Articles, Blog

I Tried Making Latte Art For The First Time | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29

January 18, 2020

China Yunnan pour over on the bar. I’m Lucie Fink, I’m a video producer at Refinery29, but every so often I like to try other people’s jobs. Today, I’m at the La Colombe Hudson Square location in New York City. And I’m gonna see if I have what it takes to be a barista. This is Lucie for Hire. My name’s Josey and I’m the director of education and culture for La Colombe Coffee Roasters. The most challenging part of this job is probably maintaining a high standard and keeping things consistent while performing in very high volumes. I think Lucie’s got a lot of experience in a lot of different industries and I figure that she’ll pick up on this fairly quickly. Let’s see what we can do. Your first challenge is coffee school. So if I was just a trainee that came in here and you just went learn, how can I digest this in 10 minutes? I can’t? No, no, no. Point me to the important pages. See this? Mind your grind. Mind your grind. I am a little bit nervous because I’m handed this manual and it’s written by Josey. I’m trying to cram all this information into my brain, but it’s a lot to take in. So what’s the proper ratio of coffee to water if we’re gonna prepare a pour over? 16 grams of coffee… to 32 grams of water. Oh, no. A 1 to 16 ratio. 1 gram of coffee to 16 grams of water. And as it turned out, I learned nothing. Am I even ready for the next step here? Can anyone really be? Okay. But you got to take a leap sometime, right? Right. Should we just do the pour over and we’ll see how I do on that? Sure. Okay. This is a single origin, Guatemala from La Hermosa. It’s gonna be delightful. So we have 25 grams of coffee. 25. Oh, that’s beautiful. Yeah. Times 16… Now, that’ll tell us how much water we need in relation to our dose, right? 400 grams. The brain on Lucie, 400 Gs. It’s time to set the timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and let it brew. So we’re going to start pouring slowly in little circles, right? And then once we have our slurry I’m just going to pour kind of harder in the middle. And then all this time I’m looking at my numbers down here because I want to stop at 400 remember? And then we pull it….ooh, so dangerously close. Oh my god. Three, two, one. All right, all right. So now that our timer has gone off, we grab this and we do a little wiggle. And then we’re just going to set this on here. Woah. Then it was my turn to do it myself. Pour them into the wet filter. 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Starts… Now. And now pour a little harder, but right in the middle. So you want to tilt harder… nice. I feel like I’m getting the technique. My hand is swirling in a circle, I’m wetting all the grounds. It’s trickling, it’s trickling. And the best part of all of this is that after we have a cup of coffee, Josey and I taste the coffee. And there’s a special technique for tasting the coffees. He basically said, you want the coffee to just spray all over your mouth. This is a great cup of coffee. Yeah I’m into it. I would say you may have bested this challenge. Thank you so much. Yeah. The second challenge will be dialing in espresso. Our recipe for this is going to be 16 grams of coffee, approximately turned into 32 milliliters of espresso in a matter of 20 to 22 seconds. First, he bangs out the portafilter from the previous brew. Then he takes a rag, rinses it out. It has to be very clean before he places it beneath the actual espresso machine to let the grounds trickle in. That machine is programmed to let out a specific number of grams of ground. As soon as that’s in there, he just taps it gently to even it out and then he places it down on the rubber pad and takes the tamp and pushes it down. But there is a lot of wrist action that you have to be careful of here. He goes back to the espresso machine, he presses the on button just to sort of clean it out, and then he snaps the porta filter onto the machine. And as soon as it’s on, he just presses go. We take the espresso out and we taste it. And it is rich. Fruity. It’s almost like coffee comes from a fruit or something. It’s almost like it does. Then, I’m up. I take it out from the grinder and then I tap it out to make it even. And then my first tamp is completely uneven. Yeah, it’s totally uneven. Let’s do it again. I tamp it, we look at it, and then I go over to the espresso machine. I snap it in and press go. Oh, my gosh, I’m totally missing the cup. Oh, no! And the espresso is just pouring out of the wrong hole, missing the cup completely. Yeah, you want to really get it up in there. Oh my gosh. Third time’s the charm. I do the whole thing one more time and I’m pretty proud of it. Tasted very rich and dark and creamy, and Josey seemed to like it too. Wow. Deep. Deep, right? Rich? Yes. But I did a good job? You did a great job. My first expresso that wasn’t from an espresso machine. You did a fantastic job. The third challenge will be steaming and pouring milk. There’s only really one way in which to get good at steaming milk, and that’s by doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it… And doing it. Yep, yep, yep. Got it. Like, for a long time. Alright, so we fill the pitcher up about to the bottom of the lip. First we’ll clear it out. We’ll put it at a 45 degree angle, okay? Uh-huh. We’re gonna tilt the pitcher so that the tip’s kind of just sneaking out, right? And then we’ll crank it up. You hear that sound? We want to hear that for a couple of seconds before you fully emerge the wand just to heat the milk. And then… Ah! Are you okay? It’s a milk fountain. This is properly steamed milk. Latte art. Everybody wants to do latte art, right? But you gotta start somewhere. Come down into the drink and then cut through it. And then you’ve got a little heart. That looks really easy enough. Right? But it’s not. Right to the lip. Right to the lip. Now these shots are going to be done before you’re done steaming and we’re okay with that. Now you want to tilt the pitcher so you see the tip peek out just a little and then you wanna crank it up. Now, you want to hear that sound for a couple of seconds. Before fully submerging it. Now feel how hot it is. Nice. You want to keep your flow rate the same the whole time, okay? Okay. Now tilt the cup, but come down in. Now tilt the cup more. Now go through. Oh my god almighty. There’s my first latte. It’s dadaism. It’s an abstract piece. Really screams my name. Sweet and frothy. The final challenge is serve someone a drink. You look good. I think I’m ready to go into the wild. I think so too. Let’s try it out. See ya at the bar. Follow me. Okay. And now I am about to go out onto the floor to work behind the bar. I’m a little nervous. I’m going to do my best and I will see you behind the bar. We’re making someone’s drink! Beautiful. Alright, let it go one minute. Place it. Nice. Nice. Alright, we got to hustle, Lucie, hustle. We’re getting in the weeds. We are. Oat Cap. Alright, keep some shots coming. We’re going to work together. Almond Latte. Double espresso. You’re killing it Lucie. Killing it. Latte time. A cortado to stay and what to go? Pouring and serving. Pour harder, get down into the cup, tilt the cup, pour harder, tilt the cup, pick up and go through. Oh, that’s nice. It’s a seedling. Latte. Thank you so much. Enjoy. Alright alright. Thanks for being the best teacher. Thanks for being the best student. I will be back and I’ll be behind the bar. I can’t wait. Bring that effervescence. Was I hired? Six more weeks of training? Yeah, six more weeks of training. Okay, see you there. Hey, YouTube! Thanks for watching this episode of Lucie for Hire. Click right here to watch another video on
Refinery29’s channel, right here to subscribe to us on YouTube, and here for my personal YouTube channel. See you next time! I spilled.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Hana X January 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    First time bcme frst ^_^

