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What Makes a Good Latte?

By Edited May 11, 2014 0 0

I love cafe latte. It is my favourite type of coffee and I think it is great for people who don’t like coffee that much because the flavour is just so good.

I was sitting at a coffee shop in Cape Town and sipping on a good double latté and thinking what in fact makes a good latte. A few things came to my mind.

So what does make a good latté? Well first of all I would say you would look at the froth factor because anybody could heat some milk and pour coffee in at an angle, but often you get a latté and it just has a few bubbles on top. To me this is just not right. It should almost look and taste as if your froth has turned into a thick layer of cream taking up a good inch of your mug or glass. It’s always a nice touch if a heart or some sort of logo has been engraved with a little cocoa.

A latté has to be served in the appropriate latte glasses. You wouldn’t serve a cappuccino in an espresso cup so mugs or proper glasses are the best gear. Some shops will offer you a latte grande and will serve it in tall latte cups, which is probably better because they will retain the heat.



photo credit: flickr.com/photos/mattb4rd/3365231308/

  • I prefer my coffee strong so I would go for a double latte, but that's up to you of course. The espresso should also be the best because espresso is one of the most important factors that make up the latte and you should be able to taste if your latte was made properly in a proper latte maker.

You get amazing flavors. Some people prefer to stick to plain old latté, but if you are one for experimenting make sure you get something that tastes like what you ordered. If it is meant to be a Chai tea latté then it should taste like one! Here in South Africa we have a popular tea, called Rooibos, which is imported to many places all over the world. This is a newish flavor, which I was a little weary about, but the Red Latte is a fantastic subtle taste for tea lovers and some people will only drink Rooibos tea.

Filter Coffee Recipe

I used to be quite happy drinking filter coffee, but it’s a whole new way of life since I have come back from Brazil and started drinking proper filter coffee. I think anyone would be converted after visiting a country like that.

Here is a recipe you can use which I made I think by mistake when I had too much cream.

  • Have whipped cream mixed with sugar ready,
  • fill your cup of coffee up, leaving a little space for the cream
  • scoop in the cream and add a little melted chocolate on top


These variations can be mixed into the cream

  • Vanilla extract and sugar. You can also you a vanilla bean.
  • ½ chilli deseeded mixed with ¼ cup chopped chocolate
  • Cinnamon mixed with sugar

Most people go and buy a coffee machine or maybe a cappuccino machine where you would have the choice of cappuccino, coffee and maybe an espresso. However, it is not often that people think of buying a latte maker for the sole purpose of making lattes.

Fortunately you don't have to buy a whole machine just to make yourself a latte in the morning instead of walking to the coffee shop. This is made possible with wand frothers, which swirls the milk around to form bubbles or the stove top method, which works by inserting the steam from the stove into the bottom of the milk. Frothing pitchers are also a good buy. They basically  froth the milk automatically. You get some that are battery operated and don't use much power. You just need to use it for no more than 20 seconds.

Of course if you were thinking of investing in an espresso machine you would have to make sure that there would be an attachment for frothing milk, which is essential if you want to make a great latte! You can find an affordable espresso machine that works well and will last you some time, but you have to make sure you shop around and get the best possible advice before making an investment like that.

Cappuccino Machine

A lot of people have a cappuccino machine in their kitchen and this is a brilliant asset to have. It rounds off the perfect meal at your dinner party and it’s a great accompaniment to have with reading the morning’s newspaper. Coffee shops are now charging more for various types of coffees and in the long run a cappuccino machine will be a lot cheaper than forking out the dollars every morning at coffee shops and espresso shops before going to work.

The Cappuccino Cup

Serving a cappuccino in a porcelain cup, which is the tradition helps retain the heat. It is common now to serve it in a mug and customers have the choice of a tall or a short cappuccino, but this will at least stay warmer than something like the caffe latte because the foam also retains the heats whereas a latte just contains the milk on top of the coffee. In Europe porcelain is still used and some people prefer using  a proper cappuccino cup.

Traditionally cappuccino is served at breakfast time in Europe along with some form of pastry, but of course traditions change with time.

How a cappuccino machine works

Cappuccino makers function by heating water from the top of the machine and with the use of steam. The water is filtered through the coffee. There is a nozzle attachment which is used to froth milk for your cappuccinos . There are two types of machines, but most people will tell you that pump machines are the more effective. They are able to heat the water to its required temperature and from there it is filtered through the coffee that has been ground. A steam machine is the other variety, which is not as powerful as the pump version, but is less expensive and definitely smaller. If it is a strong cup of coffee you are after the pump machine is your best bet.

Capresso 464.05 CoffeeTeam GS 10-Cup Digital Coffeemaker with Conical Burr Grinder
Amazon Price: $250.00 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2014)
This is a great little invention which, like the name suggests combines an espresso and a cappuccino in one. The capresso coffee maker contains a stainless steel heating element with a coffee grinder that is fully programmable. The conical filter shape is designed to enhance the flavor of the coffee.
Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Amazon Price: $100.00 $48.95 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2014)
This is probably the ultimate machine that will make you your regular cappuccino, latte or espressos in no time at all. The nice thing about this machine is that you can adjust the coffee strength to your desired preference using the coffee/steam selector. The machine has a steamer which is great to make milk froth just like they do at your local coffee shop. The capresso espresso machine is enough for 4 cups. An espresso cappuccino in no time is a not a bad thing to have!


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