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"A no-foam skimmed latte with an extra shot … and three drip coffees with room for milk. Searing hot. And I mean hot". It's not a tongue twister, it is simply (!) a "latte" in the guise in which the peerless Meryl Streep (Miranda Priestly) demands every day in The Devil wears Prada, in its larger format.
A cousin, albeit a distant one, to the Italian cappuccino, the "latte" has for some time been an established favourite in cafes over half the world. And to those few who are still asking themselves what the difference is between a cappuccino and a latte, in the words of those who would make a meal of the comparison, it is halfway between a café latte and a cappuccino, this last having the quantity of frothed milk reduced.
There are then variations on the theme, such as using tea instead of coffee (not just any tea, but valued Yerba mate or matcha for example), or a shot of spice (nutmeg, ginger or cardamom) or sweet syrup (vanilla, maple, stevia, agave, rice...), which in cappuccino would not be allowed. And "variations on a theme" could be the key to understanding a newcomer to the world of lattes, or the latest cult choice in the world of more-or-less creamed drinks, more-or-less frothy and above all more-or-less healthy; the "latte superfoods". Well, let's just call them simply "super lattes".
Green tea, Peruvian ginseng, spices and...
The trend began at the end of 2015, with the rise of the superfood matcha, that Japanese green tea with superior anti-oxidant properties to any other green tea. It kicked Masala chai, the Indian black tea seasoned with a mixture of spices and herbs, a decided, to the sidelines, and then arrogantly joined the latte recipes. And there it transformed the super lattes, assigning them a special place amongst the wellness trends of 2016.
Examples? What do you think about a latte with almond or coconut milk, with matcha and tahini (a cream from the Middle East based on sesame seeds), honey, cinnamon and white, or black, sesame seeds? To accompany matcha in the superfood hit parade for lattes there is also the maca, otherwise known as "Peruvian ginseng". The roots of the typical Andean plant, which in actual fact has nothing to do with the better known "Panax ginseng," was immediately noted for its high energising properties, as well as an aphrodisiac and it didn't take much before a "cocktail" of almond or coconut milk, with added maca, vanilla seed paste, cocoa, honey, virgin coconut oil and Goji berries appeared. Or even coconut milk with maca, matcha, tahini, coconut butter and whole rice syrup.
And to listen to the bloggers who have literally flooded the web with reports on the matter, the lattes in question are not only a health panacea, but above all, really good. Shall we copy them? We could, were it not for the fact that many recipes require ingredients that can't always be found unless one lives in a metropolis like New York, Sydney or London, where the opportunities for "global" shopping are not wanting. And yet, we could opt for an easily feasible super latte such as the "matcha coconut milk" by Love & Lemons, or turmeric which is causing a storm on the web, ultimately gaining a hashtag, #goldenmilk, which is a mine of information and suggestions, recipes and variations on the theme. There is also this one, which adds coffee to the melange of almond milk and turmeric ... And just as well, we say!
Golden milk: The super latte of super lattes
Turmeric, spice of 2016 and queen of the wellness trends as inferred from many sector studies (here is the Baum+Whiteman 2016 trend report), has launched the widespread trend of Golden milk, another super latte, otherwise known as "turmeric latte" or haldi dhooh – for those who won't give up on the original Indian name.
On the crest of the wave at all latitudes (from Australia to the States, from Great Britain to South Africa), the recipe marries almond oil, honey and, obviously, turmeric to cow's milk or better yet, vegetable milk (almond, rice, coconut, soya...). Possibly also with an extra touch of vanilla and ground cardamom, or cinnamon and nutmeg, or dates and açaí powder, or even ginger and black pepper as in the traditional Ayurveda recipe, popular in India as a powerful remedy against flu, above all in the version with fresh turmeric root extract.
To those who object that it would be like drinking a diluted curry before nine in the morning, in the version with coconut milk in particular, bloggers suggest the addition of an “extra”: honey or maple syrup, or perhaps coconut sugar and sweet spices ... good health!