Starbucks Crash Course, Part 2, The Latte In Depth

Ok, so now you've got the latte down. Espresso shots dumped into a cup, steamed milk poured over them, a nice, quarter inch layer of foam on top and there you have your drink. Many people order a plain latte, but you can order a vanilla latte (by far the most popular) that has a vanilla flavored syrup in it, or request any of the other flavors Starbucks features (Hazelnut, Sugar-free hazelnut, Sugar-free vanilla, Raspberry, Toffee Nut, Almond, Pepperment... on and on!).

To make the flavored latte, the flavored syruped is put in the cup first. We use bottles with pumps, and each pump is aprox. one tablespoon. Different sized drinks get a different number of pumps. For example, a Grande (the medium size) is four pumps of the flavored syrup. Then we make the latte as usual: espresso shots, steamed milk, foam, and there you go. To order, you would ask for a "Grande Vanilla Latte".

Some people like more flavoring, and some people like less. Once you've had your "Grande Vanilla Latte", you might find that it's a bit too sweet for you. Next time, order a "Grande two-pump Vanilla Latte". On the other hand, you might have a sweet tooth, and decide to have them put more in. Order a "Grande six-pump Vanilla Latte". Easy, right?

The mocha and white mocah (and our fall feature, the Pumpkin Spice Latte) are the same way. We pump the syrup into the cups (same number of pumps for each as the other flavorings), add the espresso, and then the steamed milk. These drinks get whipped cream! For some reason, a Mocha and a White Mocha are NOT called "Mocha Lattes", but "Cafe Mochas". I think this is because they have whipped cream, and no foam.

Any of Starbucks lattes come defaulted to: regular espresso, one espresso shot in a Tall and two in Grandes and Venitis, hot milk, 3, 4, or 5 pumps of flavoring (depending on what size: Tall, Grande and Venti respectively), and whole milk.

The other kinds of milk offered are: non-fat (skim) milk, 1% or 2% milk (we'll mix the whole and non-fat), organic whole milk, or soy milk (my favorite). You can also ask for decaf espresso, half-caf espresso, and any Starbucks drink (with the exception of the cappuchino...more on that later) comes iced. One thing to keep in mind: Iced Venti drinks are an exception. They have one extra shot of espresso and one extra pump of flavoring by default. So three shots and six pumps of flavor.