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April 3, 2009

Searching for the Perfect Latte – at home.

Just got laid off? Can’t find a job? Have less money in this nationwide downturn? Join thousands of others as we try and find ways to cut down expenditure and stretch out our ever decreasing incomes.

One of the first of life’s little luxuries to go for our house hold, would be the trips to our local coffee houses. When I had a job I used to pick up a Starbucks latte on the way to work most mornings, then weekends would find me at the local Peets. Sometimes twice in one day!

Now faced with the prospect of making my own drinks I realize there is was more to it than I thought. I have a cheap old Melita espresso machine so I’m all set to make the perfect latte – or so I thought!

Things to take into consideration are; flavor, body, foam.

I experimented to find that perfect Peet’s flavor, and even after two months, I still do not have it. I decided it was all to do with the coffee and I dabbled with Major Dickison’s (normally my favorite) ground as fine as I could get it, with half decaf. It did not hit the spot. I discovered that Peet’s sells an espresso roast which tastes better than the Major D. This is good, but still doesn’t compare to the flavor of one of their coffee house lattes.

A big element of a perfect latte is the milk product. I use soymilk and experimented my way through several brands. Trader Joe's non-sweetened is too – well – not sweet. So I tried vanilla soy which turned out to be – well – too vaniller-y. Yuk! This was sweeter than Starbuck’s! So I tried mixing it – some vanilla some Trader Joe’s. No. This was not it at all. I even went to Peet’s and asked them their secret. They told me they had special "steamer soy for coffee house use only". Well that was no help at all. I have since settled on Pearl un-sweetened which I get from Whole Foods. This particular brand tastes pretty good and makes the best, silkiest thick foam ever – yum.

I still have not found the way to make the latte of my taste bud’s dreams, but I have a way of making one that I like. If I go to Peet’s coffee house and buy one, it is now a delightful treat that I appreciate all the more. Sorry to Peet’s that I can’t spend more in your stores, but I do appreciate your products.


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