When you wake up in the morning, what's the first thing you think about? Some kids might immediately WONDER about what the school day ahead holds for them. For many other kids, though, there's one thing on their minds: breakfast!
It's often called the most important meal of the day, since a healthy breakfast can kick-start your day and give you enough energy to make it to lunch. And for many adults, breakfast includes a special beverage that gives an extra boost of energy. What are we talking about? Coffee, that is!
Coffee has been brewed as a drink for hundreds of years. Today, it's one of the most popular drinks in the world. A visit to a local coffee shop will reveal how coffee has evolved into a drink that comes in a stunning number of varieties.
Not only do many people brew coffee in their own coffee machines at home, but many people also have specialty coffee machines that make a wide variety of flavored coffees. Some coffee connoisseurs also have expensive machines that can froth milk and brew espresso to create a seemingly-endless variety of specialty coffee drinks.
One of the most popular types of specialty coffee drinks is the latte. Latte is the Italian word for "milk," which makes sense since a latte consists of espresso and steamed milk. Latte is actually a shortened version of the Italian caffé latte, which means "milk coffee."
Although it has an Italian name, some people believe the latte was invented by Lino Meiorin in the 1950s in Berkeley, California. Whatever its origins, the latte definitely gained steam (pun totally intended!) in the early 1980s in Seattle, Washington.
Today, lattes are popular in coffee shops all over the world. Many people even make them at home with specialty coffee machines. Lattes are easy to make. All you need to do is fill an eight-ounce cup with either a single (one-ounce) or double (two-ounce) shot of espresso and steamed milk, leaving enough room for a thin, half-inch layer of foamed milk on the top.
Part of the popularity of lattes may stem from the invention of latte art by coffee shop baristas. This unique art form involves creating interesting designs in the top layer of foamed milk when pouring the espresso and steamed milk into the cup. Popular latte art designs include hearts, flowers, and trees.
Over the years, variations on the latte have also become popular. For example, a chai latte can be made by replacing espresso with masala chai, a spiced Indian tea. Also very popular are iced lattes, which consist of espresso and chilled milk poured over ice. Various flavoring syrups are often added to iced lattes to create a wide variety of flavorful combinations.