6 reasons why latte art is not working for you


Sometimes you have a better day and it draws practically by itself, other times you are not even able to make a nice heart and you don't know why. The first, and you could say one of the most classic problems that prevents you from doing it, can be the bad texture of the whipped milk.

If your frothed milk is too bubbly in texture, or too thin or too thick, you'll never get latte art. Properly whipped milk is simply the key. A tip to know a properly whipped microfoam is that it has the texture of melted ice cream. Overall, it takes practice, once you get it right once or twice, you'll know what to achieve. You'll know if you should add steam (which you shouldn't be) and froth the milk more. Or maybe you just need to heat the milk a bit more, or that the milk is already too over-whipped and you won't make a good cappuccino with it.

Properly whipped milk should be between 55-65°C. If you don't have a thermometer, you can tell the temperature by keeping your hand on the pot. You should also have themilk chilled before whisking , not at room temperature, it is a small thing but you will see the difference immediately.

Not enough or too much milk in the jug can also affect the poor texture. If you don't have enough, the milk will tend to form large bubbles. A lot of milk will probably be primarily heated but not whipped, so it will be runny or overflow out. The ideal amount of milk is after the start of the beak inside the teapot. Additionally, for your next cappuccino you should use fresh cooled milk and not mix the rest of the already whipped milk with the fresh milk. Alternatively, you can whisk the milk in a larger teapot to make enough fortwo latte art coffees.

You should preferably choose whole milk if you are whipping from cow's milk, or special barista milk if you are whipping from vegetable milk. Skim or low-fat milk bubbles a lot and won't whip into the desired texture, or at least won't last long in the desired state.

See how to properly whisk milk with a nozzle at the coffee machine in this video from Seven Miles Coffee Roasters


You also need to have a properly prepared espresso before making a cappuccino. If your espresso has very strong or almost no crema, it will be harder to draw in.

Before you pour the milk into the espresso, swirl the espresso. By stirring the crema, you will prepare an even and connected surface that will then allow the milk to break through the espresso crema evenly and symmetrically. By smoothing the crema, you will also achieve a balanced cappuccino taste.


The longer you wait, the more your whipped milk will separate into layers of warm, thin milk and a thick milk cap. Skimming off the already whipped milk increases the chances that you'll end up pouring hot milk with chunks of dry foam from the pot instead of smooth milk with microfoam.

If you get a milk cap on top of the jug, don't despair, twisting your wrist with the jug will mix all the layers of whipped milk. If the cap is too big pour it off. Don't pour it over the beak but over the side, this will only pour off the cap and not the milk underneath.

Similarly, as soon as you twist the crema in the espresso, don't take the cup out of your hand. That's when your microfoam needs to be ready.

Don't wait until the cup is almost full before pouring in the whipped milk. About halfway through, lower the teapot to the cup and start forming a picture.


If you pour the milk too quickly, the espresso crema will disappear and instead of a beautiful latte art, your cappuccino will be decorated with a large white area. On the other hand, if you pour the milk too slowly, the milk will remain under the espresso crema and you won't get the picture either.

It takes time and practice to learn the right speed, so try varying the speed when pouring the milk, over time you'll find the ideal one.


You could say that holding the teapot wrong is such a second most common mistake. Just as it's important to hold the teapot correctly when whisking and to angle the nozzle correctly, it's also important to hold the teapot correctly when making latte art. By holding the teapot at any particular angle, you certainly won't achieve the creation of any effective pattern.

The correct way to hold a barista teapot when pouring milk is to hold it straight, with the beak pointing straight into the cup, so you can tilt it slightly at the start of the pour. However, it needs to be leveled when finishing. Your whole arm from elbow to fingers with the teapot should be horizontal as you see in the picture below.

By holding not only the teapot, but your entire arm correctly, you will achieve your dream images in your cappuccino. Without it, you might draw something in your coffee, but it will probably be an abstraction. Source.


You're almost to the end, the latte art looks promising, but you shouldn't speed up until the very end. If you stretch the tulip or rosette too quickly or too slowly, you can ruin the whole latte art.

Slow down at the end, but not too much. Raise the barista teapot a little higher to thin out the milk stream so that it forms a nice thin line in the middle and joins the pattern as it should, without blurring the latte art into a strange shape.

By pouring the last line very slowly, you may end up with just various ripples or a few spots on top of each other and not the intended connection. Make sure you have whisked enough milk. If you run out halfway through, it will ruin your entire latte art.

Be persistent until the last drop of whipped milk is in your cappuccino. You won't rush things by finishing it quickly, but rather you have more to spoil. Source.


If you want to practice latte art but don't want to waste coffee, you can choose one of the following tricks.

  1. After finishing the first cup, pour the finished cappuccino or latte coffee back into another barista pot.
  2. Swirl it to combine the coffee.
  3. Pour a small amount into a cup and sprinkle it with a little cocoa or ground cinnamon.
  4. Whisk in the milk.
  5. Now get on with practicing your latte art.
  6. Then you can pour the coffee back into the pot and repeat three or four times. That's just enough time before it affects the texture of the milk.

The second tip is after extracting the espresso, don't release the lever and let the rest of the coffee, roughly 30ml, flow into the next cup like an espresso. It's definitely not for drinking, but it can serve well for latte art practice. Better if you let the leftover after the espresso doppio flow in, you'll have a bit more crema. For more visible latte art, you can use the same trick with cocoa or ground cinnamon. You can use this 'coffee', but only once.

How can you enhance your tulip? Get inspired in the following video.

Recommended products12