Lattes (or Caffe lattes) are espresso drinks made with a fairly large amount of steamed milk. It is similar to a cappuccino, but, while a cappuccino is comprised of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam, a latte is made with much more milk than coffee. Lattes use a ratio of at least 1 shot of espresso to 2 ounces of steamed milk (this recipe is 1 to 3) and are capped with just a thin layer of foam on the top. This means lattes are milkier than cappuccinos, and because it has more steamed than foamed milk, the milk sinks into the espresso in a latte, while cappuccinos have three distinct layers.
Prep: 5 mins Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins Serving: 1 serving
For the Espresso:
1 ounce water
1 tablespoon ground dark espresso or French roast coffee
1 1/2 fluid ounces (or 1 shot) flavored simple syrup, optional
For the Foamed Milk:
3 ounces milk, or more
Steps to Make It
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this caffe latte is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for pulling shots, steaming milk, and assembling your beverage.
Make the Espresso
Gather the ingredients.
Place the water into the boiler of your espresso machine.
Put the coffee into the portafilter.
Tamp (press) the coffee down using a tamper. Do this 2 to 3 times to make sure the grounds are packed tightly.
Place the portafilter into your espresso machine's group head and lock it in place by turning it to the right.
Place a latte cup (or the glass carafe that came with your espresso machine) under the group head and pull the shot for 25 to 30 seconds. (Typically, there is a lever, switch, or button to start this process.)
Once the shot is pulled, add the flavored syrup, if using.
Foam the Milk
Place the milk into either a glass measuring cup or a small metal pitcher.
Insert the steam wand into the container with the milk, just under the surface.
Engage the steam wand on your espresso machine. (You may need to read your espresso machine's manual for this, as each espresso maker is a little different.)
Make sure to keep the tip of the wand toward the side of the container. This will create a vortex with the milk.
Move the container higher, lower, closer, then further so that the steam wand can incorporate the air into the milk, making the foam. The bubbles should get smaller and smaller as you do this.
Once the milk has foamed to double its size, turn off the steam wand.
Assemble the Latte
Use a spoon to retain the microbubbles on top of the steamed milk and pour the bottom 2/3 of the steamed milk into the latte cup.
Top the latte with the remaining bubbles by pouring or spooning them onto the drink.
Serve and enjoy.
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