hazelnut soy latte
July 28, 2006 5:11 PM   Subscribe

How can I make something that tastes like a hazelnut soy latte with the supplies at hand?

I have a French Press, a normal coffee maker, a coffee grinder, and can buy ingredients but would rather not purchase an espresso machine.

Is there any way to create this delicious drink or am I doomed to expensive coffeeshop life?
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to this page, Silk now makes a hazelnut soymilk "creamer". You could try that.
posted by interrobang at 5:18 PM on July 28, 2006

Oh, and I'd grind the coffee really fine, and use the French Press rather than the ordinary coffee machine. Experiment with how long you let the coffee sit in it before you push it down to see how bitter you like it, too.

You can buy espresso beans and use them in the French Press, as well.
posted by interrobang at 5:25 PM on July 28, 2006

I think coffeeshops generally use Torani flavoring syrups (it's a pretty classic brand). Quick googling shows that this place sells them, and I think I've seen limited flavors in some supermarkets (near coffee) as well.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:40 PM on July 28, 2006

Do you have Frangelico (or other hazlenut flavoured liquer") on hand? That works well for hazlenut coffee!
posted by cholly at 5:44 PM on July 28, 2006

Best answer: Buy a Bialetti espresso maker (at 15 bucks). Heat milk on stove. Buy hazelnut syrup from your local grocery store or coffee shop. Put together and enjoy!
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:48 PM on July 28, 2006

Best answer: First, grinding really fine and using a french press will get you a cup of mud. French press needs a coarser grind than even a drip coffeemaker. But neither a French press or a drip coffeemaker is going to give you espresso. Neither will a moka pot (which is what that "espresso maker" is). Espresso takes a very high amount of pressure, and if you can't get that pressure, it's not worth trying to simulate it -- just aim for high-quality coffee that you can produce.

So here's what goes into a hazelnut soy latte: Hazelnut syrup, plain soy milk, and two shots of espresso.

The hazelnut syrup is easy, and cowbell has it: Go to a shop that sells the syrup by the bottle and buy a bottle.

The soy milk is easy to buy, but then you need to heat it and foam it up a bit. Since you don't have an espresso machine, you can probably get away with heating the milk up (on the stove, but don't scald it) and frothing it a bit with one of these. I would avoid using flavored soy milk; the syrup will be tastier than the flavor in the milk, and it'll make it easier for the milk to burn or otherwise taste foul when heated.

The last step is the coffee. With a drip or a french press you're not getting shots of espresso, so abandon the "latte" idea now. What you're going to have is a hazelnut soy cafe au lait, made with regular brewed coffee instead. You can still use espresso roast beans; grind them with a burr grinder at home if you like, or have them ground if you don't want to buy a burr grinder.

I'd use the French press because you'll end up with better coffee. You need a coarse grind in a French press, but that's fine -- the fine grind of espresso is because the water is going through it under pressure, and since the coffee is just staying in contact with the water in the french press you don't need the fineness to slow down the flow.

And then just experiment with everything -- how much syrup, how hot the milk, how frothy, what kind of coffee, how long to steep the coffee, how much coffee, all of that.
posted by mendel at 5:50 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

For the espresso portion of the drink, you can try using an AeroPress. It's a bizarre-looking contraption, and I'm not convinced that it's really equal to a good espresso machine, but it's certainly much cheaper and makes an excellent concentrated brew. Also, it's very fast--you can heat the water in the microwave and get a shot ready in just a couple of minutes.

It costs about thirty bucks, IIRC--don't know if that's within your preferred budget.
posted by fermion at 6:08 PM on July 28, 2006

BTW, before anyone goes into a purist hissy fit, stovetop espresso is one style of creating espresso. Really, espresso is nothing more than compressed coffee (poured with high pressure over finely ground coffee beans). Bialetti has perfected a product that, to most people, is a great, much cheaper alternative to a traditional espresso machine (pump or hand driven). It's definitely worth a try because it's such a cheap proposition and many enjoy it. Additionally, it's the closest thing to a latte that you're gonna get.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:08 PM on July 28, 2006

Regarding the Aeropress, paper filters remove the tasty oils that are essential to any espresso beverage. The same applies to drip coffee, but drip coffee drinkers prefer a smooth, clean cup of coffee (and I don't blame them). When creating espresso, OTOH, there is so little volume that removing those oils is equal to cleaning the espresso of all its flavors.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:12 PM on July 28, 2006

i second everything mendel wrote.
posted by Utilitaritron at 6:33 PM on July 28, 2006

SeizeTheDay is dead right. Espresso-ish drinks on a budget are best made with a moka pot.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:58 PM on July 28, 2006

I got one of those Italian-style espresso makers for $10 and a milk rother for $2 at Ikea. (It works great with soy milk, too.)
posted by Airhen at 8:44 PM on July 28, 2006

yes there is a bit of controversy about the aeropress. consensus is though that it can't possibly make espresso, though at least one guy claims he gets crema out of his.

and yeah, it probably does filter a whole lot of the oils out of the coffee, which is unfortunate. but i enjoy mine.
posted by joeblough at 8:57 PM on July 28, 2006

Use filtered water to make whatever form of coffee you use in your drink. I guarantee your local coffee place does.

Rule of thumb: If you don't drink your tap water, don't make coffee with it. The water matters.
posted by booksherpa at 9:56 PM on July 28, 2006

Now as far as the Bialetti Moka Pot goes, it's Aluminum and that has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease. Anyone know anything about this, or perhaps know a good stainless steel version that isn't very expensive? (Yeah right, i know ;) )
posted by gregschoen at 11:22 PM on July 28, 2006

Response by poster: Results: I tried making a hazelnut soy cafe au lait and it was pretty good but not quite what it needed to be. I will try different quantities and methods later and try to make something work.

Thank you!
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 3:13 PM on July 29, 2006

Bialetti makes a stainless unit, as well.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:42 PM on July 29, 2006

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