mouth() << coffee;

Home Setup

I will mod my espresso machine at some point to have a PID.
I mostly make espresso drinks, but also own a Phin coffee brewer. It brews a very full-bodied coffee that resembles drip coffee.

Coffee Shoppe Reviews (Pittsburgh, PA)

In no particular order, based only on 12oz lattes.

To visit, also in no particular order.

Coffee Roasters / Beans

Personal preferences: don't like acidic beans, prefer a medium roast. (*) Indicates review for a single blend/bean. Also in no particular order:

To try:

Coffee Mugs

I like Loveramics latte cups a lot.

Steaming Milk

The timings for steaming different types of milk will vary, but the steps are the same.

Prepping milk

For a 10oz latte, get a frothing pitcher with a volume of roughly 14oz. Pour enough milk in that the level of the milk is roughly 1.5cm below the start of the spout. This is usually filling the pitcher by about a third of the total volume. Position the pitcher so that the steam wand tip is just fully submerged in the milk. Then tilt the pitcher to the side a bit so that the steam wand tip is not directly in the center of the pitcher - this is to promote swirling of milk when you open the steam valve.

Stretching the milk

The goal of this step is to introduce air into the milk. Open the steam valve. Make sure you have a steady grip on the pitcher handle (or the pitcher itself, if it is handleless with a sleeve), and lower the pitcher so that the steam wand tip appears to be under the milk, but makes a hissing sound that resembles tearing paper. Maintain the pitcher position until the level of the milk is about 1.5cm above the start of the spout (or the milk is about 20% more voluminous than when you started). Once the milk reaches that level, fully submerge steam wand tip in the milk by elevating the pitcher by about 1-2cm.

Incorporate the milk

The goal of this step is to incorporate the air into the entire body of milk evenly. Now that the steam wand is submerged in the milk, make the milk swirl, using the steam as a moving force. The easiest way to do this is to simply keep the pitcher tilted to the side. It may take a bit of additional adjustment in positioning to make the milk swirl more aggressively. If you touch the side of the milk pitcher and it feels like you might burn your fingers soon, stop - you are close to burning the milk, and burnt milk does not taste good or produce good latte art. Close the steam valve once you reach your desired temperature. Ideally, there should be no visible lumps of milk foam sitting at the surface of your milk. When you swirl the milk around in the pitcher, the milk should flow smoothly and cling to the sides of the pitcher. If there is a lump of foam on top, the best way to salvage the milk is to use a spoon and scoop out the foam on the surface. People say frothed milk should have the texture of latex paint, but I've never used latex paint so I can't comment on that. However, the milk should definitely glossy and laminated.