Admittedly, I simply didn't have a video or enough detailed pictures to give a good demonstrative skills How-To Tuesday. So for this week, it's just an informational how-to.
How does a barista get good at latte art? (And for the record, I'd say that I'm okay at latte art, but not a consistent latte art rock star.) In short: PRACTICE. But if you want a step-by-step, here it is...
1. Become a barista. Yeah, you could probably develop mad latte art skills with a home espresso machine, but it'd take years at the rate of one cappuccino a morning. But if you happen to be a barista, don't just make tons of drinks for latte art practice and dump them wastefully (yes, I've been guilty of doing it more than I'd like to admit).
2. Practice. I know I already said this, but for real - pour drink after drink after drink, taking note of what works and what doesn't. The best latte artists on the planet have poured thousands of milk-based espresso drinks. How many have I personally poured? Well, let's say about 4 solid years of barista-ing, with maybe 250 days working a year (cut it to 200 to be safe for estimating) and maybe 25 milk-based drinks a day on average... we're looking at maybe 20,000 chances I've gotten to nail or bomb a pour.
3. Watch videos online. The beauty of watching videos is the chance to replay a clip multiple times and pay attention to various aspects of a pour: the barista's hands, the pitcher, the cup, the speed, the angles, etc. I remember learning specifically how to do a tulip by watching videos of Greek latte art champion Perry Karavas over and over. Of course, you can check out my own small collection of latte art videos.
4. Ask questions. Other baristas would love to help you out. There are latte art forums online, and you could definitely submit a question in any of the comment sections on Double Rosetta and I'd be happy to explain how I personally do stuff.
5. (Pay for training/workshops). I put this one in parentheses because I haven't actually paid for any latte art training, but I guess that it could possibly be beneficial. Do a quick Google search and you can find that people charge anywhere from $100-$500 to make you a latte art expert in just a couple hours.