How to make latte art: 5 patterns for beginners

How to make latte art: 5 patterns for beginners

Have you ever walked into your favourite coffee shop, ordered your usual, and then not wanted to drink it because the foam on top looked so beautiful? We know we have.

Latte art is something that can brighten up your day and make that coffee experience even greater, but have you ever wondered how baristas create their fleeting masterpieces?

In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to become an at-home barista and create a variety of latte art patterns.

The basics of latte art

What do you need to make latte art?

The first thing you need to know is that you don’t need to be a professional barista to make latte art. This is for the beginners out there who want to give it a go. However, there are a few essentials you need in order to make latte art in your home:

  1. Espresso machine - It is important to have a good espresso machine to make the base of your latte. If you want that golden glaze, you’ll need to start with a good quality espresso.

  2. Steaming wand - A steaming wand is essential for latte art. It not only heats the milk, but froths it to create a creamy microfoam that is vital for a successful latte art.

  3. Steam pitcher - These metal jugs are made as a vessel to froth milk in and, with the pointed spout, you are able to be precise and exact when pouring your latte.

  4. Fresh coffee beans - High-quality, freshly ground beans make for the best espresso. At Beans Coffee Club, you can take our online quiz to find a personalised coffee bean selection that caters to your unique taste preferences.

  5. Milk - Use any milk of your choosing, but whole milk will give you the most successful results.

Here are some additional items that can enhance your experience, but aren’t essential:

  1. Thermometer - The thermometer will ensure that the milk reaches the perfect temperature for latte art. If milk is overheated it can cause the microfoam to disintegrate. The ideal temperature is between 55- 65 degrees celsius.

  2. Tooth picks - Once you start practising and get the hang of it, you may want to step your game up and use toothpicks to elevate your artistic endeavours. This will help you create more intricate designs.

What’s the best milk to use for steaming?

Because of its high fat and protein levels, whole milk yields the densest foam and has the creamiest texture, perfect for creating latte art.

If you’re vegan, or prefer to use a milk alternative, oat milk is the best substitute. If you do opt for oat milk, we’d recommend going for whole oat milk or a Barista edition that’s now available in supermarkets.

Why is it so important to get the milk steaming right?

Creating the perfect microfoam is the key to successful latte art, and this is created through steaming the milk. Microfoam should be shiny and made up of microscopic, uniform bubbles. However, it’s not easy to master. It’s best to spend some time mastering this part before jumping straight in and trying to create a visual masterpiece in your coffee.

How to make latte art: A step-by-step tutorial

  1. Prepare your espresso shot
    Grind your beans to a fine consistency, then use a portafilter (which will come with your espresso machine) to distribute the coffee evenly. Next, tamp the grounds down evenly to ensure uniform extraction. Insert the portafilter into the machine, press the button, and wait for a great double espresso. View our guide to using an espresso machine here.

  2. Steam and froth the milk
    Fill your steam pitcher with your choice of cold milk. Put the steam wand at the bottom of your pitcher, turn it on, and gently raise it to 1cm below the surface of the milk. It is important to not let the milk develop any big bubbles. If you see this happening, gently move your steamer 1.5 cm below instead.
    Once you have held the wand in place for 10-15 seconds (or until the milk expands), you can then bury the nozzle deeper into the milk, letting the milk spin in the same direction. This will incorporate the foam, producing a velvety texture. Do this until it reaches peak temperature, which is 55-65 degrees celsius if you’re using a thermometer, or until you can’t touch the side of the jug for more than a few seconds.

  3. Pour the milk
    Hold your espresso cup at a slight angle and start pouring the steamed milk slowly into the espresso. Begin by pouring from a higher position, allowing the milk to mix with the espresso.

5 latte art patterns to try at home

So now you have the basics, let’s get to the fun part. You can start to think about how to make different patterns with your microfoam. Here are five patterns to try.


  1. Bring the pitcher spout as close as you can to the surface without touching it.
  2. Begin pouring the milk, making a small circle in the centre of the cup. You should start to see the foam laying on the surface.
  3. To make the bottom point of the heart, pour a tiny stream of milk directly down the centre and quickly pull the pitcher away.


  1. Bring the pitcher spout as close as you can to the surface without touching it.
  2. Start by pouring a small dot in the centre of the cup.
  3. Next, draw a small, thin line from the centre dot outward. This will be the flower's stem.
  4. Now, make small circles around the stem. These circles represent the petals of the flower. Use a toothpick or latte art needle to gently drag lines from the centre dot to the edge of each circle, creating the appearance of flower petals.
  5. Continue this process until you have several layers of petals, making sure they're evenly spaced and well-defined.


  1. Bring the pitcher spout as close as you can to the surface without touching it.
  2. Gently wiggle the pitcher side to side while pouring a thin stream of milk into the centre. This will form the central swirl of your tulip.
  3. As the central swirl or cluster starts to take shape, slowly move your pitcher to the edge of the cup and continue pouring while moving it back toward the centre. Create several layers of these back-and-forth wiggles to form the leaves of the flower-like pattern.


  1. Once you have mastered the tulip, this swan will be all the more easier. The start of a tulip will form the wings of the swan.
  2. Once you have made your tulip, move your jug closer into the cup and move it down the centre of the tulip, then bring it back up to create the body and the neck of your swan. You should then see half of the tulip (as a wing) with the body coming up the centre and the neck on the left side of your cup.
  3. Finally, to create the head just finish the neck with a heart angled to the left.


  1. Bring the pitcher spout as close as you can to the surface without touching it.
  2. Slowly pour into the centre of your cup, and then make a smaller circle to form a snout.
  3. Once you have done this you can create two eyes and a nose with the toothpick - the eyes on the bigger circle, and the nose on the smaller one.
  4. Then finish with two small circles to create ears at the top. You can even add eyebrows to make a more expressive bear.

Remember latte art takes practice, so don’t get disheartened if your creations don’t go perfectly. If you’re not only looking to make your coffee cup your new canvas, but also even more delicious, why not take our quiz to find coffee that is intelligently matched to your taste preferences. You can find your ideal flavour and match it with your newfound barista skills.