Whenever I write about my love of coffee that admittedly has turned me into a coffee snob, reader feedback is as enthusiastic as it is voluminous. I’m happy to know I’m not alone in my snobbery.
Many of you bring up interesting points—questions, too. Like what to do with brewed coffee that is no longer ideally fresh but too good to throw down the drain. Others want to know how to make your own cappuccino, lattes, and even the “steamer,” made popular by Starbucks—surprisingly containing no coffee at all.
Short of purchasing an espresso machine that uses high-pressure steam to make espresso and has a gizmo that steams the milk as well, there are ways we can improvise to create reasonable facsimiles of our favorite coffee drinks.
Popular coffee drink hacks
Both cappuccinos and lattes are typically made with espresso. You can fake that by making very strong brewed coffee.
A cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Italy, and is traditionally prepared with steamed milk foam. Variations of the drink involve the use of cream instead of milk, and flavoring with cinnamon or chocolate powder.
Your very strong coffee mixed about 50/50 with hot milk and then topped with foam makes for a very tasty latte. Experiment as necessary to find your ideal proportion of coffee to milk.
A caffè mocha, also called mochaccino, is a chocolate-flavored variant of a caffè latte. Other commonly used spellings are mochaccino and also mochaccino. Here’s a recipe for Caffè Mocha Mix.
Caffè Mocha Mix
- 1 1/2 cups powdered coffee creamer
- 2 cups instant chocolate drink mix
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix well, store in an airtight container.
To use: Stir about 3 teaspoons of mix into a cup of hot freshly brewed strong coffee. Top with whipped cream, if desired.