How to decorate your lattes like in Japan’s Starbucks: making a cherry blossom tree
If you’re looking for a fun way to add a touch of spring to your lattes and steamers, why not try decorating your latte to look like a sakura tree?
This post will show you a really easy trick to make this impressive-looking sakura latte art.
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What is sakura latte art?
To title this post, I’m using the term ‘Sakura latte art’ for any kind of topping that imitates the blossoms of a sakura tree.
However, please note that proper latte art refers to the foam designs that baristas create using frothed milk (and very occasionally some dye).
Sakura is by the way the Japanese name for cherry blossom, and these pretty trees can be found all over Japan during the springtime.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the cherry blossom season in your lattes or desserts, this is the perfect tutorial for you!
How to make your latte look like a sakura tree
The cherry blossom decoration we’ll cover in this post is inspired by the unique sakura season’s topping from Starbucks Japan in 2022.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t try the original because I didn’t visit Japan during this time, so please take into consideration that I’m recreating this decoration only from pictures.
By the way, they change their sakura decoration every year!
The last time I visited Japan in Springtime (2019), they had this topping for sakura latte:
Anyway, back to 2022’s topping: this lovely latte art consisted on a tee trunk and branches made with some brown syrup and cherry blossoms made with grated pink chocolate, so it makes for a delicious addition to your latte.
And as it doesn’t requires special skills, so it’s very easy to recreate at home even if you are a latte art newbie like me!
Alternatives for this recipe
CHOCOLATE SYRUP – you can use a chocolate writing pen for more precision, but it’s also possible to pour chocolate sauce straight from the bottle (this makes for a oriental painting effect).
Aside from chocolate, you may use dates syrup or caramel. In the video below I am using date syrup.
PINK CHOCOLATE: if you don’t have chocolate with pink color like strawberry chocolate or ruby chocolate, you may dye white chocolate yourself with red food coloring.
Edible pink confetti may also work.
Starbucks uses two shades of pink; I only had one.
The process of decorating your latte to make it look like a cherry blossom tree is very simple:
Time needed: 7 minutes
How to make your latte look like a sakura tree
- Grate chocolate
Make the finest chocolate curls as possible by scraping with a knife, spoon or similar.
- Fill the cup
Pour your preferred drink up into your cup until it’s about 80% full (almost full but with some space for foam or whipped cream).
Then add milk froth or whipped cream until the brim.
- Make the tree
Paint a trunk and two branches with some chocolate syrup.
- Spread the sakura blossom
Take some chocolate curls with a spoon and sprinkle them above the trunk so it looks like a blooming cherry tree.
Tricks to make this latte art
- When using frothed milk, the foam collapses quite soon. Whipped cream holds the chocolate for longer (it just adds much more fat and calories) .
- The finer your chocolate shavings, the better: the foam will hold better and the chocolate will almost melt in your mouth when drinking your latte.
- I find it easier to shred it into fine pieces without making a mess when the chocolate was in the fridge before grating.
- Avoid touching the grated chocolate with your fingers so it remains fluffy.
- Japan Starbuck uses 2 different shades of pink chocolate for the sakura flower petals (just in case you have the option: it looks even more awesome).
Latte art that looks like a cherry blossom tree
- knife or spoon
- chocolate syrup or similar dark colored sauce like dates syrup or chocolate writing pen
- 10 Tbsp. milk froth Around 120 ml of milk
- 5 Gr. pink chocolate or ruby chocolate
- Grate the chocolate.
- Pour your desired beverage up to around 80% of the mug.Fill until the brim with milk froth or whipped cream.
- Make the trunk and branches with chocolate sauce by painting 1 line in the center and 2 that grow from the first one.
- Sprinkle the grated chocolate so they look like cherry blossoms.
- The milk froth colapses quite quickly after decorating: to get a more stable base, use whipped cream as alternative.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to decorate your drinks with a cherry blossom tree.
Sakura trees are a beautiful addition to any milk drink and they’rem easy to make.
Check here for more ideas in how to decorate your drinks.