Friday, February 17, 2012

Tim Hortons New Lattes Introduced in Canada - Have you tried one?

Okay, who has tried one of the new Tim Horton's lattes? What is your overall rating for the latte? I haven't tried one yet, and have only heard negative feedback so far - that it tastes very 'mixy' but I'd like to hear feedback from all of you.

What would you rate the Tim Hortons lattes out of 10?

A Whole Latte Love at Starbucks - Make an Easy Latte at Home

Okay, so we may never be able to completely recreate the lovely Starbucks ambience at home (oh, how I love to people watch at SB!), but I've come up with a very easy way to make a latte at home - minus all the fuss. If you're looking for a fun, and easy coffee drink to enjoy at home - give this one a try! Please note that this is my easy latte method, and is certainly not the most authentic way to create a lovely, foamy latte drink. But, if you'd like an easy to make latte, I think you'll enjoy this every bit as much as I do.

(Note: My Easy Latte uses freshly brewed coffee instead of the espresso that the drink usually requires. If you'd like to be more authentic, brew up some fresh espresso in a stovetop espresso maker - it's delicious, and less expensive than espresso making appliances. For the rest of us - delicious coffee will do the trick. If you're looking for a fantastic stovetop espresso maker, this one by Bialetti is still made in Italy and is highly rated by consumers:

Back to the Easy Latte Method...
What you'll need:
Microwave safe mug
Aerolatte foamer (or other brand)
Freshly brewed coffee
1 or 2% milk (skim also works great - in fact, it foams up beautifully)
Sweetener of your choice - I use honey
Sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg or both

Of course, the heavenly thing about a delicious latte is the foam. I love the foam, and the latte can, I think, be judged by the success and foaminess of its foam! ;) So, the easiest way I've found to create lovely amounts of foam for my cappuccinos or lattes is by using an Aerolatte - .

Note: Aerolattes really are worth their weight in gold. Aerolatte also completely backs their products - if you ever have any problems they'll replace your Aerolatte foamer for free! Great customer service...I highly recommend this company's products.

1. Foam the milk - I've practiced this, and found that cold milk foams up nicely. I pour about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of cold milk into a microwave safe oversized mug. Use your Aerolatte or other foamer to gently create soft mounds of foam.

2. Microwave the milk - heat the mug of milk in the microwave for 20-40 seconds to heat the milk. Be careful to not overheat. By foaming up the milk first and then heating, I find that the foam stays nice and, well, foamy!

3. Top up the milk with fresh, hot coffee. Simply fill the mug with your fresh, strongly brewed coffee or espresso. The foam will stay at the top.

4. Add desired sweetener and toppings. Drizzle with honey, raw sugar, or agave. (Or, go for a really authentic Starbucks experience and use one of their flavored syrups at this point.) Stir a bit to distribute the sweetener throughout your easy Latte. Top with cinnamon, chocolate powder, or nutmeg.

5. Enjoy your Easy Latte - A delicious, latte-like drink for a fraction of the cost of a Starbucks latte.

Get creative with this basic technique! Add pure vanilla for a vanilla latte - you can even add the pure vanilla extract to the coffee while it's brewing to make it simple. And yes, purists, I realize this is hardly the TRUE way to make a latte, but it's a nice and easy way for the rest of us masses!

Do you make lattes at home? What's the technique you use? Do you have any tricks to make easy lattes at home? Please post a comment and share it with us coffee lovers!