We’ve been open for a week and a half and one of the main things we hear is:

“How did you do that design on my drink?”

This my friends is Latte Art.

Sure you want to know how we pour art, but the better question should be::

“Why did you make that design in my drink?”

And the EVEN BETTER question should be:

“Can you make that design look like Batman?”

So here is the how::

Latte art is the process of using perfectly textured milked to pour a desired design into espresso.

When the milk is textured properly it will produce something called “microfoam.” Meaning that the steamed milk will the creamy consistency of melted ice cream.


Once that is the case, then the barista uses a steady pour to break up the dark espresso and urge a design into the crema of the espresso extraction.


Here is a video of one of our baristas pouring a practice design. 

Most common designs::





Obviously these drinks look amazing.  But the beauty of these latte’s also serves as an indicator for how good the drink will taste.

Here is why::

If the shot of espresso is extracted improperly, if the milk isn’t textured correctly, and if the timing is off on the drink… then the design cannot be poured.  And when those factors are off, the drink will also not taste right.

So when you see a rosetta on your mocha, you can know that you are about to drink an amazing drink. It has perfect milk, a great extraction of espresso, and you can know that you are in the hands of a professional.

Competing on the streets of San Diego

Portola had the chance to sent our very own barista, Alex, down to San Diego for a latte art competition.

We’ve barely been open and within the first week, and we have already have had a barista place in the top 8 out of 50 competitors in a nationally recognized barista competition.  To say we are proud is an understatement.

To get all the details from the event, check out our Portola Tumblr Page, made specifically for updates on our Baristas.

a sample of the art that was poured in San Diego

We are proud of our staff.

::To stalk our amazing baristas, and to keep up to date with the efforts of the Portola Coffee Lab make sure to subscribe to our email list & follow Portola on TumblrTwitter or Facebook::