One of my main goals in life is to open up my own coffee shop someday. I've done research galore on opening up a cafe and how to keep it going. I've bought mug samples, roasted my own coffee looked into professional equipment and more recently decided to weigh my options with flavored syrups. I've done a lot of research on how lattes taste (translation...I drink a lot of coffee) so I decided to start whipping up some latte batches at my house and see what kind of tasty beverages I could make. While I don't have any amazing latte maker at my house. I do have a Mr. Coffee latte maker that brews decent espresso. I decided that rather than using store bought syrups, I'd create my own concoctions. Let me tell you, the results were wonderful and the lattes tasted fresh and amazing. Here's a few of of them, and one I plan on making very soon.
Basic Simple Syrup
First off, let's talk about creating a simple syrup. One of the benefits of making these syrups at home is that they are really cheap. and for the basic syrup, it's a grand total of two ingredients: sugar and water. To make a simple syrup, all you need to do is mix equal parts sugar and water (I did one cup or 8oz each). Stir them together and heat on a medium high stove. The trick is to evaporate enough water to make the sugar water thicken and get to the right syrup consistency. Once that syrup has thickened to your liking...well congratulations! You just made a great sweetener for iced coffee.
One of the benefits of shopping at a natural food store is that often times they have tons of different flavor extracts available. If you want to take an easy route, get some good vanilla extract, and add some to the sugar water before putting it on the stove. The key here is good vanilla. Don't use the kind that you can get for a dollar. If you want good syrup, you'll want the higher end vanilla. I actually bought a vanilla bean and split it open, scraped out the pod and put the goo into my sugar water and boiled it. I can assure you, the vanilla syrup you will create is beyond tasty and it keeps in your fridge for at least a month. My only suggestion is to make sure you have cheese cloth, or some other straining method to make sure the vanilla beans don't stay in the syrup. Mix this with a good espresso and some steamed milk, and you have an amazing latte that you made at home.
I made this similar to the vanilla bean simple syrup, but instead of using vanilla, I used cinnamon (go figure). I initially made the cinnamon syrup with prepackaged ground cinnamon. It came out decently, but I then decided to make it with cinnamon sticks. Much better results. In fact, I ended up grinding some of the stick down myself and added the remaining sticks to the pot. Like the vanilla, make sure you have cheese cloth or some other strainer so you can make sure the bits of cinnamon don't get left behind in your syrup.
Fall is just around the corner which means that pumpkins are on the way! Something about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies make me excited for fall. Likewise, I love Pumpkin spice lattes. I stumbled upon this tasty recipe which shows how to create a pumpkin syrup for a tasty fall latte. While I haven't tried this out yet you can be sure that I will be trying this concoction soon. Pumpkin plus coffee equals amazing!
So there you have it! Three tasty syrups that you can make in your spare time and add to your lattes. I highly recommend trying these and seeing how you can spice up your own lattes at home.
Do you make your own lattes?