The hot drink latte is vying for first place in popularity with such champions of the world of coffee as espresso and cappuccino. And it has every chance of winning, because the excellent taste of latte and its delicate flavor, combined with an unusual, beautiful appearance, has won it many fans worldwide. It is a layered coffee with a light-brown foam frothed with steamed hot milk, often decorated with latte-art (if you are served by a skilled barista) and prepared with special technology, so doing it at home will be difficult. But nothing is impossible for a person with imagination. So, speaking of everyday latte recipes, let’s have a look at how to make it at home.
Latte – a drink with a complex character
Thin, light, soft, velvety – all these adjectives mean latte is a drink in which milk plays a significant role. When the first latte was born as a standalone drink, it was a combination of a small portion of espresso and an impressive portion of milk. Actually, it can safely be offered to even a younger consumer audience, because the stimulating effect of caffeine in it tends to be relatively low. The proportion of milk to coffee was originally 3 to 1, then it became 8 to 1, or even 10 to 1. But, at the same time, it was important for the milk not to completely drown out the aroma of the coffee, and that was quite a challenge. Years passed, the latte recipe was modified, and the technology to make it was improved.
Technical progress, which gave us such a miracle as the “smart” coffee machine, allows you to fully automate the process of preparing a latte fand turn it into a short procedure that takes no more than 40-50 seconds. A gentle cloud of the famous air foam is easily created by a steam discharge pipe, which is equipped with all the classic models of coffee machines. But, as you will see from our article on the latte, it can be considered as one of the most controversial drinks today, and all because the formation of its “character” varies because each barista has their own influence. The lack of compromise between different latte recipe leads to the fact that in nine out of ten different coffee shops you will be served a completely different drink with a common name. Of course, discerning all the differences can only be done by a sophisticated coffee connoisseur. There’s nothing you can do about the fact that for some it’s a “latte, iced cappuccino or macchiato” while for others it’s just a “warm coffee with milk”.
An interesting thing about latte
If traveling in Italy, you go to a coffee shop and ask them for a latte, the barista will put on your table a glass of pure milk. “Latte” is Italian for “milk”, with the emphasis on the first syllable. So, if your goal is to get a coffee, order a “caffè latte”. And do not make the mistake of ordering a latte after eleven in the morning – Italians only drink milky coffee before this time. By the way, here you will likely be served classic Italian latte, made in a ratio of 1 to 1, and crowned with milk foam. To enjoy what is to us the familiar multilayered air cocktail, we have to leave the boundaries of sunny Italy.
Italians who invented latte back in the 1940s were not in a hurry to become fanatical supporters, preferring the good old, full-bodied and robust espresso. But in other European countries, particularly in Western Europe, the drink has been elevated to cult status.
Sometimes latte is also called “lazy cappuccino”, because it is made using the same ingredients – milk and espresso – but they have not been mixed, just left as separate layers. To prepare the latte, you should never use American-style coffee – only real freshly brewed espresso! It is this that sets the basic tone of the drink.
It’s as if latte was created especially for dating – it so harmoniously intertwines bitter and sweet notes, is so beautiful and airy in its transparent glass, tastes so gentle and has a reassuring effect. Two lovers in a cozy restaurant stare into each other’s eyes, and on the table in front of them is milky coffee – it is difficult to paint a more romantic picture.
The popularity of latte art – art on a Penke coffee drink – has led to many countries starting to organize tournaments for it! Now the records are placed at the international level, taking into consideration not only the complexity of small masterpieces but also their speed of execution. There has even been the Taj Mahal on a cup of coffee from the Australian barista George Sabbadsa. And the level of skill that must be achieved to do the latte art on six cups at the same time, behind his back and blindfolded! Marvel at the volume of patterns of milky coffee foam created by Kazuki Yamamoto,an artist from Japan. And in some Korean restaurants latte art has been automated – with the help of individual machines, even your portrait can appear on the surface of the foam.
Coffee gurus argue that latte art affects the taste of the coffee. Non-connoisseurs may find this hard to believeIt is hard to believe, but, according to them, the design of the pattern and location of the foam can enhance the flavor, soften the flavor, affect the bitterness and emphasize the focus on the other subtle flavor nuances of the coffee.
What is the difference between a latte and latte macchiato?
Latte – milk and espresso in a ratio of 3 to 1 – should be prepared in a strict sequence. First, the layer “shape” of coffee, and the second, milk. If you’ve already searched the internet for latte recipes, you have probably noticed that many of the results for “latte recipe” are recipes for latte macchiato. But this is an entirely different drink. Quite often in bars and coffee shops, if you order a latte, you will be served a latte macchiato, not even knowing what a big mistake this is. The reason for this is that there is not enough of a high-level coffee culture in our country yet. Read a detailed article about macchiatos to learn about this drink – the main difference is just the sequence of adding ingredients. The first layer is macchiato milk, then coffee, and then a thin stream of milk. As a result, these drinks look and taste different.
The differences between a latte and a cappuccino are even more apparent nuances. A latte is a a layered drink, and a cup of cappuccino coffee is topped with whipped foam milk. Each of these beautiful, elegant and fragrant drinks can be a real celebration of taste, but for the real coffee lover, confusing them with each other is bad form.
How to prepare a latte at home
The list of ingredients in a classic home latte recipe is very basic:
- 150 ml of milk
- 50 ml of espresso coffee
- sugar – if desired, to taste (ideally better to go without it altogether, especially if you’re trying to watch your calories)
Let’s go directly to the nuances of preparing a latte. In order to make a really delicious drink, we have to focus on the frothed milk. It is unlikely that any apartment has the special equipment for this, so we’ll have to do with improvised means – a mixer, blender, French-press or ordinary whisk. A few simple tips will help you choose the right milk:
- If possible, give preference to whole milk over skim. The amount of protein in whole milk will yield elastic, fluffy and stable foam, whereas the foam from the skim product, although it will get airy, will settle in seconds.
