The Art of Pouring Milk

The decorative patterns on a milkbased coffee do not only look pretty, they also require considerable skill and contribute to the flavour of thebeverage.

For a perfect LatteArt cappuccino, an excellent espresso with an ideal crema is needed. A beginner has to show much patience to produce a creamy milk froth, after all the taste of the espresso should merge perfectly with that of the milk. It takes several prerequisites and a lot of practice to achieve that.

The milk froth technique and its phases
The process of milk frothing can be divided into two phases. The milk should always be frothed cold, starting at fridge temperature. First, the steam is released from the steam tap to remove the condensed water. During this first phase air is injected into the cold milk from the steam nozzle. For this purpose the steam tap is immersed a few millimetres into the milk and then fully opened. Now the pitcher is moved down a little to get air into the milk with the steam. By pulling down the pitcher, froth is produced and the volume increases. As soon as the temperature of the milk has reached about 35° C, the rolling phase is started by making the complete quantity of milk roll. To achieve this, the steam pipe is held into the pitcher in a slightly off-centre position. The surface must not be ripped open, because large air bubbles would take away its creamy consistency; all parts of the milk should be penetrated. The outlet angle of the steam nozzle should be about 20 degrees, because this is the only way to keep the entire quantity of milk moving during the rolling phase. When the outside of the pitcher has become so hot that you can no longer touch it with your hand and the milk temperature is about 62° C, the frothing of the milk has been completed. After that, only the milk in the steam arm has to be removed by briefly opening it and the steam tap has to be cleaned with a cloth.

Correct pouring of the milk froth:
Correct pouring of the milk froth concludes this process. The first pour of the milk froth must be placed under the crema. The barista starts at different positions, depending on the pattern to be drawn. The further flow should not be hectic. The crema of the coffee can be moved up very well in compact milk froth. The pouring movement must, of course, be practiced, for only after a barista has acquired some routine, will the subtleties actually be achieved.

1.

You start by basic pouring. The perfectly frothed milk is poured into the surface of the coffee from a height of about 10 cm without changing position.

2.

2.

The milk froth distributes in the centre of the cup as a white dot.

3.

3.

The pitcher is directed downwardly, the distance from the surface of the beverage is reduced.

4.

Just before the cup is full, the pitcher is inclined more …

5.

5.

...and pulled through in a straight movement.

6.

6.

The heart is in the cup.

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