Frosty the Snowman in his latte debut. Photo courtesy Caffebene USA.
Turn your latte into a Snowman Latte with the instructions below from Caffebene, the world’s second largest coffeehouse franchise.
Laila Ghambari, Director of Coffee at Cherry Street Coffee House in Seattle—the home of American latte art. Here are her tips:
The micro-foam is a crucial element in creating the perfect latte art. Use a milk foaming machine that is able to produce rich, thick, long-lasting foam.
Use whole or 2% milk. More milk fat equals more creaminess.
Add air to the milk by bringing the steam wand tip to the surface of the milk (not beneath). Remember that NO air will just create hot milk and TOO MUCH air will make your milk bubbly.
Make sure that when you are steaming your milk that the milk is spinning. You can achieve this by tilting the pitcher, which allows for the air and milk to blend together.
You need to steam the milk to a smooth, creamy texture. It should look cold cream or wet paint.
Once the milk is steamed, swirl it around to make sure the milk and foam are incorporated, not separated.
THE HISTORY OF LATTE ART
Latte art was developed in Italy, enabled by the development of microfoam, created by the steam wand of a cappuccino machine, used to foam a pitcher of milk. The combination of the crema atop the cup of espresso and velvety microfoam allows patterns to be made. (Note that other types of milk steamers/foamers do not create microfoam.)
Latte art in the United States developed in the Seattle coffee culture of the 1980s and 1990s. By 1989 the heart pattern was a signature at David Schomer’s Espresso Vivace and the rosette pattern followed, based on a photograph Schomer saw of latte art in an Italian café.