National Espresso Day: How To Make Latte Art

Because there isn't nearly enough to celebrate this month — we kid, we kid — we're just as excited for the start of the holiday season, Black Friday (and subsequent sales holidays), and National Espresso Day Nov. 23. 

We've already given you plenty of tips of how to order the best espresso drink (what exactly is a cortado, anyway?) and The Daily Meal's Ali Rosen and the good people at Joe Coffee have taught us how to make a killer espresso and latte. But what no one knows is how to make great latte art. 

While we can't promise you that it will turn out like this President Obama and Mitt Romney latte art, we can assure you that it's a lot easier than you think. Our friends at KRUPS share with The Daily Meal easy steps for making latte art. (And you can enter for a chance to win a KRUPS espresso maker today!)

Step 1: Pour enough cold milk for one cup into a steaming pitcher. Steam milk with the wand deep in the pitcher, then stir, directing the milk in a counterclockwise fashion until the liquid heats to 150 degrees.

Step 2: Allow the milk to sit while you add one or two shots of freshly brewed espresso to a coffee mug — one with curved sides will work better than a squared-off glass.

Step 3: Swirl the milk vigorously. If you see any bubbles, tap the pitcher on the counter several times and go back to swirling the milk for 20 to 30 seconds.

Step 4: Slowly start pouring the milk into the espresso, first in a circular pattern around the edge of the cup, slowly moving toward the center as the foam rises.

To create a leaf pattern: When your cup reaches half-full, the foam will start to rise. Move your pitcher backward as you pour while moving it from side to side using the motion of your hand to create a leaf pattern in the top of your latte. When you reach the end of the cup, pour a stream of milk right through the middle of your leaf pattern. Just be careful to use a small amount of milk so the design is not affected!

To create a heart pattern: Shake your hand as you would in making leaf. However, instead of moving backward, keep your hand in the same general area, focusing on making a ringed circle.

Step 5: Enjoy!