If you are hosting a party at home, serving lovely art on top of a latte is an easy way to impress your guests.
However, not everyone has a fancy espresso machine at home for this purpose.
This is why I am going to show you several methods you can learn to make latte art easily with some readily available gadgets in your kitchen without spending a dime.
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There are three parts to making latte art at home:
- The Coffee: What type of coffee to use and how to prepare it.
- The Milk: Ways you can froth milk with things around your kitchen.
- The Pour: How to pour the milk to make a heart shaped latte art pattern.
Part One: The Coffee
You’ll need 2-3oz of coffee. Regular coffee doesn’t work quite well in lattes because it is not strong enough and won’t cut through the milk.
A bolder coffee can be prepared using either of these methods below:
1. Coffee maker – Most people have a coffee maker at home. You can make your coffee stronger by adjusting the coffee to water ratio. Increase the amount of coffee ground but keep the same amount of water.
2. Aeropress – This is my favorite brewing gadget that brews an espresso-like coffee in a short time. Did I mention it is super easy to clean and highly portable?
If you’re not sure how an Aeropress works, read our guide: How to Brew Coffee with Aeropress: A Step by Step Guide
Part Two: The Milk
Always use whole milk and heat up to approximately 150℉. It is great to have a food thermometer handy to monitor the desired temperature. You can now use one of the following tricks to froth the milk:
1. Mason Jar (or any reusable pasta/jam jars)
Pour the heated milk into a tightly sealed mason jar and shake gently around 20 times.
2. Handheld Milk Frother
Turn it on and let it spin. Make sure to start low at the bottom of the pitcher/cup and work your way up. Froth until all big bubbles disappear, typically in less than 1 minute.
I recommend the Cafe Casa Milk Frother Stainless Steel Handheld Electric 2 Speed Coffee Latte Maker/Drink Mixer – yes, you can mix drinks with the same handheld device too.
3. French Press
If you have a French press lying around the house, you can put it into good use. Fill it up with heated milk and plunge it up and down in a quick motion for 10-12 times. You should be able to get good milk foam ready for latte art. I recommend Bodum Brazil 8-cup French press.
Part Three: The Pour
I always use a stainless steel pitcher to pour frothed milk for easy control. No matter which frothing method you use, be sure to swirl your milk well before the pour. If you still see some bubbles, gently tap the pitcher on the counter top for a couple times and they should go away.
Now is the fun part, let’s pour! We will make a simple heart pattern:
- Hold your cup at an angle and begin the pour. Pour from a fairly high distance and go slow. You want the milk to “dive” beneath the surface of the coffee.
- When the cups is about half full, lower the pitcher and pour a little faster.
- When you see milk starting to float and mark the surface with a dot, continue to pour at a steady pace until cup is almost full.
- When it is nearly full, raise the pitcher up and pour at a higher distance once again moving towards your thumb. This will finish your “heart” pattern.
The latte art we made here can’t compare to the quality made from an espresso machine. But this is a good way to create something presentable to your guests while exploring the world of latte art. You get to experience the pour, try out different latte art, and fine-tune your skill at home without the need of a fancy machine.
As always, practice, practice, and practice! Keep in mind patience is the key, and great things will come out of patience in no time.
Do you have a simple way to make latte art at home?