Coffee is such a versatile drink that it can be prepared in numerous different ways. It’s easy to learn how to make a Spanish latte, which is a thick, creamy drink from Spain and, in this article, we will be explaining what it is, and the easy steps you can take to make one yourself.
What is a Spanish Latte?
A Spanish latte, or Café con Leche, is a white coffee that originated in Spain and is made by combining a strong coffee, usually in the form of espresso, with hot milk. Some variations use condensed milk and, as well as in Spain, the drink is popular across Latin America, the Philippines, and the Cuban parts of Florida where they serve it for breakfast.
People from these countries often reminisce about having a Café con Leche every morning when they woke up, and the drink has a special place in their minds and culture.
How to Make Café con Leche
Making Café con Leche is easy, as it is basically a combination of coffee and milk. You don’t need any special equipment, but will need the usual items like an espresso maker. You will also need:
- A good quality fresh coffee such as a French roast. You will want one that makes a strong and dark coffee and that has been ground finely.
- Nice tasting water as this is a main constituent in the drink. If the water from your tap isn’t that nice you should use bottled or filtered water.
- Milk. Any type is good to use. In Spain they tend to use whole milk, but 2% milk makes for a great Spanish latte.
Once you have the ingredients, you are ready to start making your coffee. It basically comes in two parts that are mixed together at the end.
Step 1 – Make Your Coffee
Spanish Latte’s are based around an espresso so you will need to make yourself a good one to start with. This doesn’t require a full espresso machine, as you can use a lower cost stove-top version.
You will fill the bottom part with cold water, and the top segment with a finely ground coffee bean. Screw the device back together and place over the heat until the water rises into the top compartment. When the top part is full of coffee and you hear the sound of air spurting out, it is time to remove it from the heat.
Step 2 – Heat the Milk
It doesn’t matter how you do this, and the most effective way will depend on what tools you have at your disposal. You can heat it up in a pan on the stove, in a large cup in the microwave, or if you have a coffee machine you can heat it up by using the steam nozzle. Don’t allow the milk to boil, though.
Step 3 – Time to Mix
With both the elements ready, it is now time to mix them together. A traditional Spanish latte will use equal parts of coffee and milk, but this will completely depend on how you like your coffee. By all means use more or less milk than this, but if you want the true Café con Leche experience you will need the flavor of the coffee to be prevalent enough with the creamy texture of the milk.
There are, of course, a few different ways people like to achieve similar results. For example, if you don’t have an espresso machine or device you can simply brew a strong coffee on the stove instead. Some people also like to use different types of milk. Lactose free milk will work just as well as the others, and sometimes people will use condensed milk instead.
The Cuban version of Café con Leche is slightly different as it usually includes sugar within the brewing process. This is done to allow the sugar to slightly caramelize, and involves adding the espresso coffee to a cup that is about a third full with sugar. By stirring this you will create a paste, and can then add the hot milk to this paste to form the final drink. This technique will produce a frothy foam on top of the drink, and make it taste a lot creamier.
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Coffee comes in many forms, and is often mixed with milk. The process of heating the milk up and mixing it in equal measures, though, makes for a frothy and creamy drink while retaining the flavors of the coffee. It’s easy to learn how to make a Spanish latte, and it’s a simple recipe to adapt to your particular tastes.