Making the Perfect Latte
Almost all of our espresso-based drinks are made from two key, but very vital components – the espresso and the milk. Get them right and you are on your way to a perfect drink. Get them wrong and your drink will fall way short of the mark!
So how do you get them both right? Let’s start with the Espresso.
The finest Arabica beans from Latin America and Indonesia are masterfully blended and roasted with the utmost care to produce our wonderful Starbucks Espresso Roast. We take 14 grams of this wonderful coffee – no more, no less. The coffee is then finely ground for an espresso machine, squashed into a puck using just the right amount of pressure (which we call the tamp) and then hot filtered water is passed through it at an equally careful pressure to create a delicious shot of espresso that has been extracted in 18-23 seconds. You see, the detail is everything! Grind your coffee too fine and the shot will be over extracted, thick and bitter. If your grind is too coarse, the shot will be weak and watery.
Now that we have our perfect shot of intense caramelly-sweet espresso, we need to use it within 10 seconds before the crema breaks down and the wonderful volatile compounds that make the espresso taste so good are lost. So we need milk!
The perfect milk for a latte will have been steamed and aerated just the right amount and been stretched and spun in such a way as to create silky, dense foam made up of thousands of tiny bubbles that look glossy and tastes sweet and creamy. Even skimmed milk takes on a creamy flavour when steamed properly. We have spent the last two years researching the perfect pitcher in which to steam milk and after 14 generations we have found it! Our new dimpled pitcher makes steaming the perfect milk a reality.
Finally we combine the milk and espresso together. We pour the milk low and slow into the middle of the cup to gently mix the espresso and milk together but still giving you plenty of crema at the surface. When the cup is nearly full, we speed up the pour a little until we see the silky foam start to appear as a white dot in the centre of the cup, beautifully contrasting against the crema. And there you have it – the perfect latte. Totally delicious.