s steam nozzle. In principle, any milk can be steamed to make foam – even low-fat, vegan or lactose-free varieties. For the best flavour, however, we recommend organic whole milk.

Steaming milk: a step-by-step guide

  1. First, take some cold milk from the fridge and pour it into the milk jug (pitcher) until the jug is half full. Open the steam wand to quickly purge it of any excess water.
  2. Hold the milk jug’s handle in one hand and dip the steam wand into the milk.
  3. With the other hand, open the steam valve and place your palm on the jug to keep track of the temperature.
  4. Now gradually pull the jug downwards (stretching phase, 0–40°C). The steam is now aerating the milk with micro-bubbles. Continue frothing the milk until the amount of foam has almost doubled.
  5. Gently immerse the steam wand under the surface of the milk (texturing phase, 40–68°C) until the hissing sound stops. The foam is now evenly distributed in the jug.
  6. Continue until the foam is 68°C (check with a thermometer or by putting your hand on the base of the jug).
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Latte art for beginners: the heart

  1. Use roughly enough milk to fill the cup you are using. Pour a thin stream of milk in a circular motion into the lower third of the cup. The crema will rise to the top.
  2. When the cup is half full, move the milk jug closer to the cup until a white circle forms on the surface of the crema. Gently move the circle towards the centre in front of the jug.
  3. When the circle is large enough, pour a thinner stream of milk down through the circle (by lifting up and tilting the jug).
  4. Voilà! The heart is complete.
Latte Art HerzPin it

Advanced latte art: the bear

  1. Create a large circle using the same process as for the heart design. Then make a smaller circle next to the large one.
  2. Using some milk and a latte art pen, create two circles for the bear’s ears.
  3. Use brown foam to draw two spots for the bear’s nose. Put some brown spots on the ears, too.
  4. And that’s it! The bear is one of the simplest designs to create with a pen and is particularly good for practising latte art.
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Tips & tricks

The milk jug

Use a stainless-steel jug. This makes it simpler to keep track of the milk’s temperature and is also easier to clean.

The steamed milk

There are two types of steamed milk. There’s creamy and finely textured, which is ideal for latte macchiato and cappuccino. And there’s semi-liquid and finely textured, which is ideal for flat white, latte and latte art.

Firm milk foam

Swirl the jug a little to prevent the foam and liquid milk from separating.

Checking the temperature

Check the temperature with a thermometer or try out this trick: hold the handle with one hand and place your second hand on the outside of the jug. Then, keep steaming the milk until it is too hot to keep your second hand on the jug.

The perfect milk

The milk used for steaming should always be cold, directly from the fridge. Do not heat the milk above 68°C, otherwise it will lose its sweet flavour.