You have probably already seen the amazing things that an artist can do to a cup of coffee and asked yourself what is that art called. The art of drawing on a cup of coffee is named latte art and the person who does that is called a barista. There are two ways in which latte art is made. By pouring milk into a cup espresso or as it is also called "free pouring" or by using a stick called "etching". However free pouring is more spread to the wide public, but it cannot create complex forms while the etching results in more precise forms or shapes and an experienced barista can create miracles with a stick. Of course if you want to produce good latte art you will need an experienced barista and an espresso machine of the highest quality. Latte art develops in different tempos depending on the country. However it wasn't a well known art before several years, but because of the recent advance in micro foam research and the developing of the espresso it has become even more popular. The country that is considered the birthplace of espresso is Italy. Latte art needs two main ingredients to be created - foam and crema. Foam is nothing more than buffed up milk and it is buffed by mixing it with air. Crema is the brown cream that appears on top of the espresso. However those two mixtures dissipate rapidly and you can enjoy latte art only for a few minutes. For latte art to be possible the espresso must have a cream like brown surface which is most commonly called crema for short. Afterwards the foam is poured into the cup and the foam from the milk rises to the surface thus creating a contrast between the colors of the espresso and the foam. From now on there are two ways to create latte art. Just by pouring the milk and moving the pitcher or by pouring it all and then using a stick to draw the pattern or form. The style which only consists of pouring is called "free pouring" and takes little time to create while the other style is called etching and using it you may have to wait a while for your beverage to be decorated, but the etching is much more precise and beautiful. Free pouring isn't very precise so it is quite hard to create complicated forms using it. Because of that the most commonly made forms using free pouring are hearts and flowers while etching allows you to create much more complex forms and even portraits, however etching is much more harder than free pouring that's why there are special classes which teach the art of etching in latte art. The best part of latte art is that you can practice it in your own home while drinking your morning coffee. You don't need any special instruments and you can even use regular coffee instead of espresso. However the use of regular coffee will result in fader shapes and outlines, but the image will still be visible. And if you are really good and keen at latte art you can sign up for barista classes so that you can master each one of the styles of latte art.
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