Previously we discussed the parameters of good latte art, but today we will be going over the importance of choosing the right milk pitcher/s to help you achieve those parameters.
The ideal pitcher for steaming milk has a section around the bottom of the pitcher that is not tapered, followed by a slight tapering the rest of the way up the pitcher. This tapered shape towards the top helps to avoid milk spillage during the steaming process.
Another thing we look for in a milk pitcher is perfect alignment of the handle and tip. Looking down at the top of the pitcher, imagine a cross over the top, the spout tip and the handle should be perfectly aligned. This alignment gives the barista better control of the pattern they are trying to create.
Speaking of spout tips, there are many different shapes. There are sharply pointed spouts, curved spouts, longer and shorter spouts, wider and more narrow spouts… as you get more confident in your latte art skills you will find that some of these are difficult to do anything with, whereas others are more suited to a specific type of pattern or drag within latte art. Knowing which spout tip is best for you is something you will only learn through experience.
Once you’ve found the right pitcher/s, you’ll need to consider what size beverage you will be making.
It’s important to always use the appropriately sized pitcher for the beverage you are preparing. When a pitcher is less than half full you will find that the steam becomes much harder to control, leaving you with a bubbly mess instead of a smooth glossy finish. If you are making a 5 oz cappuccino in a 600ml pitcher you will either end up with badly steamed milk or far too much wastage.