Latte Art: A How-To for Beginners

Cup of hot coffee with latte artFor coffee lovers, beautiful images gracing the surface of their latte is a real treat! Not to mention latte art is one of the most popular images to share with your friends on social media. If you’d like to master this growing trend, here is a quick latte art how-to guide that will help you get started with creating your own coffee masterpieces. You can also stop by Cocoon Coffee House and Bakery at Hawley Silk Mill to enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee.

How Is Latte Art Made?

Creating the perfect latte art requires a steady hand and some physics. The latte art design you usually find in your cup of coffee is made from a substance called microfoam, which is essentially steamed milk. When the natural fat and sugars found in milk are heated, they break down into smaller, simpler sugars that make the milk sweeter and creates the foam that you will be using for your design. Once you practice and perfect the following steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a star barista!

Our Own Latte Art How-To Guide


    • A fresh shot of espresso
    • An adequate amount of crema
  • Properly texturized steamed milk

Step 1: Making the Foam

The first step in creating latte art is forming the perfect foam. To start off, pour cold milk (34 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 degree Celsius) for one cup of coffee into a steam pitcher.

Pro Tip: For even better results, place your pitcher in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before pouring in the milk. Cold pitchers allow more time for the milk to steam and reduce the risk of scalding. It also makes the cream stiffer and easier to handle.

Use a liquid thermometer to ensure the cream reaches a temperature of just below boiling.

Step 2: Turn on the Steam

Put the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher, turn it on, and slowly raise it as comes close to the surface of the milk. As the milk rises, lower the wand so it stays about 1 centimeter away from the surface. Also, be sure you aren’t creating large bubbles. This is important to create smooth, velvety milk that is easy to work with.

Step 3: Spin the Milk

Once the milk has heated to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius, place the steam wand deep into the milk, most preferably to the side of the pitcher. Spin the milk counterclockwise while the wand remains near the bottom of the pitcher. Continue this motion until the milk reaches between 150 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 and 68 degrees Celsius. Once it’s been heated to the desired temperature, turn off the steamer and clean it with a wet cloth.

Pro Tip: Be sure you know the tendency of your steamer. Some can heat the milk much more quickly.

Step 4: Swirl

Give the milk a few seconds to settle and then swirl it vigorously. If you notice any sizable bubbles, simply pound the pitcher on the counter multiple times before swirling for another 20-30 seconds.

Step 5: Pulling the Espresso

As soon as your milk is foamed, immediately start making your espresso shots. The ideal shot should have a little cream in it as well as the typical coffee flavor. It should also be pulled within 21-24 seconds. If you’d like your coffee to be a little sweeter, pull it closer to 25 seconds.

After this, pour your shots in a coffee mug with a large mouth. Don’t let it sit for more than 10 seconds before adding milk!

Step 6: Pouring the Milk

When you begin pouring, keep the pitcher a little high over the cup until it’s about halfway full. Then lower the pour so the foam starts to appear. You can fluctuate between high and low pours to ensure a steady speed. Also, hold the cup at an angle to keep you from pouring too fast or too slow. Once the cup is half full, start pouring to the back of the cup and move the pitcher from side to side using light wrist movements and into the desired design.

Basic Latte Art Designs

Leaf or Rosetta Pattern

This is probably the most popular and easiest latte art design to attempt. Here are simple steps that will create this lovely art.

    • While moving sideways, begin moving the pitcher backward as well.
    • When you reach the end of the cup, move the pitcher in a quick straight line through the center of the pattern.
  • Quick side to side movements will create a rosetta pattern with many leaves while slow movements create fewer, thicker leaves.

Flower Pattern

This design includes a flower in the center with petals flowing off to the side. Here are the steps to follow to help you create this design in your coffee:

    • When the cup is halfway filled, shake the pitcher back and forth while slowly moving backward. This will cause the flower design to move and fill the cup.
  • The design comes out more vividly when you shake your wrist back and forth instead of your hand.

Enjoy Latte Art Coffee at Cocoon Coffee House and Bakery

Cocoon Coffee House and Bakery is Hawley Silk Mill’s own coffee shop nestled within the small building that used to serve the mill as cocoon storage. We use only the highest-quality coffee beans from Moka Origins in Honesdale, PA. While you’re with us, unwind in our cozy seating area, grab a delicious meal from our food menu, or find something to read from our used book collection.

Visit Us at Hawley Silk Mill During Your Next Visit to the Poconos

Hawley Silk MillSince 1880, Hawley Silk Mill has served a vital role in the local community. Today, it stands as a vibrant lifestyle center filled with fun and unique things to do. Whether you savor a cup of coffee from Cocoon Coffee House and Bakery, go shopping in our one-of-a-kind shops, or take a fitness class, you could spend hours enjoying everything our historic mill has to offer. Also, don’t forget to check our calendar for fun upcoming events! We look forward to welcoming you soon.