Can You Make Latte Art With Regular Coffee?

* This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. *

Can you make latte art with regular coffee? This is a popular question among coffee lovers. Let’s this article answer and explain in detail for the answer.

Can You Make Latte Art With Regular Coffee?

The answer is Yes. However, with a more conventional brewing method, you can’t achieve the same flavor and taste as you would with espresso. That said, you can still mimic the flavor by selecting darker roasted coffee beans. Follow our step-by-step guide to masterfully craft a cup of coffee adorned with creamy froth on the top.

Latte art is a great way to elevate your coffee experience. Traditionally, latte art is made on espresso, an Italian coffee brewed through stream pressure to push the water out from the coffee grounds. 

If espresso is not your thing because there is too much caffeine or you do not own an Espresso machine, it’s reasonable to look for an alternative – regular coffee. 

This article will explain why people usually choose espresso for latte art and how regular coffee can be a nice substitute if you don’t want to go the espresso route. Here’s how you can use normal coffee for your latte art:

#1 Brew The Coffee

Brew regular coffee in a traditional coffee machine, then pour the brewed coffee into a cup. 

#2 Froth The Milk

Half-fill a microwave-safe jar with milk and seal it with a lid. Now give the jar a solid shake until the milk foams and expands to double the original volume. 

Remove the lid before putting the jar in the microwave. You should let the foamy milk sit there for around 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can froth the milk with a milk frother.

#3 Draw Latte Art

Pour the warm milk into the cup until the coffee has a light brown color. We recommend using a spoon to keep the froth from entering the cup at this point. 

Then, lower your milk jar till it is near to the surface of your coffee. Begin pouring the milk and milk froth into the cup from the rear. Strategically moving your wrist until a shape develops on the surface. 

Our small design recommendation: Sprinkle some nutmeg, cinnamon, or cocoa powder on top to garnish your design and enhance the flavor.

Why Do People Usually Choose Espresso For Latte Art?

You might be wondering why espresso is the first option when it comes to latte art. And here are the reasons:

A Perfect Combination

The roasting period for espresso coffee beans is usually longer, producing dark, black, and shinier beans than regular coffee. These beans then go into espresso machines to produce a stronger, more intense cup of espresso. This is why many baristas and coffee lovers choose to do latte art using espresso. 

The fat and creamy taste of froth milk in the form of latte art is a perfect combination when sitting atop the espresso surface. It balances out the strong flavor of espresso while adding a luscious, milky sense to your coffee cup.

Enhance The Drinking Experience

Espresso is famous for the pleasant aroma that awakens your senses, prompting you to take your time and have a taste before starting your day. The distinct taste and smell of espresso with some visual effects of latte art will please your senses to the highest level.

What Was The History Of Latte Art?

There was no official record about the history of latte art. Some said it originated in Italy, the same birthplace as the espresso drink. Others assumed latte art developed independently in many countries at the same time. But the most popular history version gave credit to the US coffee shops.

When coffee and espresso reached the US in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a guy named David Schomer figured out he could decorate the espresso cup with beautiful images. He began to come up with many patterns and popularised this trend in Seattle.

Around the same time as David Schmoer, there were Luigi Bezzera in Milan and Angelo Moriondo in Turin, Italy who did a similar thing. The credit of inventing latte art mostly belonged to David in the US because he wrote a book about it and boosted its reputation worldwide.

David Schomer’s book about this phenomenon has many detailed instructions on how to make different types of shapes and images when performing latte art.

What Are The Differences Between Steam Milk & Froth Milk?

Remember this: you can have steamed milk alone, while you cannot have froth milk without steaming. Frothed milk results from aerating heated milk as milk bubbles are too delicate to survive without heat. 

Steamed milk is heated milk. However, it would help if you did not heat it in whatever way you like. It is advisable to heat it just enough to have bubbles without changing or scalding the milky flavor. Coffee lovers can even use a microwave to heat the milk. Nevertheless, you will have more control over the heat on the stove. 

With froth milk, you have a few options for making them. You can choose to invest in a milk frother and frothing pitcher, which will do everything for you. All you need to do is pour the steamed milk into a cup or a jar, put the machine in, and voilà!

If you do not want to spend money on a milk frother, there are some alternatives you can consider: 

  • You can pour the heated milk into a jar, lock it tightly with a lid, and shake as hard as you can. This option is the easiest, but the froth milk bubbles will quickly disappear because you cannot keep the heat. 
  • Or, you can use a hand mixer, whisk the milk until it reaches the frothiness you desire. The foam from a hand mixer is slightly better than shaking milk in a jar. 

How Can I Learn To Make Latte Art?

There is only one answer to this question: Practice! Practice! Practice! Performing latte art requires hard work until you can make it look nice and shine. 

You can experiment with various pours to come up with different shapes and sizes, then choose the ones that look the most impressive. Once you have mastered some designs, remember to practice often to hone your skills. 

If you want to learn from the professionals, you can seek online videos or look up some cafes that offer later art classes. We suggest contacting the local culinary schools or academies to check if they provide latte art training courses.

What Is The Best Milk For Latte Art?

Due to the high-fat level, whole milk gives the most luscious taste in coffee; yet, it can be difficult to make froth. As a result, if you are an amateur, perfecting froth with whole milk will take a lot of practice. 

On the other hand, fat-free and skim milk produces the largest foam bubbles and is a popular choice for coffee makers of all levels. Nevertheless, because there is no fat in the milk, the foam is lighter and airier than the whole milk’s creamy and indulgent form. Therefore, it will not taste as rich and firm as whole milk.  

Two percent milk (half-milk) froths well and has a creamier taste than skim milk. Other types of milk, such as lactose-free or soy milk, are perhaps the most challenging to froth.

Is It Possible To Add Latte Art To Other Drinks?

Latte art is a form of decoration and therefore, it can be performed on any type of drink as long as the beverage includes steamed milk or milk foam. The most popular uses of latte art other than coffee are matcha lattes and hot chocolate.

You can find latte art on iced lattes, iced cappuccinos, or cold brew coffee. The difference here is that instead of using hot milk froth, you need to use cold milk froth which is made by frothing cold milk for these iced drinks. 

Conclusion

So, can you make latte art with regular coffee? Yes, you can. However, there is a reason behind espresso being the first thing that pops up in people’s minds whenever they do latte art.

Related articles:

Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley. And then, I finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). ugvermont.com is a website that I dedicate my whole heart to sharing all knowledge related to coffee. Read more