Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oh. My. It’s a latte.

Do you love coffee? Do you love lattes? Me too!

I made a latte.

And I did it at home.

Okay, if you didn’t know, I worked in a small café for a short time and made a few drinks. They trained me on the hardcore skills, which I didn’t master, but still loved. I know that what I’m doing at home does not match up to real espresso, but what I loved the most and wanted to keep doing was latte art and drinking that lovely taste!

Guess what. The taste is fantastic. FANTASTIC. And now I can work on that art all I want!

Now, I’ll share with you my unconventional set up, and include a little info after about the differences between the real stuff and this tasty near match.

The mess. I think my stand mixer feels a little out of place in the coffee mess.

I got this awesome contraption called an Aeropress for Christmas from my parents. It can make those concentrated espresso shots, but without the 9 bars of pressure, and tamping. However it results in lower (or no) crema. That is sad – but it is good enough for my kitchen. I don’t have the space or the money or the need for an espresso machine right now. The Aeropress was exactly what I was looking for! So:

I heat up milk on the stovetop, and water in my kettle.

I grind up the espresso.

I make a "shot" of "espresso" by adding hot water and stirring. And then pressing the liquid out.

I pour the hot milk into the frother pitcher (thanks Alan!) and use my plunge mixer to get a micro foam.

Next is the art. I need to keep working on this (which will be more difficult with less crema, but I can still get some pretty things!)

And then the drinking – which is SO yummy.

Really yummy.

And I haven't had a latte anywhere near like this in a while since I haven't found a local coffee shop (tragedy).

Okay, so it’s been a long time, but here are some differences:

Real espresso is tamped – you pack it in there and it is extracted because you have 9 bars of pressure pushed through that packed espresso. That pressure also pushes that beautiful crema out of those oily beans. Your water is heated between 195 and 210. You learn the pressure you need to pack the espresso down with and then adjust the grind until your resulting puck and shot reflect near perfection. Always fresh ground.

With the Aeropress, you stir the espresso (I use fresh ground) and some hot water together, and then use only a quarter bar of pressure to quicken the drip and push that good stuff out. It is a lower acid and smooth result. You can adjust the strength by adjusting grind, adjusting temperature, and adjusting amount of water and coffee. So I can make it taste amazing! It has a lot more variables for me to mess around with. Really, if you don't like what you get out of it, just keep adjusting.

Here are three geeky articles I’ve been stewing over about the aeropress:

Here is real latte art in action:

And if you want any of these awesome tools (affiliate links):
Frothing pitcher -
Hamilton Beach Turbo Twister/Plunge mixer -
Aeropress! -
Aerolatte Mooo Milk Frother (don't own it, but I'm hoping I might soon - I think it would be easier than the plunge mixer) -
Organic Espresso Beans -

If you come to my house, I’ll make you a latte if you want one.

Beautiful organic espresso coffee + lovely frothed raw milk = sweet latte heaven.

I've shared at:

From The Farm Blog Hop

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