Latte Art Tutorial - How to Pour a Swan
Swan definitely isn't the first latte art pattern for barista's to start their latte art career with. Swan requires a few different techniques used in other latte art patterns but once you nail those, the swan is pretty simple to pour. Here is my guide how to pour a latte art swan.
It's always a good idea to make sure that your espresso is tasting the perfect as it also has an effect on latte art pouring. Perfectly extracted espresso is velvety and smooth which makes it easier to the milk to mix well to the espresso. This is crucial for latte art! Check out these blogs if you want to know more about espresso;
Start by pouring from a bit higher to the middle of the cup. This way the milk will sink underneath the espresso and you will get better contrast to your latte art - sharp pattern and bright brown outsides. This start is called "brown cup" as you are trying to keep the cup brown.
The brown cup phase you might want to pour everywhere in the cup to keep the drink moving. This will break surface tension which lets the patterns to spread in the later sections. Keep in going with this until the cup is about 50% full.
Pouring the swan pattern
Once your cup is about 50% full, it's time to start pouring the swan. You might want to keep just a second pause in the pouring after the brown cup phase so that the surface of the drink "sets up" a bit - making it a bit firmer and that way the pattern won't spread uncontrollably. We are going to start the pouring with rosetta pattern and pour that to the middle of the cup. No need to go to the "other side" of the cup (in the picture below it would be left) as the rosetta will spread there as long as you pour with enough force and speed.
Once we have created the base for the swan, it's time to start backing up with your pitcher to create the wing of the swan.
Back up until you are almost at the edge of the cup. Now we will lift up the pitcher sightly and pour alongside the wing. You can also pour close to the surface of the drink and it will create a spine for the swan. I just like my swans without the spine so that's why I lift the pitcher.
Then it's time for the neck of the swan. Stop at the base of the rosetta and start backing up again with your pitcher really close to the surface; this is called the draw and it will basically just create a straight line which in this case will be the swan's neck.
Then the finish - you just need to pour a small heart to create the head of the swan. Stop the draw pouring and pour just a second to one stop to create a ball and then pour through it - heart!
And there we have it - a latte art swan! The swan pattern requires a lot of training and determination to master but it's definitely worth it as it will impress your customers. Test different styles of pouring and remember that you should never have a rush when pouring the swan, otherwise it will end up just being a mess.
Don't forget to film yourself when pouring the swan as you might need to see what you are doing during the pour.