Mason Jar Lattes

 I like the occasional latte. My favorite is straight up coffee with milk, and also chai tea when I'm feeling cozy. The essence of a great latte is the blending of warm milk with the tea or coffee, topped off by a lovely peak of creamy foam. My very first job was slinging coffee at The Second Cup, a Canadian coffee chain. These days, I would have had a fancier title such as barista, but the job was the same. I had to learn how to make espressos,  lattes and sumptuous cappuccinos by perfecting the foaming technique.

In a café, you use a professional rig that not only steam brews your espressos, but has an attachment that allows you to heat the milk while creating the soft, pillowy foam to crown the top of the beverage. It takes a bit of practice, but for some reason, we always found beginners made the best foam. It is this airy topping that brings folks out to coffee shops to spend at least five dollars or more on something they cannot easily make at home without spending hundreds to do so.

Until now.

You see, I've stumbled across an ingenious way to make café quality milk foam right at home - with a mason jar and a microwave. Sounds kinda ghetto, doesn't it? Well, once you try this technique, you will be laughing at all those Starbucks hipsters desperately waiting in line like chumps. You'll have the secret that baristas around the world would, whatever. Here’s the directions:

Take a clean, half pint mason jar, and fill it quarter way with milk. This works best with 2% or whole milk, but not cream - the cream doesn't produce as much foam. Put the top on tightly, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. There should be enough 'bubbles' to reach the halfway point of the jar.

Remove the lid, place the jar in the microwave, and heat on high for 30 seconds or so, depending on your microwave. This warms the milk and stabilizes the foam. Pour the milk into hot tea or coffee that has been flavored and sweetened the way you like. Gently spoon the foam over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon or chocolate, if you desire.

Chai Tea Latte

1 cup hot chai tea, well steeped
1 tsp raw honey (or other sweetener, optional)
A few drops of vanilla extract
Warm milk and foam

Pour the honey and vanilla into the tea, stirring gently. Gradually add the milk, and stir until blended. Spoon the foam over top, and sprinkle cinnamon to serve.

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  1. I adore chai lattes...and I love ghetto :) I will be trying this STAT!


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