There are eight manoeuvres in the Latte Art Lexicon, but two of these are fundamental and should be mastered before attempting the other six.
Learning the Fundamental Manoeuvres ‘Placing’ and ‘Cutting’
This technique is the only element required in the monk’s head pattern (see Lesson 5.4). It also forms the base of the heart (see Lesson 5.5). The principle challenge in the placing manoeuvre is beginning the pour from less than 1 cm from the surface, right from the start of the process.
Doing this usually requires a steep tilt of the cup towards the spout of the pitcher. The shape that is created by the placing looks just like a heart but without the tail. When you use this technique with a slow flow rate, you form a very small, incomplete heart. If you pour with a high flow rate, you can make a shape so big it fills the entire cup.
Video of Placing
Cutting is a manoeuvre you achieve by pouring from farther away from the surface. A bit like the pin-drop, it requires you to raise the spout of your pitcher to a height of around 10 cm over the surface of your drink. The cutting manoeuvre is what creates the tail on a heart design, as you can see in the video below.
Video of the Cutting Manoeuvre