- The higher the temperature of the milk, the more voluminous and stable the foam you will be able to make. But keep in mind that in no case should the milk boil, as this will negatively affect the flavor of the beverage.
- A great help in making frothed milk will be your regular french-press. By intensively raising and lowering the rail, you can easily bring the milk to the desired consistency in less than a minute.
- If you do not have a blender on hand, nor a French-press nor corolla, use the original method – make a shaker from a can with a sealed lid. Pour a small quantity of milk inside (less than half the volume, to leave enough room for the foam) and shake vigorously. At the end of the procedure make a few circular movements or tap the jar on the table’s surface to remove large bubbles, and you’ll get a uniform fine-grained foam.
Stages of preparing a latte
Now, if we have dealt with foam and know how to prepare an espresso, nothing could stop us on the way to creating a great latte. All we need to do is to reproduce the following steps in the correct order:
- Prepare the espresso (see. Article about espresso)
- Heat the milk to 60 degrees
- Beat the milk in the lush foam
- Warm the cup (Irish glass, glass with a high glass handle) and pour in the espresso
- Neatly pour a thin stream of milk into the coffee, taking into account the necessary proportion – three to one
- Sread the layer of foam on top of the beverage with a spoon. Is not overkill to decorate a latte with a pinch of fragrant cinnamon or grated chocolate.
That’s all, we can now enjoy our homemade latte. In choosing a glass for your latte, consider the height of the foam, you need to leave enough space for it. Do not worry if due to the difference in the density of the espresso and milk, they mix together and you did not get the individual layers the first time. To the taste the drink is not critically affected, and regular practice will soon enable you to achieve perfection. By the way, you can try pouring milk into the coffee with a knife, which will help slow the flow of milk to maintain the layering effect.
The Many Faces of latte – Popular Recipes
A classic Italian latte, as we have said, requires only milk and espresso, but let me introduce you to the most interesting, original, favorite and delicious latte recipes, which include a wide range of ingredients. Perhaps in one of them you will discover a unique drink that will become your new favorite.
Latte special. Bailey’s liqueur latte
- teaspoon of finely ground coffee
- a teaspoon of sugar
- a pinch of salt (pinch)
- two-thirds of a cup of water
- one cup of milk (fat content of not less than 3.2%)
- a tablespoon Bailey’s liqueur
- a pinch of cocoa powder
- Warm a tall transparent glass (rinsing it with hot water or heating it in a microwave).
- Pour the liquor into the bottom of the glass.
- Prepare the coffee in a coffee machine and if appropriate strain it, transfer to the heated glass.
- Preheat milk to the desired temperature and whip it into foam by any of the methods described above.
- Carefully, pour a thin stream of milk into the coffee.
- Construct a third layer of foam prepared in the glass.
- Sprinkle cocoa in the milk froth, and if you have a cookie-cutter template for forming patterns on the foam, use it. Blemishes in drawing can be accurately corrected with a toothpick if necessary.
Multi-layered latte with Irish Cream syrup
- 100 ml espresso
- 200 ml of milk (fat content 2%)
- 50 ml Irish Cream syrup
- Pre-cool the Irish syrup. When it is cool, it will not mix with the other layers in the cocktail.
- Pour the syrup into the glass as the first layer.
- The second layer is a half portion of milk, whipped into foam.
- The espresso is also divided into two parts. The first uses warm but not whipped milk: in an orderly manner pour the resulting mixture on top of the second layer.
- The fourth layer will be the remaining part of the hot espresso.
- Fifth is to top the cocktail with milk froth.
- Garnish with cinnamon, foam, or grated chocolate, and a work of art will appear in front of you – the divine Irish syrup latte!
Latte with blueberry syrup
This cocktail might be the most impressive, thanks to the bright and contrasting colors of the constituent elements.
To prepare it we need:
- 50 mL of blueberry syrup
- 150 ml of milk: fat content not less than 2%
- 50 ml of espresso coffee
- chocolate topping
- Cool the blueberry syrup and pour it into the bottom of the glass.
- For the second layer, pour the warm milk into the glass, mixing it with the blueberry syrup using a mixer.
- The third layer of freshly brewed espresso should be poured into the glass very carefully, with a knife or spoon.
- Now, using a mixer or blender, the remaining milk is whipped into a thick foam, which will be placed on top of all the previous layers.
- With chocolate topping, you can create interesting foam patterns on the surface. The main thing is not to overdo it.
Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients in your latte, including caramel, chocolate or berry syrups. The only ‘wrong’ additives are anything with sweet citrus, whose acid causes the milk to ferment. A combination of latte with blackcurrant syrup can be considered a masterpiece, but this is, however, a matter of taste. If you enjoy spicy notes in your coffee, try adding your favorite aromatic spices into your latte–like cinnamon or nutmeg–while observing moderation and caution. Start with a very small amount. Amaretto, rum, sweet liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages can be the basis for the preparation of a “drunk” latte. Nutmeg has the ability to significantly change the taste of the coffee drink, leaves a lasting aftertaste. Over time, you will have their own secrets for the preparation of lattes, and we are confident that your favorite preparation will be wonderful, special and unusual, so do not forget to share your observations and comments.
Lemarbet wishes you a successful and enjoyable coffee drinking experience!