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Published on Jun 12, 2011
True that the best Latte Art is created using pro Espresso machine and Powerful Steam Wand. Many people also said that these are essential for creating the honey-like coffee and true micro-foam in the frothed milk.
However there are videos showing that with only manual milk frother you can also create decent foam for Latte Art. Here I try to get the coffee from a Bialette Moka Express and pour some pattern upon it. The color is much lighter but I guess that's due to the lighter coffee you get from such Moka Pots.
In the video I used a grinder from the dorm and Lavazza beans, however normal pre-ground coffee powder can achieve this. In fact if you slightly tamp the coffee (for a single-cup pot, don't tamp for bigger pots as they seem to produce higher preessure) you get a slightly darker color coffee. (of course you can also cheat using cocoa powder). Thing is, if you're making Latte like this, or even add caramel and vanilla syrups, the coffee underlying isn't that important as the milk and syrup would cover almost all the taste.
The milk frother is simply a supermarket frother (around 10€). The electronic frother (IKEA / Aerolatte) creates a much coarse and solid foam that is perfect for Latte Macchiato or Cappuccino, but the foam would be too solid and too light fro latte art. They'd float on top of the cup at the time you pour, no matter how you mix them or shake them (even with all visible bubbles gone and a silky look).
Finally, this process is more about the look than the taste (it did taste good for me). For a true latte don't get too obsessed in the looks :-)