HOW TO MAKE A PICCOLO LATTE
Are you looking for a new type of drink that is rich, with robust flavors but is not served in a big cup? Then, the piccolo may just be right for you. If you are a barista, this can be a great addition to your menu and as for you the home brewer, it is a delicious alternative to other coffee choices.
We’ll love to tell you everything about the piccolo, as we dive in, you should join us to find out the meaning, the ingredients required to make it, and the steps to follow.
WHAT IS A PICCOLO LATTE?
Piccolo means 'small' in Italian, but this delicious drink is not just a small latte, there is more to it. It is commonly referred to as the piccolo in most coffee menus. It is a small beverage that is made with concentrated espresso and milk. It is usually served in an 85 ml-110 ml glass.
Piccolo is made with one part espresso and two parts of steamed milk. It also has a layer of foam on it. The measurements for the espresso are usually- 20-30 ml for the espresso and about 40-65ml of milk. This means that steamed milk is added to the single shot of espresso.
Since the milk is stretched, it will allow both mixtures to blend and all you have to do is to add the foam and that's it.
Let's start brewing
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Dark roasted coffee beans or medium roast (it has to be finely ground)
- 2 ounces of milk
- Espresso machine or any other coffee maker that brews espresso-style coffee like the Moka pot.
- A milk frother
- A small glass
TIP: You’ll get the best results if you use an espresso machine to pull a shot. But as previously mentioned, you can make espresso-style coffee with a Moka pot or an Aeropress. It will get you close to the bold taste of the espresso.
In this recipe, we are using ingredients that produce just one glass of piccolo. If you’ll love to make more than a cup, you can adjust the measurements. Just remember that it has to be one part espresso and two parts steamed milk. Note that you’ll get the best flavors if you use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before brewing.
STEP ONE: PULL A SHOT OF ESPRESSO
If you own an espresso machine, you have to pull a ristretto shot using 20 grams coffee and about 20 seconds to brew. If it's a portable espresso maker you are using, don't add too much water, so you can get a more concentrated shot. If you don't have any of these, brew strong coffee using a French press or a Moka pot.
STEP TWO: STEAM THE MILK
If you own an automatic milk frother, use it to steam the milk while the espresso is brewing. If you don't own one, you can heat the milk on your stove but you have to use low heat, then use a whisk to get the froth. Or you can put the milk in a jar, then heat it in the microwave and shake vigorously to get some foam.
STEP THREE: COMBINE THE MIXTURE AND SERVE
Once the espresso is brewed, pour it into a small cup and add the steamed milk (you have to do this slowly). You may not be able to practice your latte art with this small cup but if you angle the glass a bit, there will be more surface for you to get creative with.
That's all, serve your piccolo and enjoy!
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT THE PICCOLO DRINK
Most people say that the piccolo latte originated from Australia, especially Sydney. It happened when the baristas were trying to get creative, they wanted to test mixtures without having to take too much milk all through the day.
The drink has gained much popularity all over Australia and the world at large. Did we mention that the word piccolo was another name for a small flute? So it refers to something small. It all makes sense that the piccolo is the smaller version of the popular latte drink.
As we mentioned in the recipe the piccolo is made with a ristretto (a concentrated shot of espresso). A ristretto shot is usually made up of 20ml of espresso. Although it has a concentrated flavor, it doesn't mean it is bitter. This is due to the short extraction time.
The piccolo can be served in a small latte glass known as a demitasse that holds around 100 ml. We know it's small. But it's a good option if you want to enjoy something small, just for yourself.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PICCOLO AND OTHER MILK DRINKS
The piccolo is usually called the piccolo latte but it doesn't mean it's the same thing with a latte, don't let the name confuse you. A latte is served in a larger cup, although the size varies from café to café and even your preference.
A normal latte is about 220 ml, unlike the piccolo that is around 114 ml. So you see the difference? The milk consistency for both drinks is almost the same. The milk is steamed and the espresso mixes smoothly with the well-stretched milk. Note that. the piccolo contains more espresso than the typical lattes.
The recipes for the cappuccino varies from coffee shop to coffee shop but we will say that it is quite different from the piccolo. The first point is that a cappuccino is larger in quantity, it is usually served in a 140-170ml glass and the milk used for a cappuccino is steamed with more air, producing a frothier texture which is then poured over the shot of espresso.
Piccolo is similar to the cappuccino because the steamed milk doesn't really blend with the espresso so it creates more distinct layer. You can taste the boldness of the espresso flavor as you drink both the piccolo and cappuccino in different ways. The dry milk in the cappuccino will slightly take the edge off the taste of the espresso which you will reach when you get to the bottom of the cup.
But for the piccolo, there is still a punch because of the ratio of the espresso to milk, but the only difference here is that the espresso blends a bit more with the stretched milk than the cappuccino that is in layers. So, it will create a bold flavor that's different.
The flat white is a popular drink in Australia. While the latte and cappuccino are made with a single or double shot of espresso, the flat white is made with a double shot and the piccolo is always made with a single shot.
The double shot of espresso is mixed with steamed milk and topped with a small layer of microfoam. It is usually served in a 140-170 ml glass. Note that the milk consistency in the flat white is the same as with piccolo, giving it a well-blended texture.
Despite that, a glass of flat white is slightly smaller than the other drinks and has the same milk consistency as piccolo, the double shot of espresso used in the flat white gives it a bolder espresso taste compared to the piccolo.
The macchiato and piccolo are served in small cups and made with a single shot of espresso but the only difference here is how the milk is steamed. The milk used for a macchiato is similar to the one used for a cappuccino which is steamed to have a frothy texture. All you have to do is to add a few teaspoons of milk to the espresso to reduce its bold taste. The experience is different with the blended milk and espresso used in a piccolo.
PICCOLO AND CORTADO
The cortado is often mistaken for the piccolo but they are not the same. The cortado is also served in a small cup with espresso steamed milk and little foam. The cortado is made with a double shot of espresso while the piccolo is served in a smaller cup ( 90- 114) cup.
There you have it, all you need to know about the piccolo drink. So you haven't tried making the piccolo before, now is a good time to give it a shot. There are different espresso-based drinks to try and they all have their own delicious flavors. Yet this small, smooth and punchy latte stands, you should give it a chance.
To start pulling that ristretto shot, you’ll be needing freshly roasted coffee beans. If you use stale beans, your drink won't come out perfectly and that's not how you want to start your morning. Click here to buy some.
We also OFFER FREE SHIPPING and deliver the beans a few hours after it's been roasted. Get it and start brewing already!