A Barista’s Guide To Latte Art

Reading time: 5 minutes
by Cecily Batten
There’s never been a greater time in all of human history for enjoying the artistry of frothed milk carefully arranged atop a creamy espresso. Since its genesis some thirty years ago, latte art has exploded across the globe. Coffee has never been the same.

The process of creating milky masterpieces is entirely reliant on the transfiguration of milk into microfoam. Heating the milk at extreme temperatures rapidly transforms it into a lighter, fluffier substance, which is much easier to sculpt into priceless works of art. It also just happens to alter the chemical structure of the milk, breaking down sugars and resulting in a sweeter beverage.

Latte art is not a café novelty either; it’s a serious sport with its very own world championship. 2016’s World Latte Art Championship was hosted in South Korea and had competitors enter from thirty-six countries. Um Paul of the host nation eventually triumphed, but not without stiff competition.

Selecta are passionate about all things coffee, and for good reason, coffee’s great. Latte art especially has a special place in our hearts; there’s just something bombastic about the combination of coffee and art. We’ve explored the world of latte art to bring you enough inspiration and tips to get the ball rolling.

Ironically, the greatest crime one can commit against a latte artist is to drink the beverage they’ve lovingly made for you!

This article was originally published in 2017.