harrydrinkscoffee Senior Member Joined: 15 Jan 2013 Posts: 2 Location: Australia Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013, 8:41pm Subject: Opinions?
Okay so I have worked as a barista for three months, but learnt impromptu, anyway, I've got really into latte art, but need explanations for why things happen. For instance, in this hot chocolate pour (I know, coffee forum, sorry) I got a nice Rosetta, when pouring on chocolate sauce, but is it just a fluke that I got a perfect half milk half dark chocolate colour in the area surrounding the Rosetta? Why/ how does it work?
caffista Senior Member Joined: 25 Dec 2012 Posts: 86 Location: Portland Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013, 7:24pm Subject: Re: Opinions?
I was having trouble following your last part there, but I will share my experiences. I find the two biggest (and obvious, I suppose) variables contributing to whether I can produce good art or not are the espresso pull itself and the milk. That is to say "just how dense is my shot? how many of the coffee stuffs actually made it in to the water and in to my cup?" and "how much air have I put in to my milk? can I swirl it easily or do I need to work it?". The best way to get a feel for the right consistences is honestly practice or even watching youtube videos. I know my espresso is good for art if it comes down heavy as a syrup and as much as pouring cream. If it comes out like cold honey or plain water pouring I know have an issue. If the milk is too easy to swirl and doesn't look at least 3/2 it's original volume, it's too thin. Alternatively, if the volume is more than 2/1 its original, it's too foamy. This is best learned by practice. When you get both your shot and milk right, you'll know because you'll get SOMETHING. At that point, you'll begin to experiment with new pouring techniques rather than brewing techniques.
All the espresso and frothing variables exist in making art so look over everything..
On a side note, my sister enjoys Tazo Tea Chai with steamed milk so I will warm her some tea from the Carton (nasty! I know) and steam some milk. Despite all my efforts, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get art with a base that is so liquidy. Maybe if I brewed a few shots in and made it a "dirty" chai latte i'd have better luck... practice and experimenting are king here!
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