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Mastering Latte Art: The Stop and Drop Technique

Whether you're a seasoned barista in a bustling café or a coffee enthusiast perfecting your craft at home, there's something undeniably satisfying about pouring a beautifully crafted latte. As someone (Jimmy Evans) who has been immersed in the world of coffee for years, both as a practitioner and a trainer, I've come to realize that mastering latte art hinges on one crucial step: the stop and drop technique.

In this guide, I'll delve into the intricacies of this technique, breaking down its importance and providing practical tips for honing your skills.

Jump Straight into my video.

Understanding the Stop and Drop Technique

The stop and drop technique is all about mastering the timing and precision of pouring your latte art. It involves two key movements:

  1. The Stop: This refers to the moment when you pause after blending your coffee and milk, allowing the froth to settle. It's crucial to stop for a brief moment, typically 1 to 2 seconds, to ensure optimal texture and control over the froth.

  2. The Drop: Once you've paused, the drop is the decisive action of pouring your milk into the cup with conviction. This motion encourages any trapped froth at the bottom of the jug to flow out, creating the foundation for intricate latte art.

Why the Stop Matters

Stopping before pouring is essential for several reasons:

  • Control Over Froth: By pausing, you regain control over the froth's release, preventing it from spilling out haphazardly and disrupting your design.

  • Optimal Texture: Allowing the froth to settle ensures a consistent texture throughout your pour, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your latte art.

Mastering the Drop

Executing the drop with confidence is key to achieving stunning latte art:

  • Emphasize Conviction: When pouring, maintain a steady speed and add a slight toss or push to encourage the froth to exit the jug smoothly.

  • Stay Centered: Position the spout of the jug at the center of the cup to ensure an even distribution of milk and create symmetrical patterns.

Practice Makes Perfect

To master the stop and drop technique, practice is essential:

  1. Start with Water: Begin by practicing the motion with water to familiarize yourself with the movement without wasting any coffee.

  2. Transition to Milk: Once comfortable, move on to steaming milk and practice pouring over and over again to refine your technique.

  3. Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with different pouring speeds and techniques to find what works best for you.


Mastering latte art is a journey that requires patience, precision, and practice. By honing the stop and drop technique, you'll gain greater control over your pours and unlock endless possibilities for creativity. Whether you're pouring simple hearts or intricate tulips, mastering this foundational skill will elevate your latte art to new heights.

So, grab your pitcher, practice diligently, and prepare to dazzle with your newfound latte art prowess. And remember, the best latte art is always crafted with passion and care, using only the finest quality coffee beans.

Now, go forth and pour with confidence!

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