What is Latte Coffee? How to make latte and make latte art

The first time I learned about Latte Coffee was while watching TikTok and pausing at a coffee advertisement video. On the surface of the coffee cup was a layer of milk foam artfully shaped into a flower or a leaf. As a coffee enthusiast, this intrigued me!

What is Latte Coffee? I will definitely delve into this in my writing, but first, let’s experience it!

There’s a warm and gentle diffusion in every coffee grain, blending with the sweet and creamy milk.

Latte Coffee is not just a beverage; it’s a piece of art, a harmonious combination of rich coffee and smooth milk.

The preparation of a Latte Coffee is anything but simple, as it requires a perfect balance between the two main ingredients: espresso and fresh milk. This process demands not only skill but also the passion and dedication of the barista.

The sensation of seeing the smooth milk foam delicately resting on the coffee surface, or sipping the unique flavor of Latte Coffee, is an unforgettable experience.

Join me and Kim Coffee as we step into the world of Latte Coffee, explore its origins, brewing methods, and savor each flavor that contributes to the essence of the global coffee culture.

What is Latte Coffee?

To me, a Latte Coffee is a masterpiece, captivating not only with its flavor but also with the artistic impression that first resonates in our minds.

Latte Coffee, also known as “latte,” is a popular coffee drink made by combining rich espresso with a large amount of hot milk. The name “latte,” originating from Italian, translates to “milk,” and indeed, milk is the crucial element that gives this drink its delicious and distinctive taste.

A Latte Coffee typically consists of three main components:

  • Espresso: This forms the core of the drink, created by forcing hot, pressurized water through finely-ground coffee. Espresso contributes a strong, bitter, and rich flavor to the Cafe Latte.
  • Milk: Used to dilute the espresso, milk adds a sweet, smooth taste, along with a light milk foam layer that enhances the drink’s flavor and appeal.
  • Milk Foam Layer: A delicate layer of milk foam, produced by steaming milk, often sits on top of the Cafe Latte. This foam layer not only adds an attractive aesthetic but also provides an added depth of flavor and texture to the drink.

Latte Coffee are typically served in large cups, and it’s important to note that the ratio of espresso to milk can be adjusted to suit your personal taste.

Crafting a Latte Coffee requires meticulous consideration in balancing the two main components to create a balanced and enjoyable beverage experience.

Instructions on how to make delicious latte

The method of brewing a delicious and irresistibly charming Latte is the first thing that comes to my mind when I encounter it.

There is a technique to making Latte, but you must practice it and receive the critique of those who enjoy it! Bingo!

Prepare ingredients and tools

  • 60ml of freshly brewed espresso
  • 240ml of whole milk (or oat milk)

I have already detailed the method of brewing espresso coffee in another article on Kim Coffee, so I will not mention it again in this article.

Instructions on how to make delicious latte

  1. Step 1: Add espresso coffee to a 360ml cup. Set the cup aside.
  2. Step 2: Pour milk into a pitcher with a capacity of at least 360ml.
  3. Step 3: Froth the milk: Tilt the pitcher slightly (this will help you monitor the milk easily) and immerse the steam wand diagonally towards the bottom right or left quarter. Turn it on. The wand’s tip should be just below the milk’s surface and fixed in the pitcher to maintain that angle. If the wand is too shallow, it will create too much foam, causing the milk to overflow. The result should be creamy and smooth, without too much foam on top. The bubbles should be small and uniform.
  4. Step 4: Stop frothing when the milk reaches 55-65°C (you should comfortably be able to hold the pitcher for about three seconds).
  5. Step 5: Tap the pitcher lightly and swirl it around to break any large bubbles and even out the milk’s texture.
  6. Step 6: Gently pour the frothed milk onto the espresso in a slow, narrow stream. For a 360ml latte, the foam typically measures about the thickness of a finger after settling.

How to make Latte Art

This is the final step in making a latte, and it requires skillful technique to decorate the coffee cup, making it visually appealing and more appetizing.

