Think of free pour art as the more technical of the two methods for creating art in your cup. It involves the pouring of milk straight from a jug into a cup of espresso. While the milk is flowing into the cup a combination of wrist and hand movements are used to bend and shape the way the milk flows into the coffee. As a result creative patterns start to form like the ones below:
Free pour latte art requires hand dexterity, practice and patience to learn. Practice is the key word here as it takes hundreds of coffees to master. But when it’s done right latte art can make the average coffee taste amazing. The two basic form of free pour art are the Heart and the Rosetta, most advanced technique such as the Swan and Wave Tulip build upon these fundamentals.
If free pour art requires technical skills, etching requires true artistic talent. Etching is the practice of literally drawing on a coffee with a thin rod, such as a toothpick, in order to create images in the coffee. Baristas skilled in etching can create anything from faces, portraits to anime characters.