For Latte lovers: Eager to dive into the richest and most exquisite culture in the world yet? Let’s start with the following question: what is latte?
What is Latte? It is just an energy drink that shakes you up in the morning for an energetic day at work. If that is all you are saying, you barely know Latte at all. In fact, Latte is more sophisticated than just a morning booster. Keep on reading to see the true magic of it!
What Is A Latte, Really?
Latte is not the exact name for the drink, but rather a shorter version for Caffè Latte. It is a cup of espresso mixed with steamed milk.
Caffè Latte literally means “milk coffee”; in which Latte is an Italian word for milk; hence “cafe latte” equals milk coffee. A small tip for you: Always ask for a Caffè Latte while traveling in Italy, or else you will get a cup of milk instead! There are several types of Latte, and we have kept a separate section for this topic right below.
Now let’s move on to the history of your favorite coffee.
Where Did It Start?
Latte has been rooted deeply in European cuisine since the 17th century. You may encounter various name versions of this popular drink across the European continent, such as Café Au Lait (French), Café Con Leche (Spanish), Milchkaffee (German), or Kapuziner (Austria). However, in Italy, it is specifically called Caffè Latte.
Despite its long history, Cafe Latte did not earn its massive popularity until the 1980s. Thanks to the Americans, people started to ask, “what is latte?”. The drink had come to make its name on the public coffee house by Lino Meiorin, the claimed-to-be-Latte-inventor, in the 1950s in California, America.
Further up to the 1980s, Latte truly bloomed as the world’s favorite coffee. People trended it in Seattle, then throughout the country of America. In the meantime, a similar trend ignited in European nations as well.
How Many Types of Lattes?
Latte is so different in style. The traditional way to serve a Latte is when it’s hot. The original Caffè Latte in Italy simply consists of hot coffee and heated milk (doesn’t have to be foamed milk), while sugar is added as how the drinker likes it.
The second type is Ice Latte. The USA consists of espresso and chilled milk (not steamed) with flavoring syrup pouring over ice.
Latte Macchiato is also a Latte, in which a half shot of espresso is poured over foam of steamed milk underneath. Generally, Latte Macchiato is milk with a macchia (macchia means stain) of coffee on top.
Chai Latte is another type of Latte. It was created by replacing espresso with Masala Chai, an Indian herb tea. People indulge in this drink for its exquisite spice aroma and also a healthier alternative. The infamous drink from Starbucks – Pumpkin Spice Latte is based on Chai Latte as well.
How To Make One?
Now that you know what is a Latte, why not learn to make one?
What you need to make a traditional hot Latte:
- A 240ml cup
- 1 shot (30ml) of hot espresso
- 210ml of milk with sweetener of choice
- A cafetière (French Press) or a whisk
Start by pouring one shot of freshly-made espresso into the cup.
Next, steam your milk, either by a microwave or a stove for about 15-30 seconds, be careful not to burn yourself.
Once the milk is heated, pour it into the cafetière, softly press a few times to create a silky foam on top. In case you do not own a cafetière, slowly whisk your milk back and forth with a whisk; it will produce the same effect.
Now slowly add the frothed milk to the cup of coffee. You can pour it in a circle and get creative with your Latte art.
And Voilà, your Latte is ready to serve!
Enjoy Your Latte!
We hope you have found your answer to the question of What is Latte. It is a simple and easy-to-make coffee yet so rich in history itself. Now try the recipe and share the result with us in the comment below. See you next time!