Latte is an iconic drink of Italian coffee culture, loved by many people worldwide.
However, what exactly is latte and how is it prepared? In this article, we will explore the nuances of this delicious drink, the differences with cappuccino and an intriguing novelty that comes from China.
What is latte and how is it prepared?
Latte is a combination of hot milk and espresso coffee, but the balance is key: milk must be predominant, with around 200-240 ml, while the coffee is a simple espresso added at the end to “stain” the milk. What makes it unique is the layering of textures and temperatures of the frothed milk, hot milk and espresso, creating a harmony of nuances in the glass.
What is the difference between cappuccino and latte?
Latte and cappuccino confuse many people, but there are substantial differences between them. While cappuccino involves a cup of coffee with milk cream poured on top, latte is prepared by first pouring the frothed milk and then the espresso on the surface. The amount of coffee in latte can vary, but is usually significantly less than in cappuccino.
How to prepare a delicious latte
Making a delicious latte requires attention to details and the right technique. Here is a guide for bartenders on how to make this drink:
- Espresso: Use a high-quality espresso like Portioli for your latte. Usually, a single dose of coffee is used (about 30 ml)
- Milk: Milk is the central part of the latte. You can use whole or semi-skimmed milk, depending on your customers’ preferences. The quantity of milk can vary, but generally double the quantity compared to coffee is used, around 60 ml
- Milk foam: Milk foam is what distinguishes a latte from a cappuccino. You should have a light, velvety foam on top. To obtain the right foam, you can use the steam from a special espresso machine
- Espresso machine: A quality espresso machine is essential for extracting a good espresso
- Milk steamer: A good milk steamer will help you create the perfect milk froth
- Make the coffee: Extract a single espresso into the cup or glass in which you will serve the latte
- Heat the milk: Pour the milk into the milk steamer and heat to around 65-70°C. Make sure not to overheat the milk, otherwise, it will lose its natural sweetness
- Froth the milk: Uses steam to create a light, velvety foam on the milk. To get the perfect froth, hold the steam tip just below the surface of the milk, adjust the pressure, and speed so that a fine foam is created. The foam should be thick enough to float on the milk, but not so thick that it becomes cream
- Pour the milk over the coffee cream: Pour the frothed milk slowly over the espresso, using a spoon to help hold the initial foam, so that the milk gradually flows into the cup. This creates the “macchiato” effect where the milk sits on top of the coffee
- Serve the latte: Serve your latte hot and garnish it, if desired, with a light sprinkling of cocoa powder or cinnamon
Remember to adapt the quantity of milk and coffee to the customer’s preferences. A latte can be stronger or milder depending on the own individual taste. The key to making a delicious latte is practice and attention to details.
New for 2024: “spiked” latte coming from China
Surprising news for 2024 comes from China: a “spiked” version of latte with the addition of baijiu liqueur, a Chinese brandy, has been introduced.
This drink quickly caught the attention of the Chinese public, becoming a trending topic on Weibo, a popular Chinese social network. The alcoholic latte contains less than 0.5% alcohol per cup and uses the strong renowned baijiu Kweichow Moutai.
Latte is a drink that requires particular skills in its preparation. You already know the nuances of a latte, but your audience is waiting for you to prepare it flawlessly every time. Learn more about the world of coffee on Portioli and continue perfecting your technique to serve the perfect latte to every customer.
To discover other secrets of the world of coffee and experience the perfect latte, visit our Portioli website. Prepare latte like a true professional!