I lose count of the number of lattes I drink in one week. Sometimes life interrupts, and I don’t always get to tell you about all of the great coffee and espresso that we find from across the United States. That said, we NEVER stop drinking coffee and espresso.
I have studied coffee for more than 30 years, and I have no intention of stopping now. Between reading and watching video, we are always learning something new about coffee and espresso. Coffee is a community of sharing; so I thought since we photograph all of the latte art that is poured, we would share some of the designs from the past week.
All of these lattes are a 2oz shot of espresso with 6oz of whole milk. From Rosettas, to Hearts, Tulips, to Swans and Phoenixes, they are all created from a Rancilio Silvia Espresso Maker and a Rancilio Rocky Grinder.
I typically buy several bags of espresso from one roaster at a time. I do this to really have the equipment exact and produce the best latte, and hopefully latte art. I seek consistency, and I take an exacting approach to every cup of espresso and coffee I make.
Using a single boiler espresso maker has its challenges. The espresso shot is extracted first, and then I need to wait about 2 to 2:30 minutes for the boiler to be properly charged for milk frothing. With all of that in mind, the espresso begins to set. I love to pour milk into that as it breaks it up in odd patterns, showcasing light and dark. I think that adds such a distinct and singular character to each and every latte that I pour.
I have been using Ristretto Roasters Beaumont Blend Espresso (http://ristrettoroasters.com/product/beaumont-blend-espresso/) for that last few weeks. All of the espressos and all of the art from this past week have been crafted from those beans.
Within each espresso shot itself, I work with the grind and the tamp; within the milk preparation, I will work with the start temperature, the end temperature, how long I hiss the milk and how long I swirl the milk. If we change any of these variables ever so slightly, and we do, you get magnificent results that define each latte.
This heart-topped rosetta was a gift to my Mom on Mother’s Day. Yes, I know that was more than a week ago, but she was surprised by it and really enjoyed it. She asked me to share it with you.
I have been asked about this cup. I use it for most of my practice. It is an 8oz cup from Caffe Vita (http://www.caffevita.com/shop/merchandise/drinkware/ceramic-latte-cup.html) in Seattle. I picked it up out there when I visited last September. I like the weight of it and the size. If you can pour into a smaller cup, you will adjust easily to a larger one.
It’s always hard to finish up a blog post, just like it’s hard to finish a well poured latte. The best way to remedy that is to start another.
May you all have a great week, and drink even better coffee.