How to Make Great Latte or Cappuccino
Latte Or Cappuccino Coffee
Imagine yourself sitting down to a foamy cappuccino as your
morning coffee, while looking out over the blue
Mediterranean from high on the cliffs on Italy's Amalfi
Coast, or imagine starting out your exciting day in
Paris with a true continental breakfast, consisting of a
hot milky latte coffee accompanied by a croissant
served with plum jam.
If you make your hot milky coffee in the traditional French or
Italian ways you can let your imagination take you
to all sorts of romantic places while you enjoy your cup
of coffee prepared in the authentic style of the
destination of your choice.
A latte made in the French style uses steamed milk, while
the Italian style cappuccino froths the milk. The
difference is subtle, but important. In both cases,
an espresso machine gives you the best results.
Not long ago only commercial businesses could afford an espresso
machine, but today there are many affordable models
available for use in the home.
For both steaming and frothing the milk, you need to start
with cold milk. You can't expect good results trying
to foam milk that has already been steamed, for example.
It is best to keep both the milk and pitcher chilled
in your fridge.
stainless steel pitcher works best, and for foaming
milk a bell shape gives better results than a straight
To steam milk, you can fill the pitcher
to around two thirds with milk, but for foaming
milk it should be filled to only about one third. To
match your servings, choose a smaller pitcher size for
use at home compared to the ones you see designed for
making enough to serve several cups in a commercial
Before starting, run a burst of steam through the steaming wand
to clear the jets, and make sure the wand is clean.
To steam the milk, bury the wand in the milk to just above
the base of the pitcher, turn the steam on full, and
hold the wand steady in one position. You are aiming to
heat the milk to 170 degrees Fahrenheit or 76 degrees
centigrade. Above 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 93
degrees centigrade the milk will scald, and the taste
will alter sufficiently to ruin your coffee.
An expert barista or coffee maker is able to judge the temperature
by the sound of the steaming, but until you master this
art you may want to use a thermometer attached to the
side of your pitcher.
To foam the milk, the difference is that you place the wand
just below the surface of the milk, and move it about to
combine air into the milk to create a thick foam with
fine and uniform sized bubbles. You are aiming for
the same milk temperature as when steaming. Again,
experts can judge the right temperature by the sound.
An ideal foam for a cappuccino can be assessed by waiting
abot 20 seconds, then taking some of the foamed milk in
a dry spoon. The foam should be thick enough that it
will not fall off the spoon when it is turned upside
To make the cup of latte coffee, add two thirds steamed milk
to a one third of a cup shot of espresso.
For a cappuccino, hold back the foamed milk to pour out one
third steamed milk into the espresso, and then add one
third foamed milk to top off the cup.
Sometimes a latte is described as a flat white because it does not
use the foamed milk.
A cappuccino is usually served with a sprinkling of cinnamon or
chocolate to taste.
Then sit back and enjoy your coffee while you dream of distant places.
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