Tall Skinny gluten free lactose free wet hazelnut latte. Could you repeat that?
New York, Indian summer. I wander around the city, walking through the streets, around the neighborhoods. Something’s missing to make this an authentic adventure. So, ecstatic, I walk into a “coffee shop” to order an espresso to go.
With a cardboard goblet in hand and caffeine in my veins, I’ll look more like I belong less touristy, more local. Even if I usually drink Oh My Tea tea!
Hesitation before the long list of specialties, I’m even more lost. I let a lady cut in front whose pressed like an orange juice, heel size, Michael Kors bag, basically a New Yorker, and her, she has her habits.
“Tall Skinny gluten free lactose free wet hazelnut latte”. She lays out her order with the rhythm of a rapper and a tongue click on the double T. Could you repeat that? Was that a coffee you just ordered or a 7-course meal?
No time to confront her, she’s already fled like she’s being chased by a crocodile. I find myself face to face with a barista. A barista? It’s a guy who makes coffee, a coffee maker, but with the 21rst century Brooklyn style, so that includes a tattoo, with a full-on beard, rings on 9 of his fingers and a dexterity in each gesture, all whilst remaining classy. Intimidating, I put on my best accent, “A café too Emporter?” Shout out to Mrs. Patras for her useless English classes.
Since he’s a barista, he smirks but is still nice and slides into a perfect French: “tu veux que je t’explique les différences?”
I turn around. It’s all good, there’s no one there, can you help me?
So Nico, recently moved to New York – and who asks to be called Nick (well yeah… he’s a barista) – walks me through the menu maze and makes of me a young coffee Padawan:
“Espresso. The one and only”
“At the heart of all the coffee specialties, the espresso you recognize it by its creamy foam, its hazel color. I prepare it the old way: 7.5g of finely ground coffee, 20ml of hot water, infusion temperature 92 ° C. 93, eh not 94 or 90. 93. Ok?
– Ok Champion.
– Your espresso, you can have it in double or double, you know the difference?
– I don’t understood…
– Double Espresso or Espresso Double: the first is twice as much coffee in the same amount of water. The second is twice as much coffee in twice as much water.
– If you’re in a rush, if you’re tired, or if you’re both and Italian, you can drink a ristretto: with as much coffee as espresso but half the water. Hold on, little one.
If on the other hand, you like it diluted, order a Lungo or long coffee: the same quantity of coffee as espresso but twice the water. Next, we have all the versions, with milk or cream and… for the artists: Espresso machiatto, it’s espresso with a layer of milk foam, cream coffee: subtly foamed a few seconds more than espresso, I add cream and finally the cappuccino: espresso mixed with warm milk, around 100ml and we add the milk foam on top. The important thing to remember in the cappuccino is to froth the cold milk and then turn up the heat. You froth, froth, froth! You have a variant, it’s the Latte Macchiato: I put the milk in first, then the coffee, then the cold milk foam. A cappuccino with 3 floors, actually.
– ok. But why, her, the one before, she ordered like 12 things and she left with only one cup.
– Types of milks and flavors: she asked for a big latte – “Tall Latte” – but with milk without fat – “skinny” – without lactose – “lactose free” – without gluten – “gluten free” and with hazelnut syrup – “hazelnut”.
– Milk without gluten? And no fat but with hazelnut syrup?
– Go figure… so what are you having?
– A gluten-free Orangina.”
Nick’s recipes for playing Barista…
Espresso: 7,5g of coffee finely ground, roasted espresso, approx. 20 to 30ml of hot water, infusion temperature of 90 to 94°C, preheated cup.
Espresso double: it contains twice as much ground coffee as espresso but the same quantity of water, not to be confused with a double espresso, which is just doubling all the elements!
Espresso macchiato: 1 espresso prepared, a little milk foam. Pour the espresso in the preheated cup and add some milk foam.
Ristretto: at least 7,5g of finely ground, roasted espresso, 15 to 25ml of hot water, infusion temperature 90 to 94°C, preheated cup.
Cappuccino: 1 prepared espresso, 100 to 150ml of milk. Pour the espresso in the cappuccino cup. Preheat and froth the cold milk. Froth the milk at a temperature below 65°C. Fill the cup with milk foam.
Lungo: 7,5 to 8,5g of coarsely ground coffee, roasted espresso, approx. 55ml of hot water, infusion temperature 88 to 93°C, preheated cup. The espresso is extended with hot water.
Schümli coffee or cream coffee: approx. 9g of finely ground coffee, 120 to 130ml of hot water, infusion temperature 88 to 93°C, coffee cream or milk to your taste.
Latte macchiato: 150 ml of milk foam, prepared espresso. Prepare the milk foam. Pour it into a big cup. Prepare the espresso and then (after 1 to 2 min) pour it smoothly into the milk. The espresso should stay in the middle of the cup.
Latte: 1 prepared coffee, 75 to 100ml of milk foam, 100ml of warm milk. Pour the coffee in a cup and add a lot of hot milk and some foam.
Signature coffees: 1 prepared espresso, 10ml of aroma syrup, 200ml of milk foam. Pour the syrup in a cup, then the milk foam and the espresso, like for a latte.