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What is the Difference Between Latte and Coffee with Milk?

The story of how ordinary coffee with milk turned into a latte;

It is generally accepted that the standardized latte recipe appeared in California in the 50s of the XX century, and this drink found real popularity in the 80s in Seattle, when Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker opened the first coffee shop, including latte.

But it all started much earlier. Strictly speaking, caffe latte is a homemade drink that Italians started drinking long before the invention of the espresso machine. The first mention of the latte appeared in 1867 in the biographical essay "Journey through Italy" by the American writer William Dean Howells. Italians (especially Italian women) would often give the kids a milk cocktail and a small amount of coffee at family lunch and dinner so they wouldn't be bothered too much by the caffeine, but still feel energized enough.

At the beginning of the 20th century, coffee with milk confidently conquered other European countries. In Spain it was known as café con leche, while in Germany and Austria-Hungary it was served under the name Milchkaffee. The recipes were slightly different, but there were two main ingredients. Freshly brewed coffee and milk. However, it was still "homemade", rarely prepared in restaurants and cafes.

Even after the end of WWII and the spread of espresso bars throughout Italy, the latte did not become a public favorite. They preferred to drink ristretto, rich espresso or cappuccino with its slightly sweet taste. But when a wave of immigrants came to America from Italy, the latte became a "clue" for homesick Italians, a happy memory of a past life.

In 1956, the Caffè Mediterraneum opened inside the Italian bookstore II Piccolo in Berkeley, California. Bartender Lino Mejorin first made lattes with milk foam, not ordinary warm milk, and new and regular customers alike began ordering the drink. The recipe began to spread across the country and gradually reached Seattle, where the first coffee shop owners incorporated it into their technological maps.

Latte is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable. This Italian word means "milk". Around the world, ordering a latte will get you a much-loved coffee drink, but in Italy a surprised barista will give you a cup of cold or lukewarm (your choice) milk, not coffee. The Italian version sounds like latte macchiato (latte macchiato) or cafe latte (coffee latte).

How is a latte different from cappuccino and other drinks?

Latte, like many other coffee drinks, is based on the most common espresso. Therefore, you can prepare a latte with the help of a moka pot and on the basis of ordinary coffee pot coffee.

The standard recipe recommends the following ingredient ratio: 1/4 espresso (30 ml), 2/4 warm milk, and 1/4 frothed milk to create a nice foam head. For comparison: There is much less milk in a cappuccino loved by many. Its proportions are 1/3 espresso, 1/3 warm milk and 1/3 milk foam.

There is another milk beverage that can be considered a type of latte antipode - it's a beverage known as flat white. It consists of 2 shots of espresso (60 ml) and 110 ml of milk, frothed with small bubbles.

Latte macchiato

Latte macchiato is a variation of the same latte, but with a slightly different order of preparation of the drink. In a traditional latte, all the ingredients are mixed and the latte is famous for its macchiato layers.

It is served in a tall glass goblet where the first layer is hot milk, the second layer is a shot of espresso and the third layer is frothed milk. This is achieved simply: first milk is poured with foam, and then coffee is passed through it. Due to the different density and higher temperature, espresso does not mix with milk. Often sweet syrups are added to such a drink: vanilla, chocolate, mint, white chocolate or caramel ...

Macchiato means "spotted" in Italian. And this name was given for a reason: as a result, a brown coffee spot should appear on the white milk foam.

Spicy latte

A hit "winter" drink in any cafe. This is especially true for a ginger latte with sweet and fragrant ginger or ground spices (ginger, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom). They are added to espresso before pouring into milk or, in the case of home brewing, to coffee during brewing.

Iced latte

It's the summer version of a latte for hot summer days that a coffee shop barista found. There is no exact recipe for "iced" coffee, in addition, there are more than 100 types of preparations.

The simplest recipe calls for 1 shot of chilled espresso (30 ml), 130 ml of cold milk, 2-3 ice cubes and optional syrup. The milk does not foam, but is poured into a glass, after which a sweetener (syrup or granulated sugar), ice and coffee are added there. It turns out a refreshing, light and cool drink that can be refreshed even in extreme heat.

How and with what is a latte served?

Normal latte is served in porcelain or ceramic cups with a volume of 150-250 ml, which keeps the heat well and keeps the coffee hot for a long time. A few years ago, due to the popularity of the latte macchiato,It was fashionable to serve e in tall glass glasses, but now this trend has gradually disappeared. However, latte is still served in Irish glasses because it is more about coffee and milkshakes, and in this case the temperature of the coffee is not as important as, for example, espresso or cappuccino.

While it was previously believed that it was unconventional to mix the layers of the beverage, modern coffee traditions are quite permissive to mixing as long as it is delicious for the customer.

Traditionally, lattes are often ordered with muffins, but the milky sweetness doesn't go well with sweet desserts. Experts recommend pairing this drink with sour berry muffins, macarons, or curd and cheese-based desserts (lemon cheesecake is perfect!).

However, it should be noted that latte is a "dessert" drink in itself, especially with the addition of various syrups of caramel latte and its equivalents. Its calorie content is from 180 to 250 kcal. Depending on the volume of the glass, the fat content of the milk and the presence of added sweetener. So, if you've chosen a healthy lifestyle for yourself, it may be worth switching to a different type of coffee (Americano and espresso are calorie-free) or light, low-calorie desserts.

Latte art: it's not just hearts on milk foam

As the name suggests, latte art is the art of creating images on milk foam. Although such "art" can reduce the taste characteristics of a coffee drink, coffee shop goers are more likely to choose a plain latte or cappuccino.

In total, there are three main drawings from which all other more complex compositions arise - this is a fern, a tulip and a heart. They are created by a thin stream of frothy milk, which is poured into espresso with special movements. This art is quite difficult (but possible) to master. At home, it will be difficult, especially for a novice barista: firstly, you need an espresso from a coffee machine with the right foam cream, and secondly, you need skim milk for a stable, easy-to-use foam. content of 3.2-4% and protein (lactose) content of 3% -3.5%. You will also need a jug (a special metal jug for milk), a cappuccino and a kitchen thermometer.

However, if you don't want to train for several months, you can more easily create beautiful drawings on a latte by purchasing a few templates (or making them out of cardboard). Drawings will also require ground cinnamon, cocoa powder or grated chocolate.


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