Coffee Explorer 101: The Caffe Latte

Published on Author James Matthews

Caffe Latte, typically just called as latte literally means milk coffee. Other countries also have other names for the same drink, in France, they call it as grand crème. In Germany, it’s known as Milchkaffee, and in Austria, it’s known as Weiner Melange.

Latte Variations

Latte on its own means milk, so any drink that has milk in it is also called a latte. Nowadays cafe’s serve different types of latte like Green Tea Matcha Latte, Mint Tea Latte, Turmeric Latte and many more! Sometimes the latte uses different milk alternatives like soy milk or almond milk, for those who are lactose intolerant.
With that being said, once you go to Italy, make sure you order ‘caffè latte’ and not just latte or else you’ll find yourself dumbstruck with a cup of milk in your hands.

How is Caffe Latte prepared?

The Caffe Latte is typically prepared in an 8-ounce cup, glass or mug. Some may serve it bigger on a 12-ounce cup. The caffè latte has either a single shot or a double shot of espresso with one shot approximately measuring up to 30 mL and slowly filled with a nice mix of steamed milk and foam on top.

When preparing a cold cup of caffè latte, you start off by preparing a strong coffee (mostly espresso) and mixed with milk. The milk isn’t steamed or frothed but just scalded. An iced caffè latte has a 1:1 milk and coffee ratio, some would serve it as it is but some would also prefer a dash of whipped cream on top.

How Caffe Latte is Served Around the World

  • In Scandinavia, they like their caffè latte or café au lait served in a bowl.
  • Bootleg latte is a fun new way of drinking a the popular caffeinated beverage. You’ll get to enjoy a cup of coffee by buying an inexpensive shot of espresso and you have the freedom to make your own caffè latte by adding all sorts of flavor and condiments from an open condiments’ bar. It’s also known as a ghetto latte.
  • Cafes also offer additional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, caramel or even essences like hazelnut, almond, and other flavors to add to their caffè latte.
  • Cafes also enjoy a cup of coffee with an aesthetic delight called latte art. This has become increasingly popular since cafes love designing different decorations on a cup of coffee.
    Latte art has gained popularity now and has even become a part of a barista’s training.

Coffee Stylistics: Latte Art

Latte Art has totally become an entire coffee science on its own. Latte art is the decorative pattern or design that forms on top of a latte. Latte art is actually quite difficult to do and even conquer because the quality of a latte art is affected by so many factors, namely:

  • quality of the espresso shot
  • quality of the steamed milk
  • quality of the espresso machine
  • pouring of the milk
  • experience of the barista
  • the talent of the latte artist or barista

We may not know it but Latte Art started long before in the late 1980’s but is gaining much attention nowadays. It is particularly difficult to make because latte art is an art form that needs to be done quickly because the microfoam itself easily dissipates.

Caffe Latte is one of the most loved coffee concoctions in the world. It is versatile and has tons of mixtures to add flavor, additional taste and even a great feel. Caffe latte is one of the best marriages between coffee and milk.