I’ve just gone to the nearby coffee bar for a lunchtime latte, and I was bitterly disappointed. Filth! So I won’t be buying latte there any more.
Instead, I’ll be making cafe au lait in the office. Cafe au lait isn’t just white coffee; it’s a 50-50 mix of hot milk and double-strength coffee, and bears a remarkable resemblance to a caffe latte, just without the foam cap. It’s much richer and more luxurious than a white coffee.
If if you have fresh coffee and fresh milk, you can make a very passable cafe au lait in minutes. Here’s the skinny.
– a cafetiere.
– a microwave.
– a large mug or microwave-safe jug, to heat the milk.
– a smaller mug, to serve.
– coffee ground for cafetiere.
The steps are; start the coffee brewing, heat the milk, plunge the coffee, then mix.
_Start the coffee brewing:_ To make the coffee, boil a kettle of water and either let it cool for a minute, or put some cold water. Boiling water can scald the coffee. I know this sounds precious, but it makes a difference; you won’t taste as much bitterness in the coffee, and you should notice more of the flavours.
Now you’re going to make double-strength coffee. I use two heaped desert spoons in a cafetiere that will make three cups (two mugs) of coffee, but then I half-fill the cafetiere. Give it about three minutes to brew. During those three minutes, we’ll heat the milk.
_Heat the milk:_ Take your large mug and half-fill it with milk. Nuke it for about a minute and a half.
_Plunge and mix:_ When that’s done, your coffee should be about ready. Plunge the cafetiere, then mix the milk and coffee about 50-50. You will end up with something that looks like white coffee, with some wisps of white almost-foam floating on the surface. You’re done!
Drink in small amounts; it’s a rich drink and you don’t need huge quantities. Save yourself from bad industrial estate caffe latte!