Friday, June 14, 2013

food-sensitivity-friendly homemade latte

I think the springtime pollen has my immune system working overtime!  At any rate, lately I've felt worn out, and a lot sleepier than usual.  Or maybe that's the end-of-semester crunch time talking.  Either way, sometimes I just need a shot of caffeine to get me through a long day.  I love making my own lattes, despite trying to stay away from things I'm sensitive to.  Here's how I get the best of both worlds:

Caffeine isn't the best choice for your body, but if I'm going to drink it, I try not to exacerbate any other problems!  I use Melitta because their coffee beans aren't processed with yeast and malt like everyone else's.  If you react to coffee, you might test your reaction to yeast and malt.  I'm super allergic to yeasts, and I believe that's what I reacted to in my old coffee grounds!  Start with a superfine grind, and use two rounded half-teaspoons for each largish shot of espresso.

Skip the dairy and use some kind of alternate milk.  This is soy milk, although I also love using almond milk.  Don't use rice milk because it foams like water, and we don't want a miniature bubblebath in our latte!  Unfortunately, I haven't found a dairy alternative that creates a really good microfoam, but at this point, we're not too picky, right?

Definitely do not ruin your health-conscious coffee by putting a processed, refined sugar in it! Stevia is all-natural and doesn't behave like sugar in your bloodstream.  Plus, a little goes a loooong way.  No, seriously, go easy.  Too much Stevia can turn your latte bitter.  I put it straight into the cold milk before steaming.

I always steam/froth my milk first, in a stainless steel pitcher.  You can find lots of tutorials online, but the gist of it is: Stick your steam nozzle just under the surface of the milk and open the valve to full blast.  Keep the nozzle at a level below "splatter noisily" but above "completely silent" to generate a foam.  Large bubbles will collect on the surface of a non-dairy milk, but these will start to disappear if you tap the pitcher sharply on the table top.

Pull your shot(s).  I wish you could smell this!  Heavenly.

Combine your milk and shots into a mug and enjoy!  Regret-free energy boost and comforting morning ritual.  Well, weekly ritual.  I still try not to drink coffee very often.  It makes it that much more enjoyable when I do!

Do you love coffee?  How do you make it?