How To: Mastering a Latte Art Heart
Andrew McMullen, Beacon Coffee’s barista trainer and head of education, shares how to make a heart in latte art for beautiful coffeehouse-worthy beverages.
Before diving in, there are three key points to help with your success, he says:
1. Make sure to use freshly roasted coffee so you have beautiful crema on your espresso.
2. Have your steamed milk with microfoam silky smooth so it looks like wet paint.
3. Don’t let the milk sit because the foam will separate into a layer on top. If that happens, pour the milk into another pitcher or swirl vigorously to reincorporate the microfoam.
And now to the heart
• Start pulling the espresso into a warm mug.
• Steam the milk, aiming for approximately 120°–140°.
• Give both the milk and espresso a swirl to dissolve any large bubbles. Tip the cup toward the pitcher and slowly pour the milk, about 4–6 inches above the espresso’s crema, into the side near the pitcher (about a third back from the edge of the cup). This will drive the milk down through the crema.
• As the cup becomes about three-quarters full, lower the pitcher to as close to the crema as possible. (Remember, if you pour from high up, the milk dives beneath the crema. If you pour close to the crema, the microform will float.) You’ll see the foam start to float.
• Keep the pitcher still as the foam makes a circular shape.
• As the cup gets close to being full, raise the pitcher back up and “strike” the milk stream through the center of the floating microfoam, pulling the foam to a point. This creates a beautiful heart in the center of your drink. (If you are getting a wide line through the center of your drink, the pitcher was too close to the surface during the strike or the foam was too thick.)
• Lastly, don’t pour too quickly and try to keep your pour as steady as possible.
Remember that it takes practice and tenacity to perfect, and, above all, remember to enjoy your delicious fresh coffee.
Watch a latte art heart demo on Edible Ojai & Ventura County’s YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/latte-art-heart-demo