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The Expert Barista - How to Make the Perfect Flavored Latte at Home ( just like the Mega Coffee Giant )
I am sure you have attempted from home to make the perfect Latte, Cappuccino, Machiatto, what-have-youccino. Like most of us, I'm sure you have failed miserably doing so! It just never seems to taste quite the same as the Mega-Coffee Giant we all know and love. Is it the water they use? Maybe it's the cups? Yes and No... To be quite honest, unless you can afford a $5000+ espresso machine and a triple distilled water contraption, it's never going to be exactly the same! BUT, we can get pretty dang close and save some hard earned cash, right!! Let's get started.....
How to Make the Perfect Latte Lesson 1: What You Will Need
What you will need at home:
- Espresso Machine
- Steaming Pitcher (or a large coffee mug)
- Large Metal Spoon (for best results)
- Metal Thermometer (for best results)
- Espresso Roast Coffee (Starbucks preferred brand)
- Favorite Syrup - If you can, purchase this at the coffee shop. This way they will give you the pump to go with it.
- Your preferred Milk
How to Make the Perfect Latte - Lesson 2: The Process
♥ To begin, let's start with the BEANS. If your espresso machine does not have a built in grinder, then you will need to grind the beans with your own coffee grinder. The beans need to be ground very fine. The coarser they are, the quicker the water will run through the press, which means a weak and watery espresso shot. The finer they are, the more rich and attractive our espresso shot will be. PLEASE READ YOUR ESPRESSO MACHINE'S DIRECTIONS AS IT WILL HAVE THE BEST INFORMATION TO BREW AND POUR A SHOT.
♥ Next, let's measure our SYRUP. If you did purchase your syrup from the "Mega Coffee Giant" then hopefully you received a pump to go with it. If not, do not worry, we'll figure the old fashion way....
12 oz Mug - 3 pumps of syrup
16 oz Mug - 4 pumps of syrup
20 oz Mug - 5 pumps of syrup
NO PUMP Guidelines:
12 oz Mug - 3 Tsp of syrup
16 oz Mug - 4 Tsp of syrup
20 oz Mug - 5 Tsp of syrup
So let's go ahead and grab our favorite coffee mug or tumbler. Make sure you measure its size by filling it with water, then pouring the water into a measuring cup. This will show you what size you are working with. After you know your size, add the appropriate amount of syrup needed for your latte into your mug.
♥ Next let's STEAM THE MILK. **This is huge part where most go wrong** To correctly steam your milk please read carefully. You do not want to scald your milk or not aerate it enough. Place enough milk in your metal pitcher to fill your mug completely. Make sure your thermometer is in the pitcher before you begin. Hold the filled pitcher and place inside the steam wand. Allow the steam wand to be almost touching the bottom of the pitcher (do not let it touch the bottom). Turn on the steam wand. Once on, slowly bring the pitcher downward allowing the steam wand to just touch the surface of the milk. You will notice foam beginning to form. Do not take the milk too far out to where you see large bubbles. You only want to see tiny bubbles and foam starting. This is called aerating our milk. You only need to aerate about 4 - 6 seconds. After you have aerated, fully submerge the steam wand into the milk again. Let it sit until your thermometer reads 150 degrees to 165 degrees. For extra hot you can go up to 175 degrees before the milk begins to scald. If your milk is starting to make a "screeching" noise before it gets to 150 degrees, you did not aerate properly. That is OK. It can take some practice to master the art. Once your milk is ready, set aside.
♥ Now it's time for the ESPRESSO SHOTS. A little lesson in the perfect esspresso shot before we begin.... This is key to ensuring you will have the most perfect latte you can make! An ideal espresso shot has 3 key components. The heart, body and creme. See the fuzzy image below for details (sorry, best I could do). If your shots are not pouring to the consistency of the image, then they are probably pouring too slow or too fast. This all goes back to how coarse or fine we ground our beans. Now each espresso machine is going to be different. You are maybe going to have to do a few trial and error attempts before you find what your machine needs. All in all though, we want our espresso shots to look like the image below. Your espresso machine's directions will help with this as well.
Guidelines for Espresso Shots: (this is the standard from the Mega Coffee Giant)
12 oz Mug: 1 shot
16 oz Mug: 2 shots
20 oz Mug: 2 shots
Now let's move forward. Please make sure your 2 shot glasses are placed directly under the spouts and your ground beans are inside the pod. However your machine starts, start to shots! Watch as the shots pour into the glass. A perfect shot should be between 14 - 23 seconds (once again depending on the machine). It's suggested you go off of the image below though to determine if your shots are pouring correctly.
After you have established the perfect shot(s), pour immediately into your mug (your syrup should already be inside the mug).
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not leave the shots sitting in the shot glasses for more than a few seconds!!! I repeat, DO NOT leave the shots sitting in the shot glasses for more than a few seconds. The shots will technically "die" and become very bitter. This is another huge mistake most people make from home.
After you have poured the shots into your mug, immediately add your steamed milk. You do not want the shots to ever sit at any given time.
♥ POURING THE STEAMED MILK: Now since your shots are in your cup, it is once again time to add the steamed milk (sorry to be sooooo repetative, but this is very important for the "Perfect Latte"). With one hand hold the steamed milk pitcher handle, with your other hand hold the large spoon. Hold the spoon in a position in order to block the foam from pouring out. Once the milk has reached to almost the top of your mug, release the spoon and either free pour or scoop foam on the top.
How to Make the Perfect Latte - Lesson 3
Sip, Slurp & Enjoy! It should be just as delicious as Mega Man's latte if not better and cheaper!