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Howto: Café Latté

If you love coffee as much as I do, you might already have an espresso machine. If not, you should get one now or suffer the Starbuck's prices for the rest of your life.

While my machine is in the 200$ range, I think it exceeds most of the ones sold at a higher price. One thing I like about this machine is that it's simple: no fuzzy buttons that do everything for you. If you want to make good coffee, learn how to do it yourself and then perfect your technique.

Since I've been owning this device for a couple of months now, I did have the time to try things. One of which is making café latté. If you need to learn how to make one, keep reading.

First, you need to get the good ingredients. Two of them are essentials while the last one is optional:

  1. Coffee beans (I use Kenya roast from Brûlerie St-Denis)
  2. Milk (1% is better)
  3. French vanilla or amaretto extract

Of course, you also need a big cup or a large bowl for the final result. I suggest preheating it with hot tap water while you continue creating the mixture.

If not already done, grind your coffee beans. It must be fine grained, but not too much to become like powder. Get enough coffee to fill a full brewing filter of the espresso machine. While some are equipped with small and large filter, I suggest you use the second one since we will be making a double-shot café latté. When this step is done, put everything in place and brew two espresso cups

While the coffee is dropping, prepare your milk mixture. Put one-third milk in a cup, adding some flavored extract to your taste. By the time you make this, coffee should be ready. Flip your machine to use the steam wand and froth the milk. While my machine will froth the milk in a couple of seconds, I then push the wand at the bottom of the cup to allow the steam to continously heat the milk. After 30 seconds, it should be sufficiently hot.

Stop your machine, clean the wand with a soft humid cloth and throw away the tap water you used to preheat your large cup or bowl. Pour the two espresso doses in the cup, if the coffee is dark with a creamy brown surface on the top, it means you have done your brewing well. Then, use a spoon to retain the froth and pour the hot milk on top of the coffee. Finally use the spoon and add about one centimeter of frothed milk.

Voila, you have your own café latté. Enjoy, drink up, but don't burn yourself, the content of this cup is hot.


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