There are two main types of Latte Art:

  • Free Pouring: The design is created during the pouring process. Free Pouring has become quite popular in America and is increasingly used by baristas today as it requires less preparation time.
  • Etching: The barista uses tools to create designs after the pour is complete. Etching designs can range from simple geometric shapes to more complex images such as crosshatched patterns, animals, or flowers, often drawn with a stirrer. Etching in latte art is characterized by the shorter lifespan of the design, as the milk foam quickly blends into the latte.

Prepare a thick 300ml cup, and pour the prepared espresso into it. Then, tilt the cup about 20 degrees and slowly pour the frothed hot milk into the coffee.

The goal is to maintain the rich crema layer on top. Pouring too quickly can wash away the espresso and make it difficult to create coffee art.

Once the cup is half full, start pouring towards the back of the cup, moving the pitcher from side to side with a gentle wrist motion. You will see small bubbles forming.

Some ways to create artistic shapes to make your latte cup look more eye-catching:

Heart-shaped latte art

When you see small white bubbles forming in the cup, continue pouring the foam into the cup. You will notice a large white circle forming.

As the cup nearly fills, move the pitcher slightly forward and continue pouring into the area with larger bubbles until the cup is almost full. Then, pour in a quick straight line towards the front, and you will have created a heart-shaped latte.

Remember, you are moving the milk and the pitcher, not the cup containing the espresso.

If the milk is too dry or stiff, you may end up with more white spots. Try again and steam the milk to make it more fluid.

Rosetta shaped latte art

When you see white foam appearing, gently shake the milk from side to side with your wrist as you pour it into the cup. The white microfoam will start to expand.

Continue swirling the milk until the cup is nearly full, then lift the milk pitcher and quickly move the cup in a straight line across the pattern.

A rapid side-to-side motion will create a circle with multiple leaves, while a slower movement will produce fewer, thicker leaves.

Latte art in the shape of flowers or tulips

Stop pouring the frothed milk as soon as you see a white dot on the crema. Wait a second and then pour another dot right behind the first one.

Continue making as many dots as you like until you are ready to pour milk over the dots. This will connect them all and make the dots appear like leaves.

Difference between Latte Coffee and Cappuccino

I have also written an article “What is Cappuccino? How to Make Cappuccino Coffee,” which you can refer to. Cappuccino and latte (also known as Latte Coffee) are two of the most popular Italian coffee drinks, and both are made with steamed milk.

The difference is that cappuccino is made with less milk than caffe latte.

Try looking at these two types of drinks, I bet you’ll find it challenging to distinguish them :)))!

Tricky, isn’t it?

Let’s start with a comparison table of Latte Coffee and Cappuccino:

ElementCappuccinoCafe Latte
IngredientCappuccino is typically made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam. It usually doesn’t have any additional flavorings.Latte usually consists of 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a small amount of milk foam on top. There might be a hint of vanilla or caramel added to enrich the flavor.
Milk foamCappuccino features a significant amount of milk foam on the surface, creating a distinctive layer of foam that is usually thicker than that of a latte.Latte has a smaller amount of milk foam on top, forming a fine, white layer on the surface of the coffee.
FlavorDue to the nearly equal ratio of espresso to milk, cappuccino has a stronger coffee flavor and a rich, thick milk foam sensation.With a lower ratio of espresso to milk, a latte typically has a gentler, smoother coffee flavor, often complemented by the taste of milk and any additional flavorings if used.
AppearanceCappuccino is typically prepared with three distinct layers: espresso at the bottom, followed by hot milk, and a layer of milk foam on top.Latte usually has a layer of hot milk at the bottom with a small amount of milk foam on top.
ProcessingEspresso is poured into the bottom of the cup, followed by hot milk, and topped with a layer of milk foam.Espresso is poured into the bottom of the cup, then hot milk is added, and it’s finished with milk foam on top.

A Cafe Latte is not just a cup of coffee, but an art piece created by the barista. With the perfect combination of rich coffee aroma and the smoothness of milk, latte has become a symbol of contemporary coffee culture.

To brew a standard Latte Coffee, I recommend paying attention to selecting quality coffee, adjusting the ratio between coffee and milk appropriately, and creating a smooth foam layer on top. The balance of these elements will result in a perfect Latte, full of flavor and allure.

Please share your experiences on Kim Coffee when you enjoy your very own Latte Coffee!

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