Designs made with steamed milk often look amazing, comforting and bring an inner joy. They can also look incredibly difficult to make with a need to be a budding or amazing artist. Nothing is further from the truth!
All latte art designs are easy when you know how and put in the effort to practice and make them. Most can be perfected in 10 cups of coffee or less.
Keep reading for the details!
Designs Made With Steamed Milk
There are many eye-catching designs that are made with steamed milk, and you don’t need to be a coffee shop DaVinci or Picasso to make them. Just follow some simple instructions, and you will be able to make the most intricate designs with ease.
The starting point is to make great shots of espresso and perfect steamed milk for latte art.
Read: Steamed Vs Frothed milk
How To Steam Milk For Latte Art Like The Next Picasso
If you are new to steaming and frothing milk for latte art, the first thing to keep in mind is that steamed milk for latte art is no different from regular steamed milk.
Use a 12 Ounce (360 ml) milk pitcher as it is more than enough to make the coffee art for a few cups of coffee.
Start by using milk that is fresh and cold, as cold as you can get it without freezing! Using a milk jug that is cold, ice-cold will help too.
If this is your first attempt at coffee art I advise using full fat whole milk.
Note: Fresh cold milk takes in air better than any other type of milk.
Fill your milk jug to an inch below where the spout starts to form. In a 12 Ounce (360 ml) milk jug this will be approximately 5 Oz to 6 Oz (150 ml to 180 ml) of milk.
That extra space in your milk jug is needed to allow space for your milk to expand.
The start point is always good hygiene and start by wiping your steam wand, ensure that it is clean and purge the wand by letting it blow out some steam. The steam wand may be full of drips of water, and you don’t want that to get into your milk.
The Perfect Milk Temperature
Before we get to the specific techniques of steaming milk, it is very important to talk about the proper and perfect milk so that you get the perfect texture and taste.
When you raise the temperature of your milk, the sweetness increases to a certain point. Of course, you want the maximum sweetness from your milk sugars without the need to add any or minimal amount of sugar to sweeten your coffee.
The sweetest that milk is at is from 57C to 66C (135F to 150F). If you go above this temperature, you will scald the milk and lose the sweetness.
To monitor the temperature, an espresso thermometer or a color changing temperature tag, a simple sticker that is the same as the one you see on aquariums will help too and are more convenient.
With time and experience, you’ll be able to accurately judge the temperature by hand and by eye.
Read: Steamed milk temperature
The Frothing Technique
The frothing technique is easy, very easy. The trick is to find the perfect position for the tip of your steam wand in relation to the surface of your milk.
If it is too high you will get too much air in your milk, if it is too low you won’t get enough air in your milk.
Start by dipping your wand half an inch below the surface of your milk. Adjust the depth so you hear an occasional rip of air being forced into your milk.
The start of the process of steaming milk for a latte and making frothed milk for a cappuccino is the same.
Get your rips of air in to your cold milk early as it takes in air much better.
At this point, when you have sufficient microfoam, dip your milk wand deeper, an inch deeper to cause your milk to spin and create a vortex, a whirlpool. This spinning action turns the larger bubbles into your milk and helps to create an even texture and distribution of creaminess.
If it is milk foam for cappuccino that you want to make, continue to force air into your milk to create froth.
When you have the ideal volume, lower your steam wand into your milk and continue to spin it.
When you are finished spinning, bang your milk jug against the countertop a few times to free any trapped air.
Polish and shine your milk by swirling it in your jug in the same way that you would swirl red wine. Your milk should look shiny like a freshly opened can of white paint.
Your steamed milk is now ready for some amazing latte art.
How To Make Design On Coffee At Home
Half the fun of grabbing a coffee at your local coffee shop is great eye-catching latte art. Be it a flower, a tulip, or some of the more exotic designs it is great to see.
What ever design you want, even the popular Rosetta, it takes practice. The best starting point is a regular latte and using steamed whole fat cow’s milk. Once you have a design mastered you can move on and make the same one for a flat white, a matcha latte and other espresso drinks.
And like a true latte artist, move to perfect it with other milks like almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk and soy milk as well as other types of milk.
Read: Steamed milk
Hold It Correctly
The whole process starts when your espresso shots are ready, and your milk has been steamed. Hold your coffee mug in one hand and tilt it away from you slightly. When you hold your mug in your other hand, you will need to move your milk jug less.
Start At The Center Point
Pour your steamed milk into the center of your coffee cup. With your milk pitcher in your free hand, hold it approximately 2 cm (about an inch) above your coffee mug and pour slowly steadily and evenly.
Bring It Closer!
Bring your milk pitcher closer to your coffee mug and slightly tip it a little more to increase the speed of your pour.
Wiggle and toggle your pitcher ever so slightly in a fluid motion to start creating a zig-zag pattern.
Untilt Your Coffee Mug
Untilting your coffee cup will slow the pour. Raise the pitcher 2 cm (about half an inch) above your coffee mug and drizzle a stream of milk back across the center of the cup to finish the rosetta latte art design.
Keep practicing, perfect practice makes perfect. Once you have perfected the rosetta make it for other drinks and use different types of milk.
Easy Latte Art Designs
Here are some easy latte art designs that you can master quickly and easily. Take the time, effort and have the patience to master them.
All of these designs are basic and easy. Start with these before moving onto something more complex.
The more complex designs are, the more practice it will take and thus the more dedication you will need. Keep it in mind that nobody was born an expert latte artist, they got there by practice.
Pouring a latte heart is one of the easier designs to make with steamed milk. Once you have your espresso shot and steamed milk ready.
Important things to keep in mind when making any latte art, be it a heart design, is where you pour and how fast you pour.
Pour too slowly, and you will end up with splashy milk droplets; pour it too quickly, and you will end up with a cup that is full in a matter of a few seconds.
