Milk Science and Latte Art

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The Tulip and the Heart

MSLA 5.02 – Specifications Explained and The Monk’s Head

Specifications Explained

For each design moving forward, we will supply specifications on how full the cup needs to be, the height from which you should pour, and so on. We use the following terms to describe the specifications:

Canvas height: The point at which you should stop filling the cup and begin painting.

Tilt: The direction in which you should lean the cup; for basic designs you should tilt the cup so the liquid is drawn up to its northernmost rim, but for designs such as the double rosetta it’s necessary for you to the lean the cup to the northeast and northwest.

Painting height: At the beginning of the drawing phase, the distance you should maintain between the spout of the pitcher and the canvas.

Manoeuvres: In the previous chapter we described eight basic milk pitcher manoeuvres. We will list them in order of use for each design.

Look for icons taken from the chapter 4.5 advanced brush strokes at the base of each poster to give you an indication of what manoeuvres each design requires.

Entry point: The position on the canvas where you should position the first part of the design.

We are using the compass icon on each poster to illustrate where the spout of the jug needs to be at the halfway point where you begin to position the design on the canvas.


Flow rate: How fast you should be pouring when you begin to draw; this is the most important thing to get right to produce a clean design.

Flow profile: Each pattern will consist of its own unique profile, as determined by how much milk is debited from the pitcher per second. The profile will give you an idea of the relative efficiency of creating each pattern. This will be represented in graphic form like this example for the tulip.

The Monk’s Head

An Unbroken Ring of Crema

The monk’s head design is a well-suited starting point because it is the only single-element pattern in the Latte Art Lexicon.