  • Reply Mia McKenzie January 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    ‪Fans are rallying to save Netflix Original Series, #AnnewithanE (A PHENOMENAL award-winning period drama) after its cancellation due to a split between Netflix & Canadian Broadcast company, CBC which co-produced the show. ‬

    Based on the classic Anne of Green Gables novels, Anne With An E chronicles the life of Anne Shirley-Cuthbert. Series Creator & Emmy Award Winner, Moira Walley-Beckett has created a near perfect balance of keeping the essence of the original characters while simultaneously making the series all-inclusive (PoC, LGBTQ, Cultures, etc.) & beautifully narrates topics that are still prominent in today’s society such as equality, feminism, sexuality, freedom of speech, cultural acceptance, and much more!

    ‪Deprived of a natural end, Moira‬ Walley-Beckett‪, wants at least two more seasons to properly conclude the stunning tale. ‬

    ‪In just over two month’s time, a petition protesting the cancellation has garnered over 125k signatures and hashtags including #RenewAnneWithAnE have gathered over 15M tweets. The campaign is quickly catching the attention of a number of verified Twitter accounts, including celebrities such as ‬𝗥𝘆𝗮𝗻 𝗥𝗲𝘆𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗱𝘀 & Sam Smith‪, who has publically demanded the series’s renewal. ‬


    ‪ ‬#𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗔𝗻𝗘‪ #𝗥𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘄𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗔𝗻𝗘‬
    ‪𝘌𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 15𝘔+ 𝘛𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘴 ‬

    ‪𝗜𝗚 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗟𝗘𝗥 1.5𝘔+ 𝘝𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘴‬

    ‪… ‬

    ‪𝗜𝗚 𝗣𝗢𝗦𝗧 600𝘒+ 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘴‬


    ‪𝗣𝗘𝗧𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 125k‬+ 𝘚𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴

  • Reply Heather_willow :0 January 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Yeet what even is this video like I clicked so fast I didn’t read the title 😂

  • Reply Oh It's Love Pathways January 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Who else loves refinery29?!

    btw, I would love feedback on the new vidd I just did about saving earth. Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply Chicken Nugget January 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Who loves Lucie 👇

  • Reply Cory meh January 17, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    "I tried working a commoner job for a day"

  • Reply Refinery29 January 17, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Have you ever worked as a barista before? Share your experiences with us below!

  • Reply Charlotte Murray January 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    One day, i wanna work at starbucks

  • Reply Brooke Arden January 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    La Colombe is the BEST

  • Reply Priya B January 17, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    "400 grams" damn Lucie that was fast!

  • Reply Teresiah Wangari January 17, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Lucie has the best career. I am slightly jealous.

  • Reply Danielle T January 17, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    La Colombe draft lattes are my favorite, ugh yum ❤️❤️

  • Reply Bianca a January 17, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Her eyes are so big

  • Reply Tina W January 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    This series has a lot of potential.

  • Reply Tina W January 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    How much coffee did Lucie drink? Shes wired af!

  • Reply Cathii L January 17, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Can we buy the guide book at the beginning of the video?

  • Reply Jamie Rocke January 17, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Most impressive part of this video? Lucy's fast math. #Expresso (Sorry couldn't help myself)

  • Reply bailey bee January 17, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Your title was something different earlier! Did you change it because of Bon Appetit’s latte art video? 😉

  • Reply Lois Lim January 17, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Im triggered by how she treated the book.. be gentle girl

  • Reply Sydney Heller January 18, 2020 at 2:22 am

    I originally read the title as “I tried a little fart for the first time” lol

  • Reply kvl. Idk January 18, 2020 at 3:34 am

    I have to say coffee is very special and weird in its own way. I never knew this until now.😂

  • Reply Lucie Fink January 18, 2020 at 4:11 am

    HAD SO MUCH FUN FILMING THIS! Thanks for watching everyone 🥰🥰🥰

  • Reply Skylar S January 18, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Why did his voice sound like a southern hip Bob Ross? Anyone else found his voice soothing yet cool?

  • Reply sid nee January 18, 2020 at 6:31 am


  • Reply yellowflower8 January 18, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Can someone tell me what is Josey's accent? It sounds so interesting and beautiful to me

  • Reply Sel Sel January 18, 2020 at 2:12 pm

  • Reply mogote coyote January 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Latte art is difficult AF

  • Leave a Reply