Step it up a notch with a little latte art that'll impress your friends or your spouse when you bring them that morning cup. It's easier than you think and the result will look just as good as it tastes.
Admittedly, this trick will work better if you have really well steamed milk instead of milk that's simply frothed with a hand-held frother, but it's better than nothing and even the folks at Serious Eats admit that this is art, not science. Once you have your coffee prepped and your milk all frothy and ready to go, the slideshow at the link below will walk you through the rest of the process, complete with photos.
For example, they point out how important it is to "groom" the milk by swirling it around before you start pouring, and then how to pour the milk from the beginning so you get a solid foundation of milk beneath the crema.
Once you start pouring though, it's all downhill from there. Pour about a third of the cup full, then bring the pitcher of milk down to the cup's edge, pour a little faster and start moving the cup side to side to create your "leaves". Pull the pitcher backward away from the cup to form the design, and just before the cup is completely full, bring the pitcher back to the centre, lift it up, and draw your final "stem" line of milk across the leaves.
It sounds complicated, but with the photos to guide you, it should be a little easier. it definitely takes some practice, but if you're making lattes anyway, give it a shot. Too much hassle for a cup of coffee, or are you willing to give it a try? Share your thoughts -- and pictures, if you try it -- in the comments below.
Latte Art: How to Draw a Rosetta on Your Coffee [Serious Eats]