Cafe lattes are a popular espresso drink and if it's a favourite of yours, there is a way to recreate it at home without spending about $5 a pop at your local coffee house. There is no need for the fancy espresso equipment although having it would likely pay off within a few months if you are an avid latte drinker (even Wal-Mart sells inexpensive espresso makers, which is far better than the value process described below).
With just a few ingredients and equipment you already have in your kitchen, you could create a cafe latte that closely resembles what you've been purchasing for years. Once you are comfortable with the process, then you can experiment with flavoured syrups, chocolate, spices like cinnamon and more.
Of course the first ingredient is strong coffee which is basically what espresso tastes like. You will want to put double or even triple the coffee grounds you normally use when you brew coffee. Just make enough so that you have plenty to experiment with and also share!
Milk is another requisite ingredient for your cafe latte. Choose the milk that you have a taste preference for whether it is whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk or even soy. You will also need some sugar as well as an electric whisker or hand mixer.
Some people are concerned about not being able to re-create their favourite flavoured drinks that they can get at high end coffee shops. For a small investment, you can make over 25 cups of flavoured coffee using Monin coffee syrups right at home.
Brew several cups of coffee. Remember to make it double to triple the strength, depending on your taste preference. For a more authentic taste, choose a really dark roast coffee for the brewing process.
Next you need to heat your milk almost to, but not at, the point of boiling. You don't want a scorched taste. You can place a microwave-proof bowl of milk in the microwave or heat up the milk in a pot on the stove. The stovetop version is better as you can observe the milk and remove it from the heat source before the boiling point.
Once brewed, put six to eight ounces of the extra strength coffee in your favourite coffee cup. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the heated milk mixture and then use the electric whisker to beat the milk. The more you whip the milk, the more foam it will produce.
Next, pour the heated milk into the cup of coffee, using a spoon to hold back the foam, until the cup is about 75-80% full. Gently stir your milk and strong coffee together to blend and then ladle some of the milk foam on top. Voila – now you have a cup of cafe latte!
Your first few attempts at cafe latte will likely taste different from the coffee house versions. Therefore, you will want to experiment with both the strength of the coffee you brew as well as the type of milk you use. In addition, investing in a small coffee grinder may provide additional authenticity to your latte as freshly ground gourmet coffee beans will add a dimension of taste you would not get otherwise.
You can test different flavour syrups such as vanilla, caramel or hazelnut to add another tasty element to your home grown latte. Choosing coffee beans spiked with different flavours like bavarian chocolate, cinnamon or one of the many gourmet tastes like Irish cream can also add another dimension of taste too. Let your adventurous taste buds be your guide on this coffee journey to latte land.