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Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Making of a Latte

In the cool months of winter nothing says warm and cozy to me like a latte. Once upon a time the latte was something I treated myself to from a coffee shop but recently has become my go to favourite hot, frothy drink that I indulge in at home, generally once a day!  Making a latte at home is actually pretty simple and can be done without an espresso machine.

When my husband and I were on a trip to Italy a couple of years ago I got hooked on the cappuccino’s there. They are similar to lattes, I’ll explain.

A latte is a hot coffee drink that is made with espresso, steamed milk and  milk foam.

A cappuccino is similar to a latte except that is uses a higher volume of foamed milk to steamed milk.

A Cafe au lait  is generally made with warm steamed milk added to regular coffee (some coffee shops will use espresso) and this drink has no foam.

Creamy Latte Coffee Poster
Creamy Latte Coffee Poster
Coffee Mug with Fun Saying T-shirts
Coffee Mug T-shirts
Stacking Coffee Cups Postage Stamp
Stacking Coffee Cups Postage Stamp

When we got home from our Italy trip I tried the cappuccino’s from some of the local coffee shops here but found them to be too strong for my liking. Then I tried the latte’s and found them much smoother and enjoyable. 

If you order an espresso at a coffee shop it will likely be much stronger because of the machine they use to produce it. The espresso machine takes water that is nearly boiling and then creates a lot of pressure in order to produce a strong beverage.  My at home version is not as strong but it comes out just the strength that I like.

I brew good quality ground espresso  that I grind using my coffee grinder.  While the espresso is brewing I plug in my Starbucks milk frother to which I add low fat milk to. Then it’s just hit the power button and you can watch the milk begin to froth.  I get my latte mug ready and pour the hot brewed espresso about 3/4 full. Then it’s time to pour in some of the milk from the frother and spoon the milk froth it’s created onto to the top to cover the surface. I love the mounds of frothy milk and the fact that it keeps the espresso warm too!  Sprinkle on a little cinnamon if you like, I do that sometimes but generally I like it plain.

Espresso has a lot less caffeine than a cup of regular coffee. Although there is some debate about it, many say it depends on your mug size, the brew time, type of grind, temperature and so on. Anyways I say, drink it if you like it just don’t go over board!  That’s it, a simple but cozy drink perfect for a cold day!