Have you gotten a latte at a coffee shop and seen an animal or maybe a face that was drawn in the milk, and wondered, “Jeeze! How did they do that? I’d love to try that at home or at my coffee bar.”
The drawing that you saw is called etching latte art, and in this post Monette Vi is going to give you a few simple tips to get you on your way to drawing in your lattes.
Before becoming a barista at The Electric Bean Cafe, Monette Vi was a patron and musician at the non-profit cafe, and when the cafe was in need of volunteers, Monette decided to step up to the plate to take a swing working as a barista.
Electric Bean has a group of talented baristas, and if you’ve ever been the new guy in a group of talented folks, you know that it comes with a roller coaster like learning curve. During Monette’s early learning stage, etching really caught her eye, and as you can see from the images, she’s pretty good at it.
- As with all latte art, the milk’s micro-foam is integral. Too thick or even worse too-thin of milk will make it difficult to pull off a clean design. A nice texture will look smooth and glossy like white paint. Bad textured milk will look watery and thin or the opposite, large bubbles and thick.
- To maintain clean lines, you will need to constantly wipe and clean your etching tool. Monette uses the tip of a milk thermometer.
- Never compromise the quality of the coffee and the milk to make latte art. The latte art is the icing on the cake not THE cake.
I know from working a coffee bar that the coordination and timing between baristas is crucial to keeping customers flowing and happy, so I asked Monette how the extra time etching affects the coffee bar flow… She said that she remains conscious of the etching time to not disrupt the flow and it usually takes an extra 45 seconds to do a typical drawing.
For something a bit more difficult like the Steven Tyler or the Stallion (see pics below), it may take an extra minute and a half, but those are by request only and the customers are happy to wait. For those she also makes sure to steam the milk extra hot but NOT burn the milk to keep the drink hotter longer.
Monette says the customers are happy to watch, and it makes the whole coffee bar experience for them.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you thought of this post and what you would want to see in any future posts.
Morgan has been working as a barista in Mexico for a non-profit coffee bar. This post is about her story, and how she came to work there.
My name is Morgan Bockus, I am from N.Y., but I am currently living in Monterrey, Mexico; working at a non-profit coffee shop down here called The Owl. I have been a barista for three years, between Heavenly Cup Coffee Roasters in Painted Post, N.Y., and here at El Buho in Mexico.
I have some friends, Andrew and Gena, who moved down to El Buho about three years ago as missionaries. They were working in a local school teaching English. Gena still volunteers at the school, but Andrew was drawn to the world-class rock climbing near Monterrey in a little town called Hidalgo. There are tons of rock climbers from around the world that camp at the base of the mountain everyday for months at a time.
Andrew had a vision to open a small coffee shop near the base of the mountain; to give the climbers a place to take rest days, but also a place for local Mexicans to come and hang out. Andrew felt like the rock climbers were missing out on allot of the Mexican culture by secluding themselves to the mountains, so this is a great opportunity to see the two worlds meet in a comfortable atmosphere. Also, another goal is that all of the profits from The Owl would go towards funding the building of a school in the poorest area, called Mission.
Andrew and Gena knew absolutely nothing about coffee, so they took a small trip back to the states to talk to friends and family, and to get some help on where to start. They made a stop in the shop I worked at, heavenly cup coffee roasters. I gave them a tour of the roast-room, and gave them a crash course in espresso. We talked about me coming and spending time to help them, and two years later, I finally made it down here.
The coffee shop is doing really well, and coffee is also really amazing. There’s nothing like it anywhere around, even in the big city of Monterrey. Here at The Owl, we serve Fair Trade, Organic coffee grown here in Mexico from the Finca Las Nieves plantation in Oaxaca. We roast our coffee to order, by the pound, and grind it fresh. The instant coffee drinking Mexicans and the rock climbers are always blown away by the hospitality, and refreshingly delicious coffee.
Enter Marc Andre…
I live in Montreal and am a coffee enthusiast. I have never worked in a cafe and have no formal training, but I do spend an inordinate amount of time on coffee forums! Home-Barista and Coffegeek are my go to resources for learning how to make the best espresso possible.
I’ve made this rosetta using my Rocket Cellini Evoluzione and Mazzer Mini grinder. This tasty drink was made using Ritual’s Sweet Tooth espresso beans about 6 days off roast.
Kevin combines to have his passions, photography and espresso, to create this beautiful image of a rosetta.
Beans are from Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, WI.
Danny Shannon goes by many different aliases, Danny Latte, Barista Dan, and Super Barista Dan. He’s been a barista since 2008, and before that he was a mimosa serving, bloody mary shakin bartender down in the FiDi (Financial District) of SF.
After bringing his new skill set and talents back east to NYC, Danny has been dubbed Latte or Danny Latte. Danny Latte had his first experience as a USBC Regional competitor this year and will be the only New Yorker competing this June at the Coffee Fest Free Pour Championships.
You can find Danny brewing Stumptown and Coffee by Design at Battery Place Markets. He’s looking to lead a team in the winter to open another location near the Wall Street Bull. Brooklyn Espresso is a site that he’s putting together to showcase the finest espresso bars found in the borough of Brooklyn. Continue reading
Very cool video showing off Commonwealth Coffee, a beautifully designed cafe from the looks of the video. In the video the co-founder, Hubert Yaro, talks about his views about Commonwealth and their coffee. Commonwealth roasts their own coffee on a mini Diedrich Roaster that sits behind the bar. I also liked how they are using the French Press as a decanter on their pour over bar, which is something I’ve never seen before. I also love the flooring of this place, check out the super dramatic floor pan at 0:50.