How to Make Fancy Foam on Lattes

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Make Fancy Foam on Lattes
Design in coffee foam (Rosetta latte image by Felix Chen from

Baristas are people who make coffee for a living. Many baristas love to get creative with their coffee and make designs in the foam. The basic designs use the interplay of the white milk froth, and the dark coffee creme—or espresso froth, to make simple patterns and motifs. There is an art to creating fancy designs on latte foam, but with some practice almost anyone can do it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Latte glass
  • Frothed milk
  • Espresso
  • Skewer
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Squeeze bottle

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  1. 1

    Hold the latte glass, with the pulled espresso inside, at an angle facing down toward the body. Rest the frothed milk jug against the side of the glass and begin to pour in the frothed milk, straightening the cup as you go. This will leave a white circle in the centre, surrounded by a darker circle of coffee creme Take the skewer, and pull white "rays" into the coffee creme, creating a sun design. Take a blob of the coffee creme on the other end of the skewer, and dab on an eye and a mouth to finish the look.

  2. 2

    Make a leaf design by gently shaking the jug back and forward as you pour the frothed milk into the latte glass and coffee creme This will create a set of elongated concentric white circles. At the last moment before the glass is full, pull the stream of milk foam through the centre of the circles, creating a leaf pattern.

  3. 3

    Make a love heart pattern by creating the central white circle surrounded by coffee creme like in the sun design, except at the last moment before the glass is full, pull the stream of milk through the centre of the circle, away from the body. This will create a dip in one side of the circle, and a peak on the opposite side: the shape of a heart.

  4. 4

    Create a spider web design with the help of chocolate sauce. Pour the frothed milk into the latte glass as you would to create the sun design. Take the chocolate sauce in the squeeze bottle, and squeeze on three concentric circles, evenly spaced. Take the skewer and run it through the top of the foam from the centre of the circles to the outside of the glass. Do this around the whole glass, about eight times. This will create the effect of a spider web on the top of the foam.

Tips and warnings

  • Ideally, milk foam should be thick, and have a shine to it, without visible bubbles—it should look like the coffee creme that a pulled espresso makes, only white.
  • This may take some practice, especially the designs simply using milk foam and coffee creme—if you want to impress your friends and family with fancy foam designs, then chocolate sauce is the easiest method to master.
  • Latte glasses can get very hot—a folded serviette can be wrapped around the glass to protect hands from scalding.

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