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The Art of Making Coffee

There are two main types of latte art: free pouring (pattern created during the pour) and etching (using a tool to create a pattern after the pour). Free pouring is far more common and requires little additional time in preparing a drink. For free pouring the barista then moves the pitcher from side to side as they level the cup, or simply wiggle the spout back and forth, and finishes by making a quick strike through the previously poured pattern. Etched patterns range from simple geometric shapes to complicated drawings, such as crosshatching, images of animals and flowers, and are generally performed with a coffee stirrer of some sort. Etched latte art typically has a shorter lifespan than free poured latte art as the foam dissolves into the latte more quickly.