Although coffee provides rich aroma and deep flavor, a latte or cappuccino satisfies even more with an intriguing design made in the frothy milk. Professional baristas create elaborate creations by pouring and etching designs ranging from leaf shapes, called rosettas, to lion heads, portraits of famous people and in one case, the Manhattan skyline. While it might take years to perfect championship poured latte designs and elaborate chocolate etched outlines, simple hearts are well within the purview of home baristas.
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- Steamed milk
Pour hot milk and foam into a pitcher and give it a solid bang on a counter to remove large bubbles from the liquid. Swirl the pitcher gently a few times to incorporate the foam into the milk.
Place the lip of the pitcher against the side of a coffee cup held at a slight tilt with your other hand. As you slowly pour the milk into the center of the cup, move the pitcher back and forth with a rocking motion.
Move the pitcher into an upright position while pouring after a circle of milk has formed in the cup, and then let the cup rest on the counter as you continue pouring the milk. The new stream of milk poured into the center of the circle pulls one side of the circle into the center, forming the top of the heart design.
Direct the milk stream slowly to the other side of the circle to finish creating the heart shape. Switch to this position right before the cup is full.