Latte Art in Action: Spin Caffe, Rochester, NY
Randy Orlando and Jim Johnson, owners of Spin Caffe, have been taking the coffee experience in Rochester to a higher level. They've been training their baristas to leave a mark of excellence on every latte that exits their cafe: a signature rosetta.
"It takes a while to learn how to pour it," said Randy's sister Sandy Orlando, who has been a barista at Spin since they opened. "You have to relax, and just practice, practice, practice."
That seems to be the answer you'll hear every time if you ask how to pour latte art. "That comes from the hands-on experience you'll get here at Spin," according to Madison Eichenberger, who's been a barista for five years. "There's a lot of pride that goes into each drink," she said pouring yet another creation for a customer. "It gets really personal."
David Schomer, who trains baristas worldwide, explained that the key to latte art is the combination of quality ingredients and the right technique. "There's an extremely steep learning curve, but once you get it, you've got it," he said.
Pouring the perfect drink starts with a beautifully brewed shot of espresso with lots of dense crèma. The next step is heating and steaming the milk, creating perfect microfoam. According to the baristas at Spin Caffe, the key to latte art is pouring the milk at a consistent speed. Don't rush. When the cup is nearing the top, being rhythmically shaking the frothing pitcher side to side. As you do this, leaves on the rosetta will begin to form.
Madison, an aspiring artist said creating the perfect microfoam is really the key to pouring beautiful coffee. "The foam is kind of like paint," she said, "and the cup is the canvas."
If Sandy has you geared-up and you'd like to take a crack at free pouring, don't be shy – enter our Third Annual Latte Art Contest and try to win a Dalla Corte Mini or a Gaggia Baby Twin Espresso Machine. Just upload your free pour from start to finish on YouTube by June 6, 2008 and show the world how well you can pour Latte Art. For more information on rules, regulations and to print the entry form, visit the 2008 Latte Art Contest page. Or, if you're just looking for more information about how to perfect your skills, check out our 12 Steps to Latte Art article for tips.