The perfect latte: a step by step instructional


One of the drinks Bridget made using the same method. Photo Credit: Bridget Frame

Bridget Frame, Photography Captain, Editor of News Page

Being a barista, I am constantly working on how I pour various drinks. Pouring a latte is an art form in itself and it is much harder than it looks.  I trained over the summer to become a barista and I am still always learning more about coffee. Here is a step by step of how to make and pour a great latte.

  1. The foundation of most coffee drinks is espresso. Espresso is extremely important. If an espresso is ground too fine or coarse, it can come out sour or bitter.  An espresso is perfected by a process known as “dialing in”. It can vary in time, but it involves changing grind size to ensure a perfect shot of espresso.
  2. Once the espresso is ground correctly, next is the process of tamping the espresso. This involves using a stamp like object to press the espresso into a compact form in a portafilter, a long object with a circular end that goes into the machine to make the espresso.
  3. Once the portafilter is entered in, all that’s left is for the espresso to get poured from the machine.
  4. The next step is to steam milk with a steam wand. This process takes a few tries to perfect. Make sure to use milk pitcher to help your pouring process later. It’s all about making sure the milk spins during the steaming process, creating the perfect milk for a latte.
  5. Once the milk is steamed, take the espresso shot and pour it into whatever cup you would like to hold your latte.
  6. Now, it’s time to pour your milk into the espresso. Start of with a slow but steady pour of steamed milk. As you go, move the pitcher in a swirl as you pour. Once you get closer to filling the cup, raise the end of the pitcher to create a center of steamed milk surrounded by espresso.  If this is confusing, there is a great video that I referenced during my training here: