Saturday, February 25, 2017

Double Latté Love



Many posts ago, I shared my recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latté that was knock-your-socks off amazeballs. Well, what if I told you that I've found a way to make it even better? After much research (a.k.a., drinking many lattés) I've come to the conclusion that Starbucks' secrets are the following: a whole lot of foam, and a delicious array of flavour syrups.

Now, you can have both of these, easily.

First off, let's talk a bit about the foam. A latté just isn't a latté without a fluffy pillow of foam piled high on top. Well, thanks to my latest collaboration with Stokes, I have discovered the holy grail of pillowy foam makers. This compact countertop machine heats and froths milk in seconds! Seconds! I've owned it all of 4 days, and I'm already addicted.

A note about soy froth: soy milk will not froth up like regular milk - UNLESS you're using a special formula made for frothers. Luckily, this stuff exists in Canada - you just have to know what to look for. Soy Nice has three options: Barrista Blend, Soy Nice for Coffee Original and Soy Nice for Coffee - Vanilla. If you want froth, these are your best buds. After a LOT of experimenting, these were the only non-dairy products that we found that behaved like regular milk does. Note: I have not been paid for this review - this is my 100% honest opinion. (But, hey, Soy Nice, if you're reading, I wouldn't mind some free stuff *wink wink!*)



Now, about those syrups. Sure, you can go out and find flavouring syrups and spend tons of money for a bottle of sugar and artificial flavouring... OR you can make your very own at home in under 15 minutes. Yes, you! The best part is that there's nothing artificial about it - just a couple of simple natural ingredients that you probably have lying around in your pantry, just waiting to become the star in tomorrow morning's cup of joe.

Now you just have to decide: coffee or tea? Cinnamon or lavender? Or, just be like me and have one in the morning, and one at night. Enjoy!

Flavour Syrup Recipes

Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)

Lavender Syrup 
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lavender flowers

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Strain & transfer unused portions to a clean jar and refrigerate for up to 6 weeks.

Cinnamon Bun Latté
Make this tasty treat even more indulgent by topping with whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream if you're keeping it vegan) & drizzle with extra cinnamon syrup.

ingredients
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (or 1/3 cup espresso)
3/4 cup milk, or Soy Creamer (not soy milk - see note above!)
2 tsp cinnamon syrup (or more, to taste!)
sprinkle cinnamon, for garnish

method
Pour coffee into a large mug and stir in syrup. Pour milk into frother (it should reach the lowest fill line) and turn on the heat setting. Allow to heat, and froth. Pour hot milk & froth over coffee. Use a small spoon to remove extra froth. Garnish with additional cinnamon or a cinnamon stick. Serve hot.

Vanilla Rooibos Latté with Lavender
The perfect evening drink with soothing lavender and naturally caffeine-free rooibos tea.

ingredients
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup soy creamer
2 rooibos tea bags
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp lavender syrup
lavender petals, for garnish

method
Bring soy milk to a simmer with tea bags, syrup, and vanilla bean inside. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, froth soy creamer. Transfer to a mug & top with creamer and extra lavender flowers for garnish.

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