As promised yesterday - here are my hubs' tips for making your own coffee house lattes at home! He took these pics and wrote up some directions to put on his facebook and I thought it would make a great post. He's letting me post this on my blog. It's almost like he's guest posting - which he is not because he tells me he would never do something like that. :)
Hubs makes these lattes for me every weekend (yes, I AM spoiled)! Here are the directions - in his words:
The kind of coffee you want to buy is dark roast, e.g. espresso roast, Italian roast, French roast, African coffees. Basically you want the kinds of coffee with dark oily beans. Grind the coffee beans really fine. If you decide to buy the pre-ground espresso in the can, go with a more expensive brand like illy. Be warned - the cheap stuff in the cans at the grocery store tastes terrible. I mean really bad.
I use a stovetop espresso maker because they make more shots of espresso in a brewing cycle. Most kitchen and bath stores sell them. I got this one at IKEA. It was around $20. Follow the instructions that come with it to brew the espresso.
While the espresso is brewing, start steaming the milk. We already have a single shot espresso machine and I use the steamer attachment to steam the milk. You can buy a low-price espresso maker and just use the steamer or you can steam milk in the microwave. Here's one way to do it (http://www.ehow.com/how_4750814_steam-milk-espresso-machine.html). Steam the milk to no more than 160 degrees (I use our meat thermometer to check the temp) or it will scald. You’re probably wondering: “Why don’t you just use the espresso maker side of the machine to make espresso?” I used it when we first got it, but it was laborious to make more than one shot of espresso because you have clean out the espresso basket after each brew cycle. Plus the grind of the espresso has to be just right or the espresso won’t brew right (too fine the basket clogs, too coarse the espresso flavor is too weak). The stovetop maker will brew a very fine grind of espresso without clogging and, as I said above, you get way more espresso shots in a brew-cycle.
Also in this pic is the flavored syrup to add to the latte (my wife likes foo-foo). You can buy these syrups at any grocery store.
As soon as espresso is done brewing, it's good to pour it into a separate container so it won't continue cooking in the espresso maker since the maker gets very hot. If it stays in the hot maker too long, it will become bitter.
The espresso is done brewing. Too bad this isn't smellivision. Good stuff!
To make a latte the way my wife likes (a "lighter coffee experience") which is like a Starbucks flavored latte, pour into cup in this order: approx. 2 tablespoons flavored syrup, 1 shot espresso (1/4 cup), then 1 1/2 cups steamed milk. To make a bolder latte (a "normal" latte), pour 2-3 shots espresso and then 1 1/2 cups steamed milk.
The finished product. This cup cost about a dollar to make (if you use organic milk; much less if not) and my wife says it tastes just as good as "Fourbucks". ;)
Isn't it lovely? Such a treat! Thanks hubs!! Um, for the record though, my lattes do not cost four bucks (hubs rounds up). :)
I'm linking this up to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap! Also linking this to DIY Day at A Soft Place To Land!