off topic

How to make a latte.

Starbucks is closing 600 US stores due to pressure from the tanking economy. Is your ‘Bucks on the list? You don’t have to be a trained barista or have a ton of expensive equipment to make a latte that easily rivals the Starbucks version. For a modest investment, you can have your Grande Latte any time you want (and for a lot cheaper than $5-a-pop).

Hardware
Stove top espresso pot (I got an inexpensive one at the supermarket for under $20)
Milk frother (I have one from IKEA that cost less than $5)
Coffee grinder (Inexpensive grinders can be found anywhere. I can’t remember where we got ours…)
Cooking thermometer (here’s mine)

Software
About 3 or 4 Tbsp or so of whole coffee beans. (I buy my coffee at TJ’s where they have a good selection of coffees in different roasts. Traditionally espresso is made with a dark roasted but you can make your espresso from whatever beans you like the best.)
8 oz Milk (I prefer fat-free)
Sugar (if you are so inclined)

update: I should note here that my espresso pot makes a single 1-1/2 oz cup.

Application
1.Finely grind your beans following the grinder’s instructions. Really fine. As close to a powder as you can get it. Of course, if you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can grind the beans at the store or buy espresso coffee that is pre-ground to the right texture, but grinding your beans yourself right before you make the espresso really is the best way.
2. Pack the coffee into the basket of your espresso pot and fire up your stove, making the espresso as per the pot’s instructions.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat up your milk to (up to 155°, don’t go any higher or it tastes scalded). When it’s at your desired temp (mine is 140°-145°) give it a little whirl with the frother.
4. Make your latte by layering everything into a tall (16 oz) coffee mug in this order: sugar, espresso, milk.

Yum!

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