Latte Art Skills – 3 Reasons Baristas and Coffee-Lovers Should Learn the Craft of Latte Art

To the uninitiated, latte art is the practice of creating attractive designs on the surface of steamed milk that has been poured over a shot of espresso. Latte art has developed differently in different countries over the past few decades, with Europe and the U.S. being leaders in latte art development and popularization.

How It is Performed

Latte art is made possible by the mixture of two substances: crema and microfoam. Crema is an emulsion consisting of brewed coffee and coffee oil, while microfoam consists of a mixture of air and milk. A skilled barista with latte art skills can bring these two substances together in a way that creates a delightful design that is pleasing to the eye. Of course, the design is necessarily short-lived: the crema and microfoam slowly break down minutes after the latte art is performed, thereby dissipating the design. The ephemeral quality of this special type of art makes it all the more appealing.

How Important is Latte Art?

For many people who work in and around coffee, the ability to perform either free pouring or etched latte art is seen as the final step in their coffee education. To be sure, creating attractive latte art is not an easy skill to learn.

Of course, some detractors claim that placing too much emphasis on this fascinating type of art takes needed focus off of the real purpose of coffee: its taste. Fortunately, a well-trained barista is able to balance the need for creating coffee beverages that features a beautiful appearance with that of creating delicious-tasting coffee.

3 Reasons to Improve Your Skills

Here are 3 reasons to improve your skills in this area:

1. Good artists are highly-sought-after for their skills:

Not everybody can do latte art well, and good coffee experts who can do it well are highly sought-after. Of course, baristas with these skills do not grow on (proverbial) trees; they have to be trained. Those baristas and baristas-in-training who take the time to attend a top-notch coffee school for proper training can reap the rewards that come with additional employment opportunities, higher pay and more perceived value on the part of existing employers.

2. Being good at it sets you apart from your peers:

Who among us likes to have mastered a few skills that give us some bragging rights among our peers? If people are being honest, most will tell you that it is certainly feels good to be able to do something well that not everybody else can do. It can definitely be an advantage to set oneself apart a bit from those with whom your work, play and spend time by learning something new or by improving existing skills. Gaining latte art skills can be a great way to do so.

3. It adds a touch of class to any coffee-making and coffee-drinking experience:

If you are going to serve great coffee – whether it be to friends, colleagues at work, or coffee house customers – it certainly stands to reason that serving the best cup of coffee that you can is worthwhile. Having the ability to do great latte adds an added layer of satisfaction to the joy that comes with making others happier by serving them a well-brewed, well-prepared, and well-served cup of coffee.


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