I'll have a 16oz extra hot, sugar free, skinny caramel macchiato with no foam and extra whip. Please.
There are few things worse than the person behind the espresso machine making your drink wrong. Seriously. Even if you are, were or know a barista who knows the struggle of getting every single one of those adjectives right. Just because you understand what it takes to get all of those requests right, doesn't mean you want whip when you asked for none.
In a lot of parts of our lives technicalities are are small things that don't make a huge difference. In coffee, a technicality means the difference between a smooth, every sip tastes the same latte and an easy to start, but kick you in the pants on your way out the door macchiato.
We wanted to give you a brief description of what some of the specialty coffees we know and love are, in our standards. Even though the ingredients are all identical, it's in the process. The difference between a latte and a macchiato is incredibly noticeable in a glass cup, and to the educated pallet.
Latte: Fresh espresso, with stretched milk (heated by steam) topped with a velvety smooth micro foam. The important part here is that the espresso at the bottom of your cup so as you pour the steamed milk into the cup everything mixes together to give you a well rounded finished product.
Macchiato: Fresh espresso, with stretched milk, layered together with the same velvety smooth micro foam as our latte. The key here is in the pour. If you've ever had a B52, or been to an elementary school science fair you've probably noticed that liquids with different densities float on top of one another. The same goes for our macchiato. First the steamed milk topped with micro foam is poured into an empty cup, and the the espresso is poured through the foam. Because the espresso is lighter than the milk, but heavier than the micro foam it floats in the middle. As you drink your macchiato the three layers mix together giving you a unique sensation in every sip. Easy with the micro foam to start, strong espresso up next, and finishing with the smooth steamed milk at the end.
Cappuccino: Obviously there is a theme here, the same two ingredients are used to make this drink as well. Fresh espresso, and milk. In a cappuccino you do stretch the milk with a slight difference, by swirling and folding the milk at you steam it you create a firmer foam, or froth. For a cappuccino, you start with your fresh espresso in the bottom of the cup, and pour your extra-frothy milk into the cup. A cappuccino has a similar flavour profile to a latte, however a latte of the same size will be weaker than a cappuccino, as it has less milk diluting the espresso because of the presence of froth.