A Piccolo Latte is a small, espresso-based coffee beverage that’s typically served in a small glass. It combines a shot of espresso with a small amount of warm, velvety milk, similar to a mini latte.
Here’s how to make a great Piccolo Latte:
Freshly roasted coffee beans
Espresso machine (or alternative methods for brewing espresso)
Steam wand or milk frother
Grind the Coffee Beans: Start by grinding your coffee beans to a fine consistency, similar to table salt. You’ll need approximately 18-20 grams of coffee for a standard Piccolo Latte.
Preheat the Equipment: Preheat your espresso machine, portafilter, and cup or glass. This helps maintain a consistent temperature during extraction.
Pull the Espresso Shot: Dose the ground coffee into the portafilter basket. Distribute the grounds evenly and tamp them down firmly.
Insert the portafilter into the espresso machine group head and start the extraction process.
Aim for a 1-ounce (30 ml) shot of espresso. The shot should take about 25-30 seconds to extract. Adjust the grind size if necessary to achieve this extraction time.
Steam the Milk: While the espresso shot is pulling, heat a small amount of milk in a milk frothing pitcher, usually around 2-4 ounces.
Froth the Milk: Use the steam wand or milk frother to froth the milk. For a Piccolo Latte, you want to create a smooth, velvety microfoam. The foam should be dense but not overly voluminous.
Pour Espresso and Milk: Once the espresso shot is complete, immediately pour it into your small glass.
Add Milk: Pour the frothed milk into the glass with the espresso. The ratio of espresso to milk is typically around 1:1 or slightly less. The milk should be velvety and smooth, complementing the rich espresso.
Serve and Enjoy: Your Piccolo Latte is ready to be enjoyed. It should have a balanced taste with the strength of espresso and the creaminess of milk, all in a small, satisfying serving.
A Piccolo Latte is a delightful, concentrated coffee with a harmonious blend of espresso and milk. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a shorter coffee but still want a touch of milk to round out the flavors. The small glass presentation adds a touch of elegance to the experience.