clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Latte Art (The Basics!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Here are the basics of how to make latte art! These tips for beginners will get you started practicing in the comfort of your own home.


  • 2 espresso shots (2 ounces)
  • 4 ounces steamed milk


  1. Prep for the latte art: Grind and tamp the espresso, but don’t pull it. Store your milk jug in the refrigerator: the colder the milk is the more time you have to get the right texture.  Or, rinse it in very cold water, dry and refrigerate for a few minutes. Fill your milk jug to just below the spout, about 3/4 cup, using very fresh whole milk (or oat milk for vegan). 
  2. Make the espresso: Use an espresso machine to make two shots of espresso and pour it into a mug.
  3. Steam the milk: Heat the steam wand. Once prepared, place the wand just below the surface of the milk about 1/2 inch from the side, tilting the jug slightly. Keep it in that position for about 5 to 10 seconds, stretching the milk by about 30% in height, with very slight movements up and down. Once stretched and slightly foamy, lower the nozzle about another 1/2 inch and tilt the pitcher just enough to get a spinning vortex, which incorporates the foam, turning it into a velvety microfoam. Keep that still and spinning until the temperature is about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. (Using a pitcher with a temperature sticker is very helpful.) Turn off the steam before removing the wand from the jug. Wipe the wand with a clean cloth. Turn it on for 1 second to purge the nozzle.  Tap and swirl the pitcher to incorporate any bubbles on top. The final texture should look like wet paint or melted ice cream, smooth and velvety. You’ll use only about half of this quantity and can discard the rest (see the * note below). 
  4. Make the latte art (watch the video first!): Tap the milk container on counter and swirl it to break down any large bubbles. Hold the jug a few inches above the coffee and pour in enough milk to fill the mug about halfway, swirling to incorporate the milk. Then lower the jug all the way to the surface. Tilt the mug 45 degrees towards yourself. Pour the milk into the center of the mug while jiggling the jug left to right to make the heart design (for the leaves), then lift and make another heart design on top (the tulip flower). When the mug is almost full, lift the jug and draw a line through the center to make the stem. Make sure to watch the entire video several times to see how to form the tulip shape. This takes practice to perfect (it took us months!). Good luck and let us know any questions in the comments below.


*This makes enough for 2 drinks, because it’s easiest to steam a larger quantity of milk. Discard the extra milk. If you have an espresso machine with two espresso taps, you could use this to make another flat white. (The milk becomes less frothy while it sits, so it’s not ideal for waiting to make another espresso.)

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Espresso machine
  • Cuisine: Espresso
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Latte art, how to make latte art, how to do latte art