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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recipe of the week: Making a Starbucks style caffe latte

Given the theme of two of the demos coming up this weekend, I thought that I would take a moment and share with you a popular recipe in the Seattle area inspired by Starbucks, the Caffe Latte.  Now, there are imitation versions of lattes by Foldiers and similar coffee brewers (usually those powdery mixes that are supposed to taste like lattes or cappuccinos).  Of course, in this blog post, I will share with you how to make a good starbuck style latte (the real thing of course).  Making espresso is not difficult and is actually pretty easy to make assuming you have an espresso machine.

First off, you will need to get an espresso machine if you do not have one.  It does not have to be expensive or fancy.  In fact, I will list a few here from Amazon and Walmart in case if you looking for one to buy.

Once you have gotten an espresso machine, you will also need some espresso roast coffee beans (most grocery stores carry them), though regular coffee can do if you want to go cheap (such as foldiers coffee) though it will not be as good quality as espresso roast.  Now that you have an espresso machine and ground coffee beans, you are ready to make espresso.

Ingredients needed:
- a few scoops of ground espresso beans
- water (can use tap water)
- milk (I use low fat milk or 2% milk, but you can use just about any kind of milk you want, including soy milk if you don't want regular milk).  If you want a creamy lattee, you can also use half and half instead.  You will also need a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher to steam the milk in.
- Optional: Chocolate syrup (if you want to make a mocha instead) or any other flavorings (most grocery stores sell flavored syrups like the ones you see at espresso stands).
- Optional: cream and sugar
- In case if any of you want to make a spiked latte: Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream, Grand Mariner, etc

To make it (based on the machine I have):
- put the coffee beans in the scoop like coffee filter/dispenser device (the thing that the coffee comes out of)
- poor water in the water compartment of the espresso machine (with mine, there is a lid that covers the water compartment)
- Turn on the espresso machine and set it to brew (with my machine, you can simply turn the knob to the brew selection), the machine will start.
- Within a few minutes, the espresso will start brewing into either shot glasses (depending on what kind of machine you are using) or a pitcher (mine has a small pitcher that the coffee pours into)
- You will need a good size mug to put the coffee into (say a beer size mug), pour the espresso into the mug
- pour milk in a small liquid measuring cup, put the steam dispenser into the milk (I try to have it so that the tip of the steamer is fully immersed into the milk).
- turn on the steamer (with my machine, you can just turn the knob to the steamer setting) and the steamer will start steaming and whipping the milk.  If you want to make a cappuccino, you can have the steamer whip the milk for a few minutes.
- Pour the whipped milk in the coffee mug and you are good to go.  You can also pour chocolate syrup in the coffee if you want to make a mocha or a similar flavored syrup (such as vanilla, hazelnut, irish cream, etc) into the coffee for a flavored latte.

Want to make an alcoholic latte?  Just follow the instructions above, but for the flavoring, just pour in the liquer of your choice.  For a "traditional irish coffee", you will probably want to put a shot or two of either bailey's irish cream or irish whiskey in your coffee, along with some cinnimon and it is good to go. 

Want a visual demonstration on making espresso?  Here is a youtube video on how to make espresso

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