Have you already heard about latte art?
It is a technique used by bartenders to make drinks more appetizing. Especially latte macchiato and cappuccino.
In this article we will explain how to use the latte art to create Christmas decorations too.
Often you see nothing but Christmas lights and gifts and, the festive atmosphere is spreading almost everywhere, even in bars.
In addition to classic decorations, in fact, during the last years the Latte art technique has also spread in Christmas.
Do you want to surprise your guests with beautiful decorations?
Do you want to use this technique to make your loved ones more cheerful?
In the article we will deepen our knowledge on the art of latte art, and we will see how to make themed ornaments.
Although it is a widespread art especially in bars, it is possible to create beautiful decorations for coffee or cappuccino even at home.
Let’s do a brief review on latte art and see how to embellish drinks prepared with Pontevecchio lever machines.
What is latte art?
A flower, a smile or a heart on the cappuccino have become attentions that make the coffee moment even more pleasant.
But, if until some time ago these were the most widespread decorations, today the ability to decorate drinks has reached very high levels, becoming a real form of art: Latte art.
Latte art is an expressive form that has developed in bars and cafés. It’s about making shapes on espresso or cappuccino using milk froth.
The shape comes out of the contrast between the white of the foam and the dark colour of the drink.
Initially, the decoration came out only by carefully pouring the milk froth and the first figures to spread were roses and hearts.
Later, bartenders started using chocolate sauce to create more complex and precise shapes.
The creativity of the bartenders has now begun to express itself in new and increasingly complex forms, such as swans, puppies, leaves and even unicorns.
Today, in addition to the classic motifs, you can also find seasonal decorations: Christmas trees, snowflakes, snowmen, or images of Santa Claus.
With a little manual skill, you can try some of these techniques even at home, creating works of Christmas latte art for your guests.
What are the three methods of making latte art
After seeing what is latte art, let’s move on to the practical part: how are Christmas decorations in latte art mode made?
With milk froth, you can indulge yourself and unleash your creativity.
According to your dexterity, you can try your make simple creations or with the highest level of difficulty.
However, you must know that, with little practice and serving few coffees, you will be able to create mini works of art.
Here are some techniques you can put into practice:
- Latte art with milk foam: this is the form of latte art for those at an advanced level. It requires a lot of skills, as the decoration is achieved only by using the milk froth. Bartenders, expert in latte art with milk foam perform and compete with each other in the World Latte Art Championship or in the UK Latte Art Championship. These competitions are made for those who do not use syrups or tools of various kinds.
- Drawing into the milk: more recent than the use of just foam, the technique of incisions was not well seen for its apparent ease. Today, however, latte art etching has become part of the international competitions dedicated to bartenders.
- Latte art with stencils: it is an excellent solution for those who have recently approached this world. It consists of making decorations with stencils and does not require great skills. It is considered low-level because it does not require a superfine technique to create decorations. However, it’s a great way to do latte art at Christmas and spice up the holidays.
Here are our tips to stand out with these techniques.
Latte art with milk foam
This technique is based on speed of execution, right distance, and inclination control. It is reserved for bartenders who can control these parameters.
It takes time, patience, and countless trials. But the results can truly amaze.
The main element is the milk froth which must have a smooth and foamy consistency.
Before starting practicing, therefore, it is necessary to make sure that the milk is in optimal conditions:
- The ideal temperature to obtain the foam is between 55 ° C and 62 ° C, so the milk must be heated without exceeding 65 ° C.
- Milk must be constantly aerated with the steam lance. This operation can be performed at a temperature between 30 ° and 40 °.
The tools needed are:
- A cold milk jug in order to keep the foam compact,
- A thermometer to measure the temperature of the milk.
And you must always have fresh milk and stored in the refrigerator at 4 °.
Now let’s move on to manual skills.
When you start pouring the foam, the cup should be tilted and held away from the body.
It starts at a distance of about 5 cm from the edge of the cup and the foam should be managed with faster movements as the cup fills.
In this way it is possible to make hearts and some flowers. To create Christmas trees or other Christmas decorations with foam, we have to start from the rosette.
Drawing into the milk
This kind of technique is not well seen by latte art bartenders. It is considered a kind of scam, very simple and having little to do with an artistic creation.
