How to Make a Perfect Latte at Home - My Husband Shares His Secrets
Step by Step Photos Show You How to Make a Perfect Latte Every Time
Calling all coffee drinkers. It's time to share my hubby's secret to making the perfect latte at home, every time. No kidding. I am so lucky, I get to enjoy a spectacular, aromatic, perfect latte every morning, created for me by my hubby. Today he shares his secrets here. Two shots of espresso, steamed milk, foam what more could a girl want to start the day with a smile.
Hubby loves to read about making coffee and more specifically, any variety which uses an espresso machine. He does a bit of experimentation and now he has mastered his craft. I enjoyed being his guinea pig, especially now that the result is his perfect latte.
Always Start with Freshly Roasted Beans for the Best Tasting Coffee
Coffee Grinders Make a Big Difference
Some professionals say the coffee grinder is more important than the coffee maker. Most are either burr mill or blade grinders. Burr mill grinders are more consistent in grind size, but are more expensive. You can get good grind with a blade grinder as long as you keep a close eye on the grind time, and want a finer grind. For a coarse grind, burr mill makes a big difference.
Coffee grinders can be used to grind spices, however we recommend that you use a dedicated grinder for coffee. Otherwise your coffee will pick up the flavors of the spices or your spices will be coffee flavored.
We love this burr mill coffee grinder! It does everything from coarse grind for plunger or filter coffee to extremely fine for a Turkish coffee. It is consistent, easy to use and easy to clean. Our favorite setting is "espresso grind."
This is a blade grinder. We have one of these, but prefer to use our burr mill grinder for coffee. We now use this one for spices and nuts. However, if you want the cheaper blade grinder, this is a good choice.
Grind and Measure Coffee Beans Carefully to Get the Perfect Latte
It already smells yummy at this point
Grind coffee beans to an "espresso grind." If your grinder doesn't have this setting, grind until very fine. Some say this is the most important step.
For our perfect cup of coffee, we make each cup individually. We start with two tablespoons of ground coffee, which would give the equivalent of a double shot at a coffee house. The scoop that came with our machine is exactly one tablespoon, making our measuring quite simple.
Press the Ground Coffee into Your Filter Holder - I can almost taste my perfect latte!
Do Not Skip This Step!
Next you want to press the coffee down firmly and evenly with the tamper which came with your machine. See the pictures above to see what our filter holder looks like just prior to attaching to the machine.
Prepare Your Machine
Next you need to add the water into your machine's water reservoir. Our water reservoir is the clear strip on the right hand side of the machine. The trap door opens on top and the reservoir pulls out.
Be sure that the top of the filter holder is free of loose coffee grounds. Then, attach and lock the filter holder in place with a twist.
Now is a Good Time to Pre-Heat Your Mug
Another secret to the perfect latte
We like our coffee hot. Our secret is to pre-heat the cup. This simple task is accomplished by filling the cup with boiling water and leaving it sit until we are ready to fill it with our coffee. You could pre-heat the cup by putting it on the warming plate on top of the espresso machine, but that takes too long for us. Once we can smell the beans, we want our coffee!
Let's Make the Perfect Latte! - Or any espresso drink
Let the coffee continue to pump for 20 seconds
Start or activate your coffee pump. As soon as the coffee starts to drip out of the filter holder and into the cup, note the time. Let the coffee continue to pump for 20 seconds (using a 15 bar pump machine). Too much time will extract off-flavors and the coffee will not be as good. Too little time and you don't get enough coffee.Ideally 20 seconds will yield 80 - 100 ml (3-4 oz).
Steaming the Milk
Pour 8 ounces of cold milk into a stainless steel frothing pitcher. A traditional latte is three parts steamed milk to one part espresso coffee with froth milk optional on top. We like ours a bit stronger, so we use 8 oz milk. A cappuccino uses even less milk and is defined as one part espresso coffee, one part steamed milk and one part froth milk. Lift the frothing pitcher onto the frothing wand until the head of the frothing wand is completely submerged in milk. Activate the frothing switch and support the pitcher with your hand. We use our fingers to feel the temperature. We know the milk is done when the froth rises like in the photo and the pitcher is just reaching the "too hot for my fingers" stage.
Dump the Pre-heat Boiling Water and Add Your Sugar First (If You Use Sugar)
Add the Coffee (Stir until Sugar Dissolves)
Now It's Time to Add the Milk and the Froth
Use a spoon to hold the froth back while you pour the milk. Then use the spoon to push the froth on top.
Finally, Sit Back and Enjoy the Perfect Latte
Home or Coffee Shop - Who Does It Better?
Can a great cup of coffee at home be better than the coffee shop experience. I think so, what about you?
Where do you have your best cup of coffee?
A perfect homemade latte is best (like the one on this page)
This is the Espresso Machine at the Top of Our Wish List
This Breville Barista Express machine is at the top of my wish list. It has a 15 Bar pump (which my hubby says makes the best coffee). Plus has the grinder build in. The best part is it is programmable, so I can have a hot espresso waiting for me when I get out of the shower.
Latte or Espresso, Which Do You Prefer?
Latte (expresso with steamed milk) or Espresso (black)?
© 2009 Rhonda Albom