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Café les Entretiens

Café les Entretiens – and all that jazz

The 411

cafe-les-entretiens-exterior-smallLaurier street is an amazing street, with small shops, local bakeries, and great little restaurants. I often find myself going here and a few weeks ago was no exception when I was having brunch at Byblos with some friends. After which I went around walking on Laurier and saw some interesting brunch places that looked quite tasty. One spot in particular caught my eye and ear; and that was Café les Entretiens it had an amazing interior with tall ceilings and had a piano inside and jazz music pouring out.




The following is an explanation of coffee art, including both how to instructions and some video examples.


  1. Pour enough milk for one cup into the steam pitcher. Put the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher. Turn on the steam, and slowly raise the wand until it is near the top of the milk. Lower the pitcher as the milk rises so the steam wand stays 1 cm away from the top of the milk. The milk should not stretch too much nor should there be any big bubbles. Create a smooth, velvety milk as opposed the foam that sits atop most espresso drinks.
  2. Allow the milk to reach 80 ºF (27 ºC), then place the steam wand on the side of the pitcher, deep into the milk, positioning the pitcher to spin counterclockwise. Keep doing this motion until the milk heats to 150 ºF to 160 ºF (65 ºC – 70 ºC). Shut the steam and remove the steam wand and thermometer from the milk. Clean the steam wand with a wet cloth.
  3. Vigorously swirl the milk. If you see any bubbles, pound the pitcher on the counter several times and go back to swirling the milk for 20 to 30 seconds. Do this even while the espresso is pouring.
  4. Start pouring the milk into the espresso. To create a flower pattern, pour the milk into the bottom part of the cup, about an inch (2 cm – 3 cm) away from the bottom. Once the cup is about half filled, shake the pitcher back and forth while slowly moving it backwards. The flower design will move forward, filling the cup. Do this with a shaking motion originating at the wrist instead of moving your hand back and forth.
  5. Once the foam reaches the top, pour the milk up the center of the pattern you created. Use a minimal amount of milk to avoid sinking the flower pattern.
  6. Embellish the design using stencils, powder, and milk foam. This step is optional, as many prefer to limit their latte art to “free form” methods, but you may want to experiment with the possibilities added by “etching.”
  7. To write a word, such as “love” in the picture, melt milk chocolate and using a pin as a paintbrush drag the melting chocolate over the foamed milk. More commonly this is done by dipping said pointy object into the crema of the drink being decorated, and then transfering that crema stained foam to the pure white foam to ‘draw’ a design,


  • If you want to pour a heart pattern, shake as before without moving backwards as much. Form a ringed circle then slowly pour milk through the center to make a multi-layered heart.
  • The espresso must be perfect.
  • You must use an espresso machine with a proper brew head and boiler and enough steam power to properly froth the milk. These machines can cost at least $500.
  • Before trying this with milk, try it first with water. While water doesn’t have the same consistency as milk, practicing with water will allow you to get familiar with pouring and shaking at the same time.
  • Use fresh milk for every cup, even if you have milk left over from the previous cup.
  • Start with very cold milk — keep the temperature right above freezing. Also, make sure you keep the steam pitchers refrigerated. Cold milk and steam pitchers will give you more time to create the smooth and velvety texture needed for latte art.
  • Use a cup with a wide mouth. It will allow you to see the developing latte art design more easily.
  • Instead of using a thermometer, you can keep two fingers at the bottom of the pitcher. When you can’t hold your fingers there without burning them, its usually between 120 and 125 degrees.


  • Do not let the milk heat to over 160 ºF (70 ºC), as this will limit the sweetness of the milk.
  • Don’t burn yourself.

Things You’ll Need

  • Whole milk
  • Espresso
  • Straight walled steam pitcher with a sharp spout
  • Espresso machine with a powerful steam wand
  • 14 ounce (400 ml) latte cup
  • Thermometer


Making Coffee Art from rinaz on Vimeo.

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