This week for "Adjusting the Grind" I wanted to answer the question:
A Latte is one of the most basic espresso based coffee drinks (coffee brewed on a espresso machine). It is the drink I most often recommend to newcomers because it is a safe, basic drink that you can have fun with if you want.
"Latte" literally means "milk" in Italian.
So why is this coffee drink called a latte?
Well, "Latte" is short for "Cafe Latte".
"Cafe" literally means coffee in Italian.
So if you went to Italy and ordered a cafe latte, you would get a funny look and receive something that looked like this.
However, Americans changed this. A cafe latte is not a part of the main traditional Italian drinks like the cappuccino. Caffee Mediterraneum, in Berkeley, California, claims to be the place where the American cafe latte was born. According to them, one of their owners, Lino Meiorin, came over from Italy in the 1950's and created a larger cappuccino with more milk to appeal to a wider crowd.
Today, the cafe latte has become to be espresso + steamed milk.
Compared to a cappuccino, a cafe latte has less espresso to the milk ratio and less foam in the steamed milk. It is also served at a higher temperature than a cappuccino. In a 12 oz. or tall latte (like pictured here), there is two shots of espresso mixed with steamed milk.
That is all!
But the great thing about lattes is they are the basis for many other coffee drinks. For example, a mocha is a latte with chocolate. So be creative with your latte, but it fantastic all on its own as well.
I took and own all of these photos of my co-worker, David, in action.