Latte Art

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The Latte Art Lexicon

LA 5.08 – Recap & Glossary


  • The value of latte art must be balanced between meeting expectations of efficiency and producing a spectacular visual effect. It is important for baristas to be aware of the time required to create each design.

  • Simple troubleshooting can help you avoid five common latte art blunders and improve the contrast and harmony of your designs.

  • Hygiene management on the bar is critical. Health and safety inspectors enforce a range of expectations for commercial environments that use fresh dairy products. Check valves on espresso machines can’t be relied upon to prevent milk residue from being pulled up into the boiler after machines have depressurised. Steam wands should be routinely purged before and after steaming to clear the lines.

  • In a competition or smackdown-style event, baristas often have shaky hands caused by nervous tension. Tactical breathing can help you perform at your best.

  • The development of incredible latte art designs has exponentially increased since Instagram’s release in 2010. It goes without saying, but if you didn’t post it, did you even pour it?



Eddy imbalance  A latte art fault that produces an asymmetric effect, particularly in rosettes and tulips; it results from a pitcher position that deviates from the north–south axis.

Fight-or-flight  A response of the body to a situation of stress, where an excess of adrenaline provokes symptoms such as an increased heart rate and shaky hands

Inventory  A complete list of goods held in stock that form part of a company’s assets

Latte Art Lexicon  This is the Barista Hustle terminology (and accompanying iconography) for describing the eight major milk pitcher manoeuvres that are the foundation of most latte art designs.

Milk-splitting  The process of dividing milk between two or more drinks in a way that distributes the air fraction of the milk equally

Mushrooming  A latte art fault wherein a large faded arc of milk forms at the base of a pattern;