Have you ever had a spiritual moment with your drink?
I think we’ve all experienced the nirvana that can come with food – the first bite into a perfectly prepared steak or a freshly baked cookie will do it for many of us. Personally, I’ve had countless transcendent moments with my food (admittedly, it doesn’t take much). But I can’t say I’ve heard many people gush about a drink before.
Why is that? What is it about beverages that make them less exciting for us? Is it just the lack of chewing? Perhaps it has to do with the process of drinking something versus eating something… Stick with me here –
Eating requires a lot more of our senses and physicality than drinking. It’s a full body process to find food, cook it, and get it from dish to mouth. We are constantly in motion during a meal, lifting forks and spoons, handling knives, using napkins. But with a drink, it feels more passive. You sip and gulp, but it’s somewhat automatic. Drinking is basically involuntary, robotic. Eating is active and engaging.
Yeah, this is a load of crap. There are people who study wine for a living, and thousands of microbreweries in the US alone. And it’s not really my point, just understand that I’m trying to make sense of the event that led me to start this blog.
There is a coffee shop in Miami, Florida called Alaska Coffee Roasting. I was there about 3 weeks ago, and that was when I had the most perfect, amazing, heavenly latte I’ve ever had in my life. I have seriously considered moving to Miami just to be close to that coffee shop. Sadly, I live in Boston and should/could/would not move to Miami just for a latte, so I’ve decided to embark on a hunt for the most perfect latte in Boston instead.
What makes a latte perfect, you ask? Well, in my opinion…
- Espresso should never, ever be too bitter. Bitterness comes with the territory, but I expect a somewhat nutty flavor as well, not a somewhat noxious one. If it makes you wince or tense, it’s no good.
- Good quality milk is essential. Whole or 2% only; anything else is preposterous (though an argument could be made for soy). Quality milk will make a nice, dense foam and complement the smoothness of the espresso with a faintly fluffy mouth-feel.
- If my drink is over 10% foam, it’s a cappuccino. I’m not European, so I don’t understand the obsession with foam. My perfect latte will have no more than a centimeter of foam.
- If your latte meets all the above requirements, you shouldn’t need any sugar. However, if you’ve got a bad latte and need something to make it more palatable, I recommend a little honey. If the shop doesn’t have honey available, run far away and never turn back.
If you love espresso and/or Boston as much as I do, you should stay tuned for my latte-scapades! And also my stupid puns. I’m no expert, just a normal lady loving her own perfect iteration of a latte and looking for it here with enthusiasm and vigor. Looking forward to this journey… Until next time!