Morning Coffee: How I Make My Latte

Happy Wednesday, Friends :)

I never used to drink coffee. Coffee made in a drip maker just doesn't hold much appeal for me, unless I desperately need the caffeine. In my opinion, espresso is a whole other drink!

We got an espresso machine a couple years ago, and I've been a coffee drinker ever since. I enjoy lattes (both hot and iced) and iced coffees the most, both made with espresso. Espresso has a full, rich taste that drip coffee, pour over coffee, and K-Cup coffee just doesn't have. Those types of coffee just taste like coffee flavored water to me now.

Of course, I'm not the only espresso drinker in the house. Since we have such a large household, we nearly run a small coffee shop every day! Each of us like our coffee different ways. When I wake up, I like a hot latte unless it is super warm in the house. If I am chilly at all, I can't drink something iced in the morning.

We use the coffee beans that we roast in house (Polder Bean Haus Coffee), which are available for sale in our shop. I am not exaggerating when I say that we cannot achieve a shot of espresso of the same quality with any other beans we've tried. Our beans create the most full-bodied, rich, frothy shots of espresso ever. It makes all the difference in the world for the taste of the final product. I refuse to drink bad coffee. If it tastes thin or bitter, I would rather go without. We roast coffee just about every day, or at least every other day-- not just to fill orders, but for our own use. If you're in doubt about how good they are, check out the reviews that customers have left on our coffee listing!

Anyway, to make my latte in the morning...

-I grind my beans into pretty fine grounds... not the finest possible, but close. If you grind them *too* fine the water will have a hard time absorbing into the grounds when you're making your shot. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out just exactly how fine to grind your beans so that your espresso maker can handle them, and you get as rich of a shot as possible. I press my grounds into the basket as hard as I can with the tamper, and fill it up with compressed grounds almost all the way to the top. You need a slight amount of head space so you can lock it into place (if it's too full this is difficult or impossible), but not much! If you have too much headspace you won't get much pressure when brewing your shot and the result will be a thin, bitter shot.

-I always brew two shots for my latte. I don't like coffee flavored milk!

-Some people say you're supposed to steam your milk first and then brew your shots, but I always do the shots first and then steam the milk for no reason except that's how I always tend to do it. I do try to be quick about steaming my milk though, because I don't want to lose the thick froth on the top of my espresso shots. I put my Organic Monin Caramel Syrup *in* my milk before I steam it, because I've found that pumping the cold syrup into my hot shot kills the froth on my espresso, which tastes good and rich on the top and looks pretty. I use about 2 and a half pumps of syrup in my latte.

-I pour my steamed milk and syrup into my shots SLOWLY, which allows the espresso froth to rise to the top without the motion of the liquid pouring in effectively mixing all of the froth into the drink. At the very end of the pour, the foamiest part of the milk goes in, and if it is thick and dense enough it will create a white puddle in the middle of the dark colored espresso froth. If you feel artistic you can drag a toothpick or anything long and thin through the top of your latte to make a pretty pattern, which isn't the *correct* way to do latte art of course, but is still fun. If I mess it up I just swirl it together completely like I did with the latte in these pictures.

-I drink it up hot and foamy and delicious!

Making my morning latte is part of my morning routine that I enjoy now, and I am so glad that we got into coffee roasting and espresso!

The carved mug pictured here is one of my favorites. We got it on vacation in Brevard, NC. The beautiful spoon is one of our hand carved Mini Serving Spoons in Hickory, and it is listed in the ready to ship section of our shop. I promise I didn't use it to stir my latte, I just set it down as a prop ;)

So how do you drink your morning coffee? Do you have an espresso machine, or do you want one? Leave a comment and let me know!

xo, Loran