Win a Year of Free Coffee
A new winner picked every week

What is the History of Latte Art?

Latte art is a growing trend but few understand how it started. Learn where latte art originated and the name behind latte art techniques.

Why do we love latte art so much? Well, there are few things as mesmerizing as watching a true latte artist at work, even if it does make us feel pretty bad about our own feeble attempts.


While we know latte art clearly seemed to blow up over night being featured on hundreds of Instagram accounts, where did it originate from? Latte art is often presumed to have initially developed in Italy but in actuality began independently in various countries.


As far as the U.S. is concerned, the art was popularized in Seattle during the 80’s and 90’s by a man named David Schomer. He is also responsible for developing the rosette pattern in 1992 based on a photo he had seen. The heart pattern became a signature design at Schomer’s Espresso Vivace by 1989.


What is Latte Art?

Latte art is created by a mixture of crema and microfoam. Crema is an emulsion of coffee oil and brewed coffee, whereas microfoam is frothed milk. Both the crema and microfoam have to be a certain temperature and consistency in order to create distinct patterns. There are two pretty common techniques used, which are called free pouring and etching.

Free Pouring

latte pour

Free pouring is used to describe a technique where the barista moves the pitcher while pouring the milk to create an image.


latte art etch

Etching is where you use a tool or stick to pull the crema and foam forming an image after the milk has been poured.

If you love creative latte art as much as we do, be sure to check out our latte art Pinterest board filled with latte art inspiration, videos, and how to’s. We suggest trying it out yourself and pouring a beautiful heart in your Valentine’s latte this weekend for a special touch <3

Loving Latte Art,

Team Bean Box

Get handpicked artisan coffee delivered fresh to your home with a Coffee Subscription
or our Coffee of the Month Club. And look no further for the perfect gifts for coffee lovers.

Other Posts You Might Like

Top Shelf Coffee: Zoka's Costa Rican Cup of Excellence Winner

Order our latest Costa Rican coffee addition to the Top Shelf Club

Molly's Blend - A Class Seattle Coffee Blend

Molly's Blend - A Legendary Seattle Roast

Molly's Blend is known as the "chocolate truffle" around town.

Columbian Coffee from Las Margaritas

Colombia Las Margaritas

Roasted by True North's Maine Hofius, one of Seattle's few independent women roasters, this coffee brews up a cup of cherry pie.

Nicaragua Finca La Bendicion Coffee

Coffee with hints of boozy fudge, peanut, and strawberry jam

Review of Nicaragua Finca La Bendicion by Conduit Coffee Roasters