Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Latté Art

The lattés are lovely at Stone Cup on Frazier Avenue. Robin Meadowcroft modestly cites advice from other barristas, YouTube and plenty of practice in the creation of such foamy art, but her effortless, fluid style makes it look easy. Follow along as she gives this tutorial.
No jet noise here. She dips the wand into whole milk and opens the steam valve just enough for the stretching phase. Small bubbles are the goal as the temperature rises to 145f, a value known by sight and touch. Next comes the swirling of the foam in preparation for pouring.

Gently introducing the foamed milk, she wobbles the pitcher back and forth. This action displaces the initial, rounded pool, which now embraces the resulting zigzag pattern. Still with us? There is one more step.

With a flourish, she reverses direction to finish the pattern symetrically. While most of this resulted from pouring, tipping the cup offers another dimension of control. Her sure touch is born of experience. Like getting to Carnegie Hall, the way lies in practice.

It is a performance to be savored, Stone Cup's Le Rêve espresso roast artfully wed to a silky milk foam. A bit sweet, yes, but it is underpinned by a dense, earthiness. ¡Tango!

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