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Latté?

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Latté?

Post  Taylor15 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:04 am

Does anyone here know how to make a latté? In particular, does anyone know how to make a pumpkin spice latté?

If you do, would you mind spelling it out for me? I need it for some of my writing.

Thanks!
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Re: Latté?

Post  Amanda on Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:32 am

I'm a barista, and I can help! Very Happy

Is this a character learning how to be a barista/is already a barista? If they're already one, I might not spell it out, just because it would probably be second nature to the character, but if they're learning, yes. I will describe with the assumption we're talking about a coffee shop, rather than a home made version. Here is a description in infinitesimal detail, so you have absolutely everything you could ever need— Smile

First, I'd probably get a shot of espresso ready to pull, which would involve turning on the grinder, pulling the lever on the side of the grinder to dispense grounds into the portafilter(which you can google to know what it looks like, if you're unsure) until it's about full, then using a tamp to press it down firmly, spinning 360˚ as I'm applying pressure for a shiny finish. I'd then stick the portafilter into the circular slot in the espresso machine, twist it sideways firmly, and leave it there. For a beginning barista, they might double check to make sure the wings on the portafilter have lined up with the grooves in the machine, so it's exactly level and will keep pressure.

Then, I would pour milk, usually 2%, into a metal pitcher about as tall as the average hand, pull out the steam wand on the side of the machine, slide the pitcher up until the steam wand is at least halfway between the top of the milk and the pitcher's bottom, and twist the steam wand's knob(usually on the front panel of the machine) all the way. It makes that screeching sound, and a more advanced barista will hold the tip of the steam wand just below the milk's surface for half a second to make a very small layer of foam & insulate the sound. Unless of course the customer is ridiculous and ordered a no-foam latte. Rolling Eyes

Lots of coffee shops use thermometers, and you always heat up/steam the milk until it's between 160˚F & 170˚F(unless it's a kid's drink—that's between 120˚F & 140˚F). At 180˚F, you've burned the milk. Once steamed, set the pitcher on the counter, grab a clean, wet rag, wrap the cloth around the wand, and spin the knob for a half second, then turn it off and rub the wand with the rag. This keeps the steam wand sanitized and free of clogging.

You usually already have the cup, at this point, usually with the order written in shorthand on the side so you don't forget. Unless it's Starbucks, which I haven't worked at, the shorthand would probably be something like "Pk Sp L", & if they ordered with whipped cream, then "w/ w" would be there also. Pour the pumpkin spice syrup into the bottom of the empty cup for a count of three, so it's about a centimeter tall in the cup, for the standard cup diameter.

While you're pouring the syrup, you'd probably have pushed the shot button on the espresso machine, with a little 6-8 oz cup, plastic or glass, positioned so that both pouring sides of the portafilter line up landing inside the cup. High quality coffee shops use a stopwatch to time the shot, and a perfect shot usually runs between 20 & 25 seconds. Once the shot is complete, it should have three layers, a dark bottom layer, a warm brown middle layer, and a creamy-looking top layer, and it should smell glorious. Promptly pour this shot into the cup with syrup, then pour your steamed milk over it until full, leaving a small margin so it doesn't spill. Spray on the whipped cream if they asked for it, pop on the lid, and serve with a smile. Wink

So, that was ridiculously detailed, but I thought you might want absolutely everything, so you could include sensory details as you like. Smile Hope I helped! Very Happy
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Re: Latté?

Post  Taylor15 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:03 pm

Thanks Amanda! This really helps.
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Re: Latté?

Post  Maggie on Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:44 am

Holy cow, Amanda. XD You're so knowledgeable.

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Re: Latté?

Post  Amanda on Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:02 pm

@Taylor—No problem! Glad I could help. Smile

@Maggie—lol. You're too kind. Razz
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