BCB Drops - is there a sustainable way of practicing latte art?
How can I improve my latte art? This is a very commonly asked question not just under professional Baristas but especially for home baristas that finally want to catch up on the fancy designs they see in countless youtube tutorials.
But how can we actually practice without using tonnes of milk and espresso as both of those components are not cheap and should be treated with respect and enjoyed responsibly as their production is far away from being sustainable or even carbon neutral.
A single latte has a carbon footprint of about half a kilo of emission and isn’t worth flushing down the drain just to practice.
But there are some sustainable tricks to learn and to train like dishwashing soap, charcoal powder, soy sauce or latte art drops.
Training the basics with dishwashing liquid
Yes, it is the oldest trick in the book. If you are a beginner and want to get the hang of how to hold your milk pitcher, how far you have to insert the steam wand and how hot your liquid should be steamed then a single drop of dishwashing liquid in a pitcher, filled with cold water, does the trick.
Fill the pitcher half full with cold water, add one drop of concentrated soap and place the liquid in the tip of the steam wand. The mixture will behave very similarly to milk and produce a microfoam if you move the pitcher slowly down until the right temperature is reached. You can explore how the liquid behaves when you move faster or slower, how long it takes to heat up, how to swirl and spin the liquid and if your foam is very good you can even use it instead of milk.
Using espresso substitutes
Active charcoal is a powder that has many benefits. It can be used to balance the digestive system, as skin care or mixed with toothpaste it will even give you whiter teeth… so they say.
What is great is that charcoal is pitch black and can be mixed with water to be used as an espresso substitute. It creates great contrast and is very cost efficient. 100gr is around 10€ and lasts quite a long time but you have to mix it and the powder is very fine so you should definitely avoid spilling it.
Another old trick is to use dark soy sauce instead of espresso. With around 5€ per liter a cheap option that can not just spice your food but creates great contrast for your latte art training.
Remember to use as much liquid as you would use with a regular espresso, so per cappuccino it is about 20 gr or 25 ml of substitute solution.
Advanced latte art drops
There is a new tool on the market that helps you produce a drink that looks exactly like milk, but please don’t drink it!
The BCB-Latte Art Drops are the perfect milk substitute to train your professional latte art and they are even used by latte art champions! The small glass flask comes with 30ml and can substitute 20 l of milk! That means 200 training cappuccinos!
You can also get a refill pack with 150ml and that equals 100 l of milk, so 1000 cappuccinos!
The drops are mixed with cold water and just like the dishwashing liquid it creates a milk like foam but compared to the dishwashing trick, the foam holds longer and pours exactly like milk whilst soap quickly separates and can’t really be used for fine and detailed latte art training.
Rosetta or even difficult slow pour techniques are easy to achieve and there is no waste of food involved!
This can absolutely revolutionize training, the way we teach latte art and the opportunities we have for practicing latte art at home. Latte art events can finally be sustainable and fun, reducing food waste. We could also reduce staff training costs by up to 80 % and increase the success rate of training baristas as they have more opportunities to test their skills.
I really wanted to feature this product although I am not getting paid for this as I think modern and sustainable approaches to our industry are incredibly important and ideas and products like this will change the world and the way we treat food and beverages. With skill and respect.