Michael was bought a gift voucher for a Latte Art Masterclass by his wife as a Christmas present & I went to his house and did the training as he already owns some great coffee equipment – a Fracino Cherub espresso machine & Quamar M80E grinder. Quick picture of the setup-
Here’s the review Michael kindly wrote about the training over on Coffee Forums UK – you can read the original article here.
“I finally had some time free for Michael @funinacup to come out for my Christmas present of latte art training this morning. I purposely abstained from my usual morning fix as I anticipated drinking a few of my practice attempts throughout the day and my hyperactive mood in the afternoon was testament to that!
Michael began by asking me to make a coffee as normal to observe my current technique. Seems like my espresso preparation isn’t too bad barring the leak from the grouphead due to my worn out seal meaning I had to keep a cloth handy to avoid an instant long black! However, it was apparent my milk steaming and pouring needed some work – hence the need for some training!
After a few pointers on my technique, Michael demonstrated his usual approach, showing an easy-to-follow and repeatable technique to stretch and swirl the milk simultaneously, the follow-up steps to iron out any bubbles not dissolved up by the whirlpool action (one flat, firm tap on the worktop, rest, re-tap as needed, constant swirling) and then a simple pour – pushing any white that comes out prematurely with additional milk to put it back under the surface of the crema, then lowering for the ‘art’ itself.
I then worked through this approach, got some nice silky milk with hardly a little bubble in sight! After the all-important constant-swirling the pitcher to keep the milk homogenous, the first pour! Wasn’t too bad! A few more practices on this and then we moved onto the much-sought-after rosetta. Got halfway there but know what I need to work on – keeping my wiggle on whilst moving back and not just pausing to look at the developing ‘leaves’ and coming back in a straight line!
Finally finished up on the tulip – a pour I’d never really tried before (as was too obsessed in pursuing the rosetta!) Wasn’t as hard as I thought and think this is one I can work at a bit as given my other half’s horticultural interests, should be guaranteed to impress! Sadly my second attempt wasn’t quite as good as my first – put it down to beginner’s luck!
Overall, very happy with the training – think I know what I need to work on now and feel happy that I know how to get the milk ‘right’ and just need to work on the muscle memory to pour nicely. Highly recommended to any other home baristas in the Central Scotland area!”