Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Apparently, people like to eat.

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

voidPtr
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby voidPtr » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

Is there really a difference or are they just all names for espresso coffee with steamed milk?

Discuss.

User avatar
Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Axman » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:58 pm UTC

Cappuccino is the classic espresso drink and is fully-steamed milk (about half bubble by volume) and is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam. The latte was invented by Starbucks and is a shortening of cafe e latte and it's about 1 part espresso, six parts milk, one part foam, and they're mixed, not layered. Espresso macchiato is espresso marked with a little foam so you don't burn your lip when you chug it. Cafe au lait doesn't use either espresso or steamed milk. Each one is served in a different kind of glass so that the flavors develop differently. So yeah, they're different.

That's like saying all Indian food's the same because, let's face it, it's all basically just chick peas and lentils.

voidPtr
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby voidPtr » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:48 pm UTC

Axman wrote:Cappuccino is the classic espresso drink and is fully-steamed milk (about half bubble by volume) and is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam. The latte was invented by Starbucks and is a shortening of cafe e latte and it's about 1 part espresso, six parts milk, one part foam, and they're mixed, not layered. Espresso macchiato is espresso marked with a little foam so you don't burn your lip when you chug it. Cafe au lait doesn't use either espresso or steamed milk. Each one is served in a different kind of glass so that the flavors develop differently. So yeah, they're different.


Well I may have been off the mark on the cafe au lait part and cafe latte is actually a Starbucks inspired milkier cappuccino.That makes sense. As far as using different kinds of glasses go, that's kind of splitting hairs to me. I don't call my spaghetti by a different name because I serve it in a bowl instead of on a plate.

That's like saying all Indian food's the same because, let's face it, it's all basically just chick peas and lentils.


But Indian food is by no means just chick peas and lentils. The ingredients used in Indian food is as varied as the cuisine itself. If anything, the opposite is true, where the same generic names are given for dishes that vary quite dramatically in taste and texture from each other e.g. curry, chutney....

User avatar
Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Axman » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:42 pm UTC

80.jpg
80.jpg (132.87 KiB) Viewed 10673 times

A cappuccino should be served in a mug like the above. It's a deliberate shape that cools the espresso (which is much hotter than the steamed milk that goes into it) to prevent scalding and make it easier to drink quickly, slowing the process by which tannins become tannic acids, which sour the milk. It's cupped to deliver the espresso, milk and foam without mixing it all up, delivering just the right balance of flavors.

It's like having stout in a stout glass versus in a pint glass, it affects the nitrous outgassing which changes the taste.

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Nath » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

Properly extracted espresso is about 175-185 F. Milk scalds at 180 F. Assuming you pull the shot before or during steaming the milk, it seems unlikely that you're going to scald it.

As for that cup: it'll probably work, but it's non-traditional. The recommendation is to use a porcelain cup with an elliptical cross-section.

I think people overemphasize the importance of having distinct layers. If they don't mix at all, you end up with a boring drink with milk at the top and coffee at the bottom. You want a layer of coffee-flavored foam on top, and an espresso and milk mixture underneath. In fact, the INEI's recommendations make no mention of distinct layers. It's just 125ml of steamed full fat milk on a 25ml shot of espresso, poured so that you end up with a foam cap with a ring of brown crema around it.

User avatar
Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Axman » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

Truthfully, I get the sentiment of this thread. Yeah, coffee's coffee, and it doesn't really matter how you're brewing and blending coffee, milk, water, and heat, you're still just going to end up with a cup of joe.

But the reason I brought up the cup thing is because there are fine variances that make big differences if you know how to manipulate it. A friend and I have about a two in three chance to guess right if an americano is pulled into water or if the water's been added to the espresso, and I just used up a pound of Ethiopian harar that made a great espresso but a lingering, watery cup of brew. We just went around Denver to find the best classic cappuccino (so far it's this place) and yeah, the shape really does affect things.

And the Italian Espresso National Institute is a great example of the wrong kind of thinking: "The Italian Espresso National Institute safeguards and promotes the original Espresso through a product certification: the Certified Italian Espresso."

Ever hear about Clover machines? They can be programmed to tailor-brew coffee to the degree and second, and exist because there are genius baristas that figure out how to get the greatest flavor out of a highly varied product. There's a growing trend for coffee bars here to acquire direct-trade beans and roast them themselves, and create specific brewing recipes for each batch.

I still like full-immersion brewing best, but hey, I'm simple.

User avatar
crazyjimbo
Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:45 pm UTC
Location: Durham, England
Contact:

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby crazyjimbo » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

People wrote:Lots of cools stuff about the subtleties of brewing coffee...


I drink quite a lot of coffee and there is a massive difference in the flavour and quality depending on where it comes from/is made, but I've never really figured out any of the factors that affect it. I'm glad that there are geeks out there who have and I love how people take something as mundane as coffee and turn it into a science. And just when I think they're being too pedantic and fussy, BAH someone gives me the most perfect cup of coffee ever.

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Nath » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:45 pm UTC

Axman wrote:And the Italian Espresso National Institute is a great example of the wrong kind of thinking: "The Italian Espresso National Institute safeguards and promotes the original Espresso through a product certification: the Certified Italian Espresso."

