Confession: In the past year or so, I’ve become a pretty hardcore coffee addict. Up until about the middle of last year, tea had always and forever been my preferred hot drink of choice- there are even photos of me drinking milky tea from a little bottle as a toddler! But slowly, gradually, my taste for coffee has grown, and now I’d rather have a lovely latte or punchy flat white over a cup of my beloved English Breakfast!
Recently a few lovely Cider with Rosie readers have asked if I might put together a tutorial for how I make the iced coffees that so frequently appear on my Instagram feed, and also how to create that pretty layered effect that fancy cafes make in £3.50 a pop lattes! Though I’m by no means a professional or expert when it comes to making coffee, I have made more than my fair share of lattes and flat whites over the past few months, and have really begun to settle into a little routine of how I like to make my coffees at home. So, let’s get brewing!
Now, let’s talk coffee-making-equipment. There are a billion different ways to brew coffee at home- from expensive bean to cup machines, to the humble and traditional filter method. I use a Bialetti stovetop coffee pot to brew my coffee, which costs around £20 and makes enough espresso for about three or four generous lattes. I used to use a cheaper, non-branded version of the Bialetti (before I accidentally forgot to put water in it before filling it with coffee and putting it on the hob, and set fire to the coffee grounds…) and would definitely recommend going for the Bialetti over any other. It really is brilliant!
Though I’m currently hankering after a bean-grinder (as well as a fancy milk frother, and a lifetime supply of Monmouth beans), right now my favourite coffee to use at home is either Lavazza’s ground espresso, or Starbucks medium blend ground coffee. The Lavazza is a much finer grind than the Starbucks blend and so is noticeably richer, but quite a bit smokier too. It really comes down to personal taste which you’d prefer to drink. Jason absolutely loathes the Lavazza, for example, but I adore it! Most blends available in the supermarket cost around £3/4 for a 250g bag, so it won’t have cost much more than a Starbucks/Costa latte if you buy a blend and decide it’s not for you. Now, for the ‘how-to’!
What you’ll need:
Enough ground coffee or espresso to fill up your coffee machine/stovetop pot/cafetiere
A flavoured syrup, or brown sugar
A milk frother (I just recently bought this Bodum milk frother, and am really impressed with it!)
Ice (if you’re making your latte iced, of course!)
- To make a regular latte (not an iced one) just fill up your coffee pot, and brew some coffee. At the same time, measure out enough milk to fill your mug/glass/cup to about 2/3 full, then heat the milk until it’s hot, but not boiling. I do mine on the hob in a milk pan, because we don’t have a microwave and also because I prefer to be able to watch it closely whilst it heats up.
- When the milk is nice and hot, transfer it to a tall jug and use a frother to whisk it until it’s softly foaming and really velvety. Careful not to over-froth it, or we’ll end up with the sort of stiff foam you tend to find on top of a cappuccino instead of a latte! Pour the milk into your mug or glass, and add a small layer of soft milk foam on top.
- Now, for the fiddly part! Take a spoon, rest it on the edge of your glass as shown in the photo above, and lay the tip of it so it just about touches the top of the milk. Slowly, *very* slowly, begin pouring coffee over the back of the spoon into the glass. Try and keep the stream of coffee pretty thin here, and pour with the pot held really close to the glass or else it’ll create too much movement in the glass and split the layers. I find it easiest to put my glass right on the edge of the kitchen work-surface so that I can get the top of the coffee pot level with the glass before I begin to pour, as it’s the easiest way to control the stream of coffee.
- Keep pouring really slowly and carefully until you’ve got about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 milk in your glass, then step back and admire your handiwork! Add sugar to taste (or a flavoured syrup if you’d prefer), stir, and enjoy!
- To make an iced latte, you can either use freshly brewed warm, or cooled espresso. I tend to brew a pot of coffee in the morning, drink a shot or two of it warm either in a latte/flat white or just with a little sugar, and then let the rest go cold to be used in iced lattes.
- Put two or three ice cubes into a glass, then add in a splash of syrup for sweetness. In the amount of coffee shown in the photos, I used one capful of Starbucks own vanilla syrup.
- Pour in enough milk to again fill your glass about 2/3 full, and then carefully begin pouring in espresso directly onto one of the ice cubes. Pouring the coffee onto an ice cube will slow down the stream of coffee as it hits the milk, and allow it to float right on top! If you’re using warm espresso here, it might be easier to just pour over the back of a spoon again because the ice will melt too fast otherwise.
- Keep pouring carefully, then when you’ve got about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 milk, stop pouring and again step back to appreciate your handiwork! Add a straw, mix, and enjoy!
And that, as they say, is it! I think it’s such a lovely way to serve coffee at the weekend, or if you’ve got friends round for coffee and a slice of cake. The layering might seem a palaver but is *so* satisfying to do, and even if the layers do break it’ll still create a pretty ombre effect in your coffee!
Do let me know if you give it a go, and don’t forget tag me in on Instagram using the hashtag ‘#ciderwithrosiecooks’, so that we can all be cliches and ‘gram our coffees together! ;) Happy layering!