Traditionally the Latte is a beverage of distinction and great divides between aficionado's of coffee art. It also certainly is one of the most recognised and popular coffee preparing methods and a favorite of ours too!
The reason why Latte is some times divisive is because of the passion with which barristas across the globe prepare the beverage itself. We are of course referring to the life long question of whether a latte should be served on a long glass or a short cup.
It is generally the case that in mainland Europe most Latte is served in short deep mugs as traditionally imagined by the Italians. However our English cousins who are very fond of doing most things the other way around (driving any one?) tend to serve the drink on a long glass recepticle more akin to a macchiato, which we wrote about in a previous entry on this series.
Like most coffee Latte has it's origins in Italy, although interestingly it appears that the method of adding milk to a coffee drink seems to have cropped up in many many places across Europe and around the same time. Latte in Italian actually means milk and most Italians will prepare this type of drink at home and for breakfast, not unlike some of the routines we have here at home when we visit the various coffee houses and establishments on our way to work.
Although opinions on this vary, it is generally an extremely easy recipe that is usually poured to taste. We are basically talking steamed milk over an espresso at a ratio of 3/1, 3 parts milk to one part coffee. The ideal brew for your latte is a milder coffee blend, but only because steamed milk tend to become sweet and therefore a milder coffee like our Morning Sunshine will usually compliment that taste. Latte preparation can of course include the addition of syrups and or a sprinkle of chocolate to garnish. Where we have actually excelled here in America though is in the popularisation of Latte Art. Any coffee house worth it's salt, that has a competent barista should be able to demonstrate this. Latte Art is all about creating patters with frothed milk as you are pouring milk over steaming hot espresso. The technique involves "painting" with milk froth by advancing your pour from left to right and often in swirling motions. One of the most awesome secrets to making really striking patterns is to create swirrly patterns and after the last application to take a toothpick across them thus creating spiderweb like patterns.
We hope you've enjoyed this entry on the Latte coffee and origins and that you join us again on the next iteration of coffee types here at LoveMyCup.com