Love your corner coffee shop latte, but don't love shelling out $4 for one? Me either! Love your caffeine fix and the protein kick of milk, but don't want to put on real pants? Me either! Let's make them at home, for cheap, while we're wearing the ugliest pants we own! (You know the pants I'm talking about. Yep. Those.) Grab your favorite mug.
So let's talk about a latte first. It's coffee with milk. Well, technically, I believe it's espresso with milk. I like my ratio at about half coffee, half milk. Most cafés do a little latte art when they pour the milk into the coffee, but I'm no barista. I'm just a
cheap frugal girl in ugly pants. We don't have a fancy espresso maker--just a nice Krupps drip coffee maker. We do grind fresh beans every morning, brew with filtered cold water, and use organic 1% milk. (Um, actually, J grinds and brews. He's the coffee maestro here. I just mix and drink.)
Now look at this! Look at all that foam! How'd I do that? I don't have one of those fancy machines! What's my secret?
It's our old friend the Mason jar! You may not be used to using this so early in the morning. It's ok. It works.
Microwave some milk in this bad boy, screw the lid on tight, and shake it like the dickens for about a minute. (If you have sensitive hands, wrap a towel around the jar first to protect your baby skin from the heat of the warm milk, you poor delicate thing.)
Pour your coffee into your mug, and then pour the milk into the coffee. Add any accoutrements you desire, and enjoy! I sometimes use peppermint syrup. Making your own flavored syrup is so easy: Heat equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, stir in a few drops of flavored extract, and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge. The cheap plastic condiment bottles from the picnic section of superstores work really well. (You'll find them with the matches, skewers, and travel salt & pepper containers.) You know what else works well? A Mason jar.
Even with this newly found power of saving latte money and not putting on real pants, I also enjoy the occasional almond croissant at my corner coffee shop. Making those at home isn't as easy as frothing milk in a Mason jar, so I'll still be going to the corner shop. Just not in my ugly pants.