They're doing precisely what you did in your first post: they prescribe tried-and-true standards for espresso drinks. This is useful, because far more people are making and selling espresso-based beverages than have any real idea how to do so. I'm in Seattle, a great town for coffee, yet maybe 1 in 10 coffee places knows how to make espresso and cappuccino worth drinking (and that's excluding chains). There are just too many variables that go into making a good cup of coffee -- especially espresso -- for everybody to discover them all from first principles. Innovation is great, but you have to start with what people already know, and build on top of it. You can't run around inventing Clover machines if you don't know how to get decent cups of coffee out of a French press and a vacuum brewer.

User avatar
Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Axman » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:22 am UTC

I think we're actually saying the same thing, we just love coffee too much to let other people dick with ours...

On a bit of a tangent, have you tried full-immersion brewing? That's when you use a glass carafe, let it steep, settle, then add a little cold water, settle some more, and then pour it off the top. It's surprisingly easy to taste the effects of stainless steel and that seems to be all the rage nowadays.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 8573
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:46 am UTC

A coworker came back from a month in Vietnam. He brought some coffee with him and a filter thingy for it. So I made myself some. It turns into really concentrated coffee, to which I added two teaspoons of sugar and a cupful of milk and it's still incredibly strong. But good. It smells almost like cocoa, actually.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Nath » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:23 pm UTC

Axman wrote:On a bit of a tangent, have you tried full-immersion brewing? That's when you use a glass carafe, let it steep, settle, then add a little cold water, settle some more, and then pour it off the top. It's surprisingly easy to taste the effects of stainless steel and that seems to be all the rage nowadays.

Clover and French press are technically full immersion methods, and I've tried a method similar to the one you describe, but without the cold water. What does the cold water do? Raise the grounds so that they can settle again? An alternate solution would be to use a finer grind, so you get the right level of extraction when the grounds settle the first time.

I currently brew coffee with one of those Melitta drip cones. With a bit of experimentation, I'm now getting reliably good cups of coffee out of it, and there's negligible cleanup. Might not be quite as good as French press/full immersion, but close enough that it wins on convenience points. Short of a side-by-side test, I doubt I'd tell the difference.

Zohar wrote:A coworker came back from a month in Vietnam. He brought some coffee with him and a filter thingy for it. So I made myself some. It turns into really concentrated coffee, to which I added two teaspoons of sugar and a cupful of milk and it's still incredibly strong. But good. It smells almost like cocoa, actually.

Yeah, Vietnamese restaurants in the area sell this sort of coffee, both hot and iced. It's good stuff, with a banh mi or two.

User avatar
Axman
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:51 pm UTC
Location: Denver, Colorado

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Axman » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm UTC

It makes the particulate, powdery stuff settle faster. You can also use ice or snow, albeit both of those collect flavors--this was the culmination of me and a friend asking ourselves, "How the fuck did cowboys make coffee? Not like those dudes had filters." Doing it in a carafe lets you see it in action. It's impressive, particularly if you're a fluid dynamics-phile.

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Nath » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:46 pm UTC

Yeah, I've actually heard this brewing method referred to as 'cowboy coffee'. The other nice feature is that it leaves the oily goodness in, but that's also a con if you are concerned about cholesterol issues. When I tried full-immersion brewing, I ran it through a filter anyway, taking care of the finer particles but losing some of the oils. I'll have to try the cold water trick.

User avatar
KallistiEngel
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:38 am UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby KallistiEngel » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:42 am UTC

voidPtr wrote:I don't call my spaghetti by a different name because I serve it in a bowl instead of on a plate.

No, but you do call your pasta by a different name when it's a different shape. It's all pasta, how much of a difference in taste can shape make?

/facetious.
I'm addicted to bad ideas, and all the beauty in this world.

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 8573
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:31 am UTC

KallistiEngel wrote:It's all pasta, how much of a difference in taste can shape make?


Just to answer this question - plenty. First, different pasta cooks in different ways. For example, most pasta will be cooked uniformly, but farfalle for example, because of how it's structured, will have different textures throughout. Second, some pastas are more suitable for certain kinds of sauces, as opposed to other pastas which aren't as suitable for the same sauce. So by changing the type of pasta you could get a heavy-feeling (if the sauce "clings" well) or a light-feeling dish, and of course more or less flavor.

Now back to your regular coffee schedules broadcasting.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

User avatar
Nath
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby Nath » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:53 am UTC

We actually had a coolish thread that brought that up a while ago. (I recently got to hear a talk about culinary engineering by Nathan Myhrvold, and was reminded of that thread.)

User avatar
sparkyb
Posts: 1091
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:30 pm UTC
Location: Camberville proper!
Contact:

Re: Cappuccino/Caffe Latte/ Caffe Macchiato/Cafe au lait

Postby sparkyb » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:11 pm UTC

Had to necro this thread to share this awesome video. 27 Drinks Made From Coffee. They have nice little diagrams that show the difference of ingredients and proportions in each. Also, I'm surprised there's no dedicated coffee thread like there is for beer, tea, cheese, mushrooms, etc.


Return to “Food”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests