Recommendations for a good latte art

Jun 30, 2019 | Coffee Professionals

InicioCoffee ProfessionalsRecommendations for a good latte art

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Many times when ordering a coffee that contains milk, we see how the barista who prepares it pours the milk over the coffee in a very particular way that attracts attention and upon receiving our coffee we see some drawings worthy of admiration.

These drawings made with milk have several names like coffee art, coffee designs or barista art, however, the most common name is Latte Art and consists of vaporizing or creaming the milk and pouring it on the espresso to create designs on coffee.

Barista Aldair Saldarriaga, an expert on this subject, shares with us some of his anecdotes and experience.

The beginning

E What is latte art for you?
For me, it is the Artistic expression of the Barista using two elements: Coffee and Milk.

E How was your passion for latte art born?
When I saw tutorials and championships on YouTube of how the barista made designs and techniques in latte art.

E How were your beginnings as a barista?
Economically speaking I did not have to pay for my studies, but with what I was paid to finish my work, I used all that money to study to be a barista.

E We have seen very complex designs, in your case, was it a skill you developed with practice or is it given to you naturally?
Personally, it was a bit complicated to understand technical terms using for baristas and the practice was very stressful since I was more inclined towards latte art.

latte art - Tiger in Latte Art

Tiger in Latte Art | Credits: Aldair Saldarriaga

Experiences

E What factors must be taken into account when making a design?
Vaporization and Integration, having a good creaminess, a good espresso and a good drawing technique are the keys to a good design.

E Can any milk, vegetable or animal be used? Which do you prefer to use?
Yes, any milk can be used, giving it the correct use when vaporizing without overheating it. I prefer the pasteurized one, it allows me to draw better and brings a sweet taste to my cup.

E What characteristics should milk have to be considered the ideal to make latte art?
Protein, fat, among others, that make milk creme better.

E When talking about this topic, the focus is on milk and coffee is set aside, for you, what qualities should coffee have on which you make your designs?
The two elements are very important. Coffee should be an espresso very concentrated in flavors and full-bodied.

latte art - Unicorn in Latte Art

Unicorn in Latte Art | Credits: Aldair Saldarriaga

Personally

E To make the different designs you must have notions of drawing?
I do not know how to draw, however with much practice and dedication I managed to get good results in latte art. It is a matter of technique, good handling of the jug and also the cup.

E What inspires you when you create a design?
In what I am going to do, the client will like it.

E You have participated in several latte art competitions, how do you prepare the days before these competitions?
With a lot of practice, make the vaporization, the good espresso and make many designs again and again.

E Is there a difference between the designs you make in a competition and the ones you make for a customer in your cafeteria?
Yes, in a competition you must make the designs dictated by the judges, and for clients, I am free to choose the design and technique for them.

E What is the reaction of your customers when you make a design for them?
It is very gratifying to see the faces of astonishment of the customers when they see in their coffee cup a design they say: wow amazing, beautiful, and awesome!

E Apart from being a barista, you are also a poet, how does poetry relate to your designs and coffee?
Poetry comes from school I recited and wrote poetry, came from family and was my hobby. When I knew the world of coffee I felt that passion, the connection that made poetry when I saw the milk smoothly integrate into espresso coffee and draw. A poetic expression of Barista to Latte Art.

latte art - Indian in Latte Art

Indian in Latte Art | Credits: Aldair Saldarriaga

Advice

E What advice can you give to people who want to start in the world of latte art and in general as a barista or dabble in the coffee business?
Those who feel a lot of passion and love what they do are taking advantage of time, a lot of perseverance and dedication.

At the beginning of latte art, many times I was discouraged because by vaporizing the milk into a lot of bubbles or warming it a lot, so much so that it reached the point of burning my hand.

For every beginner in latte art, all these experiences frustrate and discourage, but perseverance and the desire to obtain a good result is what keeps you standing. If others can do it you can do it too.

I think this is what makes many baristas focus on these two elements; the correct espresso and the correct vaporization of the milk, to draw and make customers feel good.

The barista is not only the one who makes coffee but is the one who makes a different customer experience.

About Aldair

Aldair Saldarriaga Perú

Barista specialist in Latte Art

I started in latte art for the curiosity of knowing if it was possible to create designs over espresso coffee. That makes me want to learn more and it becomes a passion, dedication. Currently, I apply different techniques such as free pour, etching, rainbow, 3D and cream art, not only in hot drinks but in cold drinks.

Follow Aldair Saldarriaga

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