It’s December, and there’s nothing like a hot drink to warm your heart, and put you in the holiday spirit. A well-made latte can be more than just pleasing to the palate.
You don’t have to be a coffee drinker to appreciate an exquisitely crafted dove or rosette floating lighter than air atop a latte. We’ve all seen the pictures on social media, so how do they do that?
A coffee beanstalk of sorts has sprouted in Clinton. Cafezinho’s operation has more than tripled in size since it began about a year and a half ago.
Founder Johni Medeiros explains, “The new space really allowed us to open a cafe right here in the same building as the roasting facility, and it future proofs us. So we have packing equipment coming and different grinding equipment so that we have the space to grow.”
The beans are imported, then roasted on site and shipped out to a growing number of area grocery stores. The cafe is also perking right along.
Operations Manager Paul Farrar explains, “We take time to let our Baristas learn how to be good Baristas. Everybody trains for a week before they make any drinks for anybody.”
Pouring the perfect latte is a rosette of a different color. It takes most baristas about a month to master.
Johni explains,”The grind, the tamp, the extraction time, everything needs to be just right, and the milk needs to be frothed perfectly in order to be able to pour latte art.”
Paul adds “And that comes with a good temperature of milk with the right introduction of air, at the right time, when the milk is still cold, and then, once you bring it up to temperature, which is about 140 degrees, plus or minus 9 degrees, the milk is consistency of paint”.
Think of the top of your latte as your canvas or clay.
Paul explains, “When you pour the latte it kind of carves out that art into the crema of the espresso.”
Johni says he’s tried his hand at, “The heart, the rosette leaves, working on a dragon, having a hard time but… (laughs)”
The baristas have a friendly competition, even though their work is often lost under a lid or a delicious dollop of whipped cream. So the next time you get a latte, take a moment to smell the rosette.
Cafezinho’s workforce has grown from 2 to 7 and they have plans to open 3 new cafes in the not so distant future.
You don’t have to be a good drawer to create latte art. It’s more about the milk and the pour.