How To Make Latte At Home

First, I feel like I should clear something up.  In  the video, the barista keeps on saying she’s making a cappuccino.  But when in fact, she is making a latte.  Let me explain.

A cappuccino consists of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam.  In the video, she had a shot of espresso and the rest is steam milk…that’s a latte, not a cappuccino.   If you order a cappuccino in Italy, you’ll get both steam milk AND foam.  There is no foam in the video.  She basically made a latte….which is espresso and steamed milk.

Here is how Marie-Claude Dessureault, the Director of Coffee Expertise at Van Houtte, who has more than 25 years of experience in coffee, describes what a cappuccino is: …simply put, if your mug peaks with foam, you have a cappuccino, if it’s a flat top, you have a latte…

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

First thing first, remove the portafilter and clean it with a dry towel.  You don’t want any old grounds in there.  You wouldn’t eat from a dirty plate why would you want to drink coffee from a dirty portafilter.

Second, dosing your coffee.  In the video she is using the Breville Coffee Grinder.  It is a conical burr grinder, which all professional cafes use.  It creates very consistent ground size, and it doesn’t over heat the coffee, which alter the flavor for the worse.  Different types of coffee beans will require different grind settings.  You need to play around and find the perfect size grounds for yourself.

Third, you need to distribute the grounds evenly in the portafilter.  It is important to have even level grounds before you tamp.

Fourth.  Tamping.  Looks easy, but it will take some practice.  You want to be level and apply even pressure.  Not enough pressure and your espresso will be weak and lack flavor.  Too much pressure and you’ll pack the grounds too tightly, which means no water can pass through…as in NO espresso.

Fifth step, extraction.  I hope by now you have read the manual for your espresso machine.  It’s important to know what your machine is capable of.  For example, the espresso machine used in the video, the Breville Dual Boiler, has a pre-infusion feature.  That means you’ll have to add about 7 seconds to your extraction time.  If you don’t, then your shot will be under extracted.  That’s why you need to know your machine inside out.

Sixth step.  Steam the milk.  The goal of steaming milk is to heat up the milk, and to create tiny bubbles inside the milk.  The end result should have the look and texture of white paint.  This also will take some practice.  You have to get use to your machine’s steamer, and you also need to get your technique down.

Here is a more in depth look at how to make a good latte:

Doesn’t sound too hard, right?  Well, it might be when you first start making espresso at home, but with practice you’ll get better and better at it.

If you are in the market for a grinder, take a look at my Breville Bcg800xl Review and get the scoop on this talked about grinder.  There is also a Breville BCG800XL Best Price page where you can take advantage of the best sale I can find.  In case you are curious about the espresso machine used in the video, check it out at Breville Dual Boiler over at Amazon.com.  You can find more info, pricing and customer reviews.

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