Whats on the Menu?
Everyone has a favourite coffee, be it your flat white, long black or if you live in WA a Long Mac topped up. Yet so many cafes make these slightly different which honestly, when you just want your regular favourite caffeine hit, can get annoying. Historically, there have been as many different ideas of how to make each drink as there were cafes, but those days are over.
If you are uncertain on how you should be making yours, the following guide is a fantastic place to start.
It is worth mentioning that while the drinks themselves are becoming increasingly standardised, there will always be some variation in the length of the espresso shots as it depends on the coffee beans being used. We have used the Little Owl guide for a medium roast for the purpose of this guide.
Extraction should start pouring between 5 – 7 seconds after the button is pushed, then becomes a thin, dark, syrupy stream, before starting to thicken and pale. It will then start to become watery and lose viscosity and the stream will start to waver. This is a sign of the end of the extraction and should happen between 25 – 30 seconds. This is a single shot used for a flat white, cappuccino. latte etc.
A restricted espresso extraction. The first 12 – 20ml of the extraction. A ristretto is sweeter and fuller bodied then a full espresso extraction. The extraction ends quicker, so therefore does not have the possible bitterness of an espresso which has been in the head for longer.
The base for a weak flat white, cappuccino and latte etc.
A single espresso base (25 – 30ml), topped up with thick, foamy milk. Allowing for around 1.5 – 2cm of foam. Top with chocolate sprinkles.
A single ristretto base (15 – 20ml), topped up with steamed milk. Should have 1cm of foam. A piccolo is a mini latte.
A single espresso base (25 – 30ml), topped up with steamed milk and allowing for around 1cm of foam. A latte glass should be slightly larger than your flat white and cappuccino cup to allow for a milkier coffee.
A single espresso base (25 – 30ml), topped up with steamed milk and only allowing a thin layer of foam. Enough to serve with some pretty latte art.
An espresso with a stain or mark of steamed milk. This is a traditional macchiato.
Fill 2/3 with hot water and a dash of cold water or ice cube. This is to ensure the expresso extraction doesn’t burn. Extract a double espresso over the water. This allows the coffee to float over the water and create a nice-looking crema.
WA Long Macchiato
This is the WA variation to a Macchiato. A double espresso (50 – 60ml), topped up with steamed milk and allowing for around 1cm of foam. This is normally served in a latte glass.
I hope this has cleared up some details. Each coffee drinkers’ preference is unique and they will gravitate towards particular styles. There is no single right way to make coffee only a guide. Good luck and remember to head to the Little Owl journal for more hints and tips.