You do not have to be a barista to make Starbucks’ signature drink – the caffé latte. The latte, which means ‘milk’ in Italian, is by far the most popular espresso-based drink offered by any coffee bar. Yet, although the name is Italian, the lattes don’t actually exist in Italy. There, Italians drink latte macchiato, a somewhat similar though smaller variation.
In Italy, milk-based drinks are only consumed in the morning, usually during breakfast. In the U.S. however, people drink lattes-to-go at practically any time of the day or night.
With this recipe, the point is of course not to replace your favorite cup of coffee to-go. Rather, it’s to show you how to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home too-- whether you’re watching TV or hosting coffee aficionados in your living room.
The caffé latte combines an espresso with skillfully-steamed or frothed milk in a beautiful presentation.
1. For each latte, you should use a single espresso shot (2 ounces for the American-style drink). Click here if you need help making your first espresso.
2. Serve the espresso in a large and heavy 8-ounce latte cup. Click here if you need help choosing the right coffee cup for your latte.
3. For each latte, you will need 6 ounces of frothed milk. If this comes out too strong for your taste, you can simply increase the volume of the milk (and the cup). Click here if you need help frothing milk.
4. Pour the hot milk into the cup on top of the espresso. Don’t wait long before pouring it because the espresso crema tends to fade quickly. As you pour, watch the shapes that emerge on top. With any luck, you may be able to create some interesting patterns.
5. Add sugar to suit your taste.
Tip: For a 16-ounce latte, just use two espresso shots, double the milk and voilà!