I enjoy drinking caffé latte. Although I don't like paying the Starbucks prices, I do admit I indulge from time to time. With a registered Starbucks card, I used to be able to get free flavourings in my lattes but recently they discontinued that perk so I have been more-or-less boycotting Starbucks.
I own an electric espresso maker - the kind you put water in the reservoir and on one setting, it makes the espresso and on another setting, it steams and foams the milk. It's a bit of a pain to use and clean and the cat chewed the rubber foamer doohickey. Although I have replaced the rubber foamer doohickey, I have relegated the device to the basement due to a lack of counter space.
The other day I was noodling around on the Internet and came across a video on how to make espresso with one of the stovetop makers also called a Moka.
I bought one the next day for a mere $9.99 at a local kitchen store. I bought the 3 cup size and it's perfect for me to make one latte. They also come in 4 cup, 6 cup, 9 cup and 12 cup sizes.
This Moka is the traditional Italian style even though it was made in China. Bialetti is a good Italian brand but is 3 times the cost of the Chinese one I purchased. I has 3 main parts: the bottom water reservoir with a steam valve, the basket for the coffee grounds, and the top with the handle and lid.
While the coffee is being made, you can heat the milk in the microwave. I use a tall latte mug and fill it about half-full and nuke the milk for a minute. I bought a battery operated frother for $8 at Canadian Tire (a national hardware and automotive store) and use it to froth the hot (but not boiled) milk. Once the coffee is ready, I just pour it into the latte mug and begin sipping away. The total time is about 5 minutes.
If you heat and froth the milk in a separate container, you can pour the coffee into the latte mug first and then add the milk and make cool designs in the top of the coffee.
To clean the Moka, let it cool down first! Then unscrew the top from the base and dump the basket into your kitchen composter or garbage. Knock out the grounds and rinse all the pieces and leave to dry. It's SO easy! Some say not to use detergent but to just rinse out the container. Others say to use detergent every few uses. It's up to you. Make sure it is well dried before putting it away. It hardly takes up any room in the cupboard - about the size of a mug. Yay! (I don't have a lot of cupboard space)
What's the difference between a caffè latte and a cappuccino? Latte is hot milk with an espresso shot or about 2/3 milk and 1/3 espresso and is served in a larger cup or mug. Cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam and is served in a medium-sized cup (6 oz or so) and an expresso is served in the little espresso or demi-tasse cups.
I have since purchased a 12 cup Moka for when we have company.
I love learning new stuff from the Internet!