Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So You Wanna Make Lattes?

Did I convince you with last week's post on making your own lattes at home? If so--or if you're on the fence--I should probably be so nice as to let you know just how to do this.

Although I marked this as vegetarian, it can be vegan, too. I've used non-dairy milks in the past, but lately buy Shatto cow milk instead.

And Roasterie coffee. Oh how I love Roasterie's organic fair trade espresso blend. Heaven on earth, I tell you.

So I grind up some beans in my cheap Cooks-brand espresso grinder. This specific model doesn't exist anymore, but any commercially marketed coffee grinder will work fine, I'm sure.

FYI, I started this at 8:55 a.m. on a Saturday. I wanted to know how long this would take start to finish, including taking photos and cleaning up.

This Shatto milk. There's a bottle deposit the first time, but if you can buy local milk wherever you are, it's worth at least a try. I can taste the quality difference in my lattes, and it keeps me from being sad that I don't go to coffee shops hardly ever anymore.

Pour some milk in a cup, like so.

Fill the coffee-grounds-holding-part (I don't know the real words; look at the manual on the machine when you get it) and smash it down.

See? Smashed down. Tampered, I believe it's called.

Put it where it goes and turn the machine to "coffee" (as opposed to "steaming"). Yes, I made up the setting names, too.

Turn the side nob to "coffee" as well.

Get your final vessel ready. If I'm going to work, I use the one on the far left. Unless it's dirty, then I use the one in the middle. If I'm just staying home, I use one of the huge Starbucks mugs my mommy got me. (Thanks, Mommy!)

If you want flavored coffee, you can buy syrup in just about any grocery store for about $4, and it lasts quite a while. I actually really like plain lattes, but sometimes it's nice to spice it up a bit.

When you have enough espresso, turn the nob to neutral and hit the steaming light.

Turn the nob to steaming.

Steam coffee.

I keep going until the froth wants to overflow or the side of the cup is too hot to hold. The latter happened first this time.

Now you have espresso and steamed milk.

Pour the espresso into your cup or portable mug.

I leave one cup on top of the other for a while in an attempt to get every last drop of espresso out.

Then clean the doohickey.

Look clean? Well, it's not.

Turn on the steamer again.

And steam clean water for a few seconds. I do this every single time I use it to keep it clean.

Now add the steamed milk to the espresso.

Take the coffee grounds out and throw them away, rinse them down the drain, or save them for something fancy. I tried to save them once, but they molded before I could use them. Eww.

Rinse out the thingamajigy and the other thingy. Leave them to dry before tomorrow morning.

Make sure no coffee ground bits stuck up underneath. If you don't clean this part, you'll keep getting bitter coffee and not know why until one day a year later.

Take out the try and dump out any water that has collected.

Turn the machine completely off.

See, it's been exactly 10 minutes! Sometime soon I'll treat myself to a morning coffee and see how much time it adds to my morning commute.

Fresh, homemade latte! So much happiness in this cup.

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