After much experimentation in the kitchen, I have finally found a way to make frothy espresso drinks at home. The credit goes mostly to my lovely sister-in-law, Amy, who introduced me to this awesome little milk-frother that has basically changed my life. Confessions of a true coffee addict, right? She let me use hers several times while visiting family at Christmas, and I knew as soon as I got home I would be ordering one for myself. You can get them on IKEA’s website for just $2.49! I paid $6 on Amazon for mine (including shipping), so not bad at all.
I also have a little Krups espresso machine. Just a tiny one that sits on the countertop. It is very simple to use and only costs about $35 on Amazon. It has a milk steamer on the side that I sometimes use as opposed to the IKEA milk-frother, but it takes a little more practice to get the steaming technique down than the IKEA handheld version. If you don’t want to invest in an espresso machine, extra strong coffee works, too, although I wouldn’t suggest using coffee from a Keurig. I’ve tried it once or twice and the only way I can think to describe the taste is “weird”. Probably not what you want. Just your average coffeepot or a French press would do the job, as long as you have good quality coffee grounds to work with.
So how do I make my homemade espresso drinks?
I start by heating 6 ounces of milk (usually organic cow’s or non-GMO almond) in a pot over the stovetop. Sometimes I put non-GMO stevia or organic sugar, if I’m in the mood for a sweet drink. Meanwhile, I pour my water in the top of my espresso machine, put good quality grounds into the portafilter, tamp them down, lock it in, and turn the dial to the espresso option. Once the espresso is finished and the milk is heated to the right temperature, I set my espresso aside and pour the milk from the pot into a glass Pyrex measuring cup. I froth the milk with my nifty handheld device for about 12-15 seconds. I always beat my Pyrex glass against the counter a few times, just to make sure all the big bubbles are burst. Mine has a rubber ringed bottom, so I don’t feel like I’m hurting it or making too much noise. Then I pour my espresso into a coffee mug and pour the milk on top. I have big dreams of one day discovering how to make latte art, but I haven’t figured out how to do that quite yet. When I do, I will be sure to share it with you! I need a barista to teach me. YouTube isn’t working. At least not for me anyway.
Well, I hope this has given you an idea of a few tools that will help you make delicious lattes at home. I remember thinking before the days of having these nifty little gadgets that if I wanted a latte, I would either have to go to Starbucks and spend five bucks or invest in one of those $2,000 machines that I had neither the money nor the room for in the kitchen. I am glad there are much more economical options for the frugal.