Latte Art: How to Draw a Rosetta on Your Coffee

Pour Through

To turn the waves into petals, lift the pitcher off the side of the cup and back up on your pour a little, while moving the milk stream forward, toward your thumb and the wider "leaves."

This pierces the milk foam and sinks the center line below the coffee, making a stem for the rosetta—not unlike dragging a knife through chocolate and vanilla cake batter to create a marble effect.

Alice Gao

Like everything else coffee-related, mastering latte art ain't easy. (Thank heavens for that, because if it were I'd be out of a job.) With a little understanding of liquid physics and a whole lot of practice, however, just about anybody can pour some basic shapes into their morning latte.

Don't worry: It's not too much physics, I promise. Here's a little primer to get you started.

Remember that while we're aiming for beautiful designs, looks aren't everything. (At least I've been telling myself that for years.) The most important thing when making any sort of coffee is to ensure you have the best possible ingredients, prepared properly. That means fresh, well-extracted espresso, and smooth, silky microfoam on your steamed milk. (Looking for tips on how to steam milk? Check out this post.)

With those two things in hand, you're ready to start pouring, Picasso. Check out the slideshow for step-by-step tips.