A steady and even pour is key to all latte art designs.
Start with your milk pitcher 10 cm (4 inches) above your drink. The high pour aids the milk to penetrate the surface of the espresso and get an even distribution of the creaminess, creating an even and perfectly colored base for your foam.
You can move your milk jug back and forward to ensure the perfect color and texture. The key is to keep your hand steady until your cup is half full to three quarters full.
When you get to that fill level of your coffee cup, move your milk pitcher as close to the surface of your coffee drink as you can without touching.
Pour at an even medium speed until you start to see your foam starting to lay on the surface of your coffee. When you are at this stage, the speed of your pour is everything.
If your pour is too slow, the shape will not fill out. Pour too fast, and you will lose control over the pour. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is; it is all very easy and is only a matter of finding that perfect pour speed.
You should start to see the shape gradually form right in front of your eyes. The foam should start to form a circular shape on the surface of your coffee. When your coffee mug is almost full, move your milk jug up an inch or two and in a single motion strike through the milk blob and create a heart shape.
If your pour is too slow here, your design will be drawn under the surface. To make it more eye catching, wiggle your milk jug a little.
This is a particularly eye-catching design and is still easy to make. It looks like you need a mountain of detail and has that wow factor for your friends, family and clients.
A latte bear starts as a half finished tulip, which you then etch to get the rest of it.
- With a latte art etching tool, drag some of the brown color to the nose.
- Pick up a lot of brown color and make a dot for the nose.
- Use your etching tool to pick up bits of brown to make freckles on the bear.
- Pick up more brown, a lot of it and make the eyes.
- Pick up some white color and make the mouth and the eyes.
- Drag some white to make your bears ears.
After each step, wipe clean the etching tool.
Making a sunrise is easy with all kinds of milk. There is a knack to it though.
Create Your Milk Circle
Start by creating a milk circle. Pour your milk into the center of your coffee cup and let it flow into the middle. While your milk is pouring, rock it from side to side with a space of about 1 cm (a third of an inch). When a semi-circle has formed, stop pouring.
Create Second Milk Circle
Repeat the step above and create a second milk circle inside the semi-circle that you have already created above. Rock your pitcher from side to side just as you have above. Stop pouring when your coffee cup is full. There should be one big circle with a halo.
Sprinkle Your Chocolate Powder
Cover the lower half of the circle with chocolate. This forms the landscape for your sunrise.
Start Drawing The Sun Rays
Use a toothpick to etch the sun rays on the halo of your sun rise. Dip your toothpick about a centimeter deep and push to the outside of your coffee cup while lifting your toothpick at the same time. Repeat this as many times as necessary. as you make the sun rays around the halo of your sun rise.
One of the popular latte art designs is tulip. Here is how to make it!
Start High And Start Slow
Start by pouring a very thin stream of milk from an elevated position of about 3 inches above your coffee mug. Your milk, regardless of which type, should sink below your espresso and strengthen the foundation and give you nice brown canvas to work on.
To make the tulip design the secret is to pour three incomplete heart shapes. Lower your milk jug and to form the bottom layer, so low that your milk pitcher touches the side of your coffee mug while you increase the quantity of milk that is pouring.
Interrupt Your Flow
When a white ring or circle appears in your espresso, raise your milk jug and stop pouring. Practice is key to getting this part perfect. You need to get the first white blob to look symmetrical.
At this point your coffee cup should be about a third full.
Bring It Down
Repeat the step as required and as necessary by pouring a steady stream of milk with your jug lowered to almost touching your coffee mug.
Your milk should fall a little north of the white blob. The trick here is to create the same white blob but only smaller. This will be the second layer of your tulip design.
Your coffee mug should be half to two thirds full.
Just as you did before, raise your milk jug to interrupt the second layer.
Pour The Top
Repeat the process once more to create the smallest part of the tulip and bring it all together. Pierce the design that you have and bring it all together by raising the spot of your milk jug while pouring the last little bit of milk in a pencil thin stream through the center of the circle shaped blobs.
The objective is for the layers to be uniform and symmetrical but different in size.
With more practice and greater effort, you can make up to 6 layers or more. for an amazing tulip latte art.
Frequently Asked Questions About Designs Made With Steamed Milk
What Can You Do With Steamed Milk?
There are a lot of different coffee drinks and espresso based drinks that use steamed milk. Here are some:
- Latte Macchiato.
- Flat White.
- Caffé Misto.
Of course there are a lot more. You can also make some intricate and exquisite latte art designs.
Do You Use Steamed Milk For Latte Art?
Yes, steamed milk is used to make latte art. Now there are a lot more intricate and outstanding 3D latte art designs which are made with frothed milk and milk froth.
What Type Of Milk Is Not Suitable For Latte Art?
The very best latte art is made using whole milk. It is better at holding shape and making art with. Oat milk is the best non-dairy milk to use.
What Are The Different Latte Art Designs?
The four designs for beginners to start making when practicing their pour are:
- Heart Shape.
These are all easy to achieve free pouring, free hand pouring with your milk pitcher.
Is Making Latte Art Easy?
Latte art looks difficult, a lot more difficult than it actually is. It is pretty easy. It should take you a little practice with the four basic designs of a heart, tulip swan and rosetta and once those are mastered you can move on to more difficult designs.
Can You Make Latte Art With Whole Milk?
Yes, unquestionably, whole milk is the absolute best milk to make latte art with. The foam created is smoother, more silky and velvety like and much easier to create latte art with.
Final Thoughts – Designs Made With Steamed Milk
You have just seen how easy latte art designs made with steamed milk are to make. If you have any specific request for a special design or want to know how one is made, join our cool coffee community on Facebook/Meta and ask us – I’ll happily add to this article.