The Quick and Easy Way To Make Home Brewed Latte Coffee
There’s nothing quite like a freshly made Latte to go with a leisurely breakfast. While buying one from a commercial coffee shop will give you that authentic Italian taste, you can also make a great tasting Italian-style Latte at home in three easy steps.
Quick Note: Like espresso and cappuccino, it’s believed by many that Latte also originated in Italy. However, this is probably not true. It’s generally felt, by those in the know, that Latte was “invented” in Berkeley, California by restaurant owner Lino Meiorin in the 1950s. It’s worth noting too that Cappuccino originated in Austria (where it was called Kapuziner, which meant a coffee drink that contained coffee, cream, spices, and sugar), NOT Italy, where cappuccino is simply the Italian term for Kapuziner. Hey! We live and learn!
If you want consistently high-quality cups of Latte, at the touch of a button, you can purchase a fancy Latte machine for several hundred dollars. However, this really isn’t necessary if you’re prepared to make it yourself.
You CAN make a great-tasting Latte with a few inexpensive items, and if this appeals to you, here’s what you do:
1. Brew Your Coffee:
You’ll first need a coffee percolator, or stove top brewer, which is essential if you want Italian-style coffee. These machines range from single-cup to 10-cup sizes, are usually made from hard aluminum or stainless steel and are suitable for use on any stove-top.
To use one of these machines:
- First unscrew the top and bottom and fill the bottom with water to just below the valve.
- Add freshly ground espresso beans to the filter.
- Replace the top and place the percolator over medium heat.
- As the water comes to a boil the steam pressure forces the water through the filter and into the top.
- Remove from the heat when the gurgling noise stops and the top is full.
Note: Don’t let the coffee boil or it may taste burnt.
2. Heat The Milk:
You can start this step while the coffee is brewing.
- Heat the milk while the coffee is brewing. (You can do this in a couple of different ways. The fastest way, of course, is in a microwave on Medium 45-60 seconds for every 1/4 cup. However, for best results, you’ll want to warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk is nearly boiling).
- If you have a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat when the needle reaches 149 degrees.
- Pre-heat each cup.
- Pour freshly brewed coffee into a coffee cup and top with hot milk.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of hot milk, per cup you plan to make, so that you can make the froth.
3. Make The Froth:
You’ll need a milk frother for this step, which range from plungers to hand-held manual or battery-operated 1-cup frothers. You can buy these from Amazon.com or home ware stores for under $10. If you don’t have a frother, we give you an alternative method for making the froth below.
- To make froth with a manual 1-cup milk frother, pour the reserved hot milk into a pre-warmed cup.
- Place the frother in the cup and pump up and down for 15-20 seconds or until milk is thick and frothy.
- Spoon froth over the Lattes and, as a final touch, use a tooth pick to create your own Latte art.
Tips: After use, clean your coffee brewer with hot water and use a non-abrasive scouring pad to remove any coffee residues.
You can also brew some really strong coffee to use instead of espresso.
If you don’t have a machine, then:
- Brew two cups of strong coffee or espresso. (For a different flavor you can try adding half a teaspoon of sugar or vanilla to the coffee while it is brewing; cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa all work well too).
- Pour 2/3 of nonfat or low-fat milk into a small container or jar. (Whole milk can be better tasting but usually foams less, due to its higher fat content).
- Shake the jar vigorously for about one minute, until bubbly.
- Remove the container’s cover and microwave for about 30 seconds until the froth rises to the top of the container. (Heating briefly helps to stabilize the foam).
- Pour the coffee into two warmed mugs. (If you didn’t add anything to the coffee earlier, you can add a drizzle of chocolate syrup for a different flavor).
- Spoon the frothed milk over the coffee in the mugs.
- For a Latte art effect, drag a toothpick through the foam to create a pattern or swirls.
OK, there you have it. Delicious home-made mugs of latte coffee in three quick and simple steps. Enjoy!