Inaugurating the day with a dear old steaming cappuccino served at your favourite café is a tradition for most Italians. This evergreen drink made of espresso and milk foam has recently been reinvented with gourmet, creative trends such as latte art. Have you ever seen a sweet heart, a detailed leaf or the face of an irresistible kitten floating on the surface of a cappuccino? These are just a few of the cappuccino designs that a barista/artist can create in the foam topping your “good morning cup”, playing with the nuances and textures of the velvety white foam and the dark liquid. Discover some practical tips and you will become an expert in milk designs!
Impeccable milk foam
A cappuccino that is tasty to drink and original to admire begins from the base: milk frothed to perfection. To make the foam as firm and soft as you wish, froth the milk in a pitcher with the steaming wand of the espresso machine, holding the tip of the wand just under the surface of the milk.
How to move the foam
Once you have prepared the foam, pour it into the cup with the espresso to create the design of your choice. The very heart of decoration art lies in the way the flow is managed when pouring. You will give life to the details of your final work of art by gauging the direction and intensity of your movements.
The most popular latte art techniques
If you want to recreate impressive designs, you will need to practice an elaborate mix of processes and techniques. These are the three most popular ones:
- Art bar
The latter is nothing more than the basic version, which involves controlling the milk to create volumes, shapes and contours that look like leaves, hearts, swans, etc. “Art bar” refers to the practice of making an entirely white cappuccino, on which food colourants are applied using brushes—for real coffee painters! Those who use chocolate or caramel topping to create floating designs on cappuccinos using special nibs, employ the etching technique.
Tips for cappuccinos with beautiful designs
Before serving a “special” cappuccino to your customers, study the psychology of your target. Each design will evoke a sensation, a feeling or an image: avoid referring to something unwelcome or unsuitable to the person in front of you. Also, choose the right time for serving the beautiful design. If customers are in a hurry, they won’t have the time to appreciate certain subtleties! To learn other tricks of the trade on latte art and cappuccino foam, visit the website page of the Vergnano Academy! And if in the morning you have breakfast at home, in your pyjamas, treat yourself to an unusual cappuccino decorating it with cocoa powder with specific stencils or a toothpick to work the contours of the milk foam.