Monday, March 15, 2010

The Art of the Latte

My espresso machine is, without a doubt, one of the best gifts I've ever received. My mom bought it for me a little over a year ago, and I've been using it religiously ever since.

My espresso machine is the Breville Cafe Roma:
                              
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
                                    

I love this machine. In addition to its sleek appearance, it makes a mean latte. I'm constantly using it. I use it  to make hot chocolate,  steamed vanilla-flavored milk (it's delicious, I swear), apple cider, and, of course, assorted espresso drinks. My favorite espresso beverage to make is actually the latte macchiato- an upside-down latte of sorts.


                                                      Latte Macchiato


In contrast to the traditional latte (in which milk is added on top of the espresso), here the espresso is poured last, on top of the foam.* I like to add a liberal sprinkling of cinnamon to complete this taste sensation.

I've actually been pretty disappointed, because it seems that most coffee establishments do not carry this illustrious beverage. Even Starbucks won't make me my beloved latte macchiato! When I attempted to order it, they instead gave me a cafe macchiato. In contrast to the latte version, a cafe macchiato is just a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam. Not exactly what I had in mind.

Fortunately, with my Cafe Roma I can make this scrumptious beverage at home. I just need some milk (or, if I'm in the mood for something really rich, half and half), and some espresso. I usually go for the Illy Dark Roast; it seems to be the best. See illy Espresso Fine Grind Dark Roast.



*'Macchiato' is Italian for 'marked.' It refers to the espresso 'marking' the foam.



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Quick Tip: Beyond Beverages



If you have an espresso machine, you should definitely try your hand at this simple (yet delicious) dessert. It's ice cream affogato (italian for 'drowned'). To make, just pour a shot (or less, depending on your preference) of hot espresso onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The espresso caramelizes ever so slightly, giving the dessert an exquisite flavor. Enjoy!

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5 comments:

  1. So does that mean that starbuck's caramel macchiato isn't a real macchiato either?

    I like your blue teacup *want*

    ps. I gave you an award ;)

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  2. that must be one swell mom you have!

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  3. Can I tell you how jealous I am? DYING for an espresso machine. I asked for a Delonghi and the hubs laughed at me. Boo. Ah ha ha

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  4. why can't you get a breve at starbuck's? now there's a drink that's decadent without being cloying or tricked out.

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  5. The caramel macchiato is a real latte macchiato. I don't understand why Starbucks won't offer a plain one (ie., without caramel sauce and vanilla syrup) though.

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