Latte Art Indian Chief

The latte art indian chief, face or smiling man. Whatever you call it’s a sure thing to get smiles at your workplace. This latte art also incorporates a new technique that we haven’t looked at yet, ‘etching’.

Etching is the process of literally drawing on your coffee to make designs with a toothpick or other thin rods, such as the tip of a milk thermometer.


Difficulty: ★★★★★

Prior Knowledge Needed

Latte Art Process

(1) Begin by pouring a rosetta on one side of your cup. However, instead of running the milk through the middle of the rosetta waves like you normally would, pull the milk along side of the rosetta waves, just like when we learnt the swan design. This creates the hair of your Indian Chief.

(2) Next, stop the pour and rotate your cup 90 degrees to the side in which you created the hair of the Indian Chief.

(3) Now drop your jug low to the crema of the espresso beside the widest part of the hair and allow the milk to slowly pour out of the jug. This will start to create a ‘blob’ shape. Slowly start moving your jug down towards the bottom of the cup until you create an oval shape, or rather, the head of your Indian Chief. Stop the pour when the cup is full and you’re satisfied with the head shape. Don’t worry if it’s a bit wonky, we can fix this in step 5.

(4) Here is where we introduce the etching technique. Make sure to have a thin rod shape object such as a tooth pick or barista thermometer. The trick here is to dip your rod in the dark area of the crema to use as ‘paint’ which will contrast to the white of the milk. A good tip is when drawing your patterns instead of moving your rod in a straight motion parallel to the coffee, submerge it as you go. This ensures that you use all of the dark crema that is stuck to your rod when you dipped it into the coffee.

(5) Now we create the facial features of your Indian Chief. It is up to your discretion and creativity to make any facial expression you wish. However I find it’s best to start with the nose as it gives you a central point that defines the face. Also if the head of your Indian Chief is wonky you can fix this with your rod by running the rod around the circumference of the shape to make it more round.

(6) Once you are satisfied with the facial features of your pattern serve it up and watch the smiles and impressed smirks it brings.

About the Author Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 5+ years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills. Learn more about him here.

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