If you want to focus only on the optical effect, etching (engraving) makes a good impression.
It’s a technique where a sauce is used to draw into the milk froth.
You need to have an art pen and a syrup, or a topping, in order to create funny and imaginative decorations.
You can make flowers, dedications, snowflakes, and any other type of custom design to wish good morning to customers and family.
Also in this case the consistency of the milk is fundamental.
Therefore, it is better to bring the milk to the right temperature and whip it with the steam arm of your professional coffee machine.
Here is a little tip.
Pour the espresso in a round mug and add the milk foam.
Create three circles with the syrup, one inside the other. Using the milk thermometer, or a pointed object, start dragging the syrup from the edges to the centre of the cup.
By making regular lines, what will come out will be a perfect snowflake, ideal for the holiday season.
By typing the word etching on Youtube or using the hashtag #latteart on Instagram you will find many other suggestions.
We have already done some research and decorations of all kinds have come out, with which you can practice and win over your customers or friends.
Latte art with stencils
This is the easiest kind of art with milk. Latte art with stencils is suitable for beginners and bartenders who cannot afford to spend time and resources in training.
Thanks to the stencils, the result is fantastic.
To understand it, let’s see what us required:
- scissors to make precise incisions;
- rigid paper or card stock;
- a cup to serve cappuccino.
First, draw circles on the card using the circumference of the cup.
Then, chose some Christmas motifs to draw on the paper.
You can choose your favourite ones between Santa Claus, Christmas tree, elves, reindeer, snowflakes, and snowmen.
You can even make more than one shape to have a wider offer.
After that, you have to cut the shapes to get the stencils.
The realization of the final work requires attention and a steady hand.
Place the stencil on the edge of the cup and pour or sprinkle the topping on the cut-out parts.
Excellent options for making this kind of latte art with are coffee, cocoa, barley, cinnamon or nutmeg which pass perfectly through the stencils.
Some videos made by latte art expert that will help you to create beautiful decorations
Whether you are a pro, an intermediate level or a beginner, in this section you will find some latte art videos from which to draw inspiration.
This video shows how to create a Christmas tree with the engraving technique.
To do that, just use a coffee or cocoa topping and a syrup engraving tool.
Very easy to make and suitable for beginners too.
This work will make children very happy: it’s Olaf, the beloved talking snowman from the cartoon Frozen.
You can make it with a pointed tool, starting from a cappuccino or milk with cocoa.
Here you have to pay attention to the foam, which must be dense and of the right consistency.
This will be the basis for creating a Christmas tree with the etching technique.
In addition to the engraving, you can add coloured sugar to make the tree balls and create an even more Christmas atmosphere.
We use the engraving technique again to create a perfect snowman.
First, make an espresso with the professional coffee machine in a round and big cup.
Then, with the milk froth, make three circles one on top of the other and finish it by using the topping.
The most beautiful photos of Christmas decorations with latte art
We have collected some photos with which to show you some of the most artistic decorations that can be proposed during the Christmas holidays. By using the hashtags #latteart and #latteartchristmas, Instagram returns beautiful results. Here they are to inspire you!
A shooting star, a snowman and a Christmas tree ready to be consumed in company. The latte art technique with milk froth was used and the cups were enriched with a pinch of cinnamon.
Santa Claus, with his typical white beard and pompon hat. The bartender drew the shape of the figure most awaited by the children and decorated it with a sprinkling of cocoa.
Within the latter art, the most popular shape is that of the tree.
In this photo we have a Christmas tree made with the milk froth only and embellished with coloured sugar balls.
A snowman made with the milk froth. Snowflakes with foam and topping have been inserted around it. The figure was finished with the engraving technique.
A bow with a bell, created with the cream.
Use the base of the rosette and finish the decoration with a pointed accessory, like a kitchen thermometer. Ideal to wish Happy Holidays.
Do you feel inspired?
To create perfect decorations you must prepare a perfect coffee or cappuccino.
To make them you will need to buy a professional coffee machine like ours.
With our steam arm, you will be able to make a perfect milk froth for your Christmas decorations quickly and easily.
And in addition to Christmas latte art, you will amaze your customers and guests every day with the quality of your espresso.