The Salted Caramel Latte

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At the new bakery Short Cake, I encountered a drink that’s so absolutely brilliant it deserves fireworks or a parade but that’s simply presented without any fanfare or fuss. If it were a Starbucks, you’d see signs all over the place advertising the Salted Caramel Latte. As it stands, you sort of have to discover it for yourself–it’s there on the menu, below the mocha and the vanilla bean and across from Aunt Nancy’s Shakerato (named for Nancy Silverton, I imagine)–but it’s not highlighted or underlined in any way.

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The Latte Art Throwdown

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What a night!

Lessons learned from last night’s latte art throwdown at Joe: The Art of Coffee, a fundraiser for Red Cross disaster relief in Myanmar and China:

(1) Baristas love a good throwdown;

(2) Baristas take a throwdown seriously–many of their hands were shaking as they poured!

(3) When MC-ing such an event, it is bad to interview a barista while she’s prepping her pour (sorry Emily from 9th Street Espresso);

(4) Being a barista grants access to a secret cult of baristas; I was surprised to see the baristas from some of my favorite New York coffee shops–Gorilla, 9th Street and, of course, Joe–all know each other and like each other;

(5) It’s good to have a giant screen so the crowd can see the lattes as they’re poured and hoot and holler for the good ones…

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AGTV: Latte Art

I am proud to announce a new ambitious venture here at The Amateur Gourmet: maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m naive, but I am making a pact–signed in blood–to produce for you, my loving audience, a weekly video to be released each Wednesday for what will become our very own Amateur Gourmet food channel–AGTV. Our first video finds us at Joe: The Art of Coffee where master barista Amanda teaches me how to make latte art. Thanks to Amanda, the people at Joe, Kirk for lending me his camera, Adam Kuban for holding the camera, Ricky for producing and Lisa for singing my theme song, Craig for teaching me Final Cut and Lucy, child of Josh and Katy, for being the official Amateur Gourmet Baby. Hope you enjoy!