How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Assuming you have the required equipment, making the perfect latte is really quite simple, although it does require a degree of practice.

You will need a coffee maker, a coffee grinder (if your maker does not have one built in), and an amount of good quality coffee beans.  Milk is obviously required too; low fat or full cream, it’s your choice.

Set the grinder to very fine or espresso grade and grind your beans.  You need about 7 grams of ground coffee to make a single espresso.  Using you measuring spoon, take one full scoop of the ground beans and fill the single filter which you will have attached to the filter holder.  If you were making two lattes, then you will need to fill the double filter, so you will need two scoops or about 14 grams of ground coffee.  The filters will be provided as part of your coffee machine.

Once the coffee is in the filter is needs to be flattened down or tamped.  Use the flat side of the measuring spoon to do this.  This is probably the aspect of making coffee that will take some experimentation to achieve the desired taste.  If you tamp the coffee down too firmly, it will be over extracted and it may taste too bitter.  If not tamped down firmly enough, the water will flow through the coffee too quickly and it will be under extracted, so the coffee will be weak.  It’s all really a matter of personal preference.

Similarly, the grade of the ground beans will also affect how quickly the water flows through the coffee under extraction, so make sure, for an espresso used to make lattes and cappuccinos, to use a fine grade, but not too fine.

With the filter full and the coffee tamped to the desired pressure, fill the frothing judge with the required amount of milk.  I need just under half a small jug for one latte; it will just depend on the size of your frothing jug. 

Use the frothing attachment and the steam selection to heat and froth the milk.  Don’t make it all froth though; you need about 2/3 of it steamed for the finished product.

Attach the filter to the coffee machine, place your cup under the filter and extract the coffee.  You need about 30mls of coffee in the cup (or glass if sticking with tradition).  The coffee should be a nice, rich, dark colour with a layer of lighter coloured crema on top.

That done, you have the beginnings of your latte.  The ratio for a traditional latte is 1/3 espresso to 2/3 steamed milk.  It should then be topped off with about an inch or so of froth.  To obtain a nice creamy consistency and achieve that perfect layer of froth, the steamed milk should really be poured down the side of the cup or glass, but this is not essential.

After a little experimentation, you will soon be making perfect lattes without even thinking about it.  Cappuccinos are as simple to make; it’s only the ratio of milk and froth that changes for a cappuccino.

You can also add a little flavoured syrup if you have a sweet tooth.  Popular flavours include vanilla, caramel, Irish cream and butterscotch.  You can add the flavours after you have poured the milk or, if you don’t want to mess up your beautifully presented latte, you can add the flavour before you pour the milk.

Easy and much nicer than instant coffee.