Taste Testing

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
February 25, 2011

I received lots of emails from readers, sharing their favourite beverage. I was so surprised! As a result, for the last two weeks I've been busy sampling your suggestions.

Lacey, Tyler, Kim, Jody, April, Danielle, Sue, Ally, Dan...to name a few; not only did you share your Starbucks drink of choice; you shared your knowledge, too. I did not know you could request extra "shots," extra hot, no-foam/half-foam, half-sweet - continually I am amazed at the variations that can be made of a simple drink. I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel that this is not, "the more you know - the better"; the increasing complexity is starting to feel like "the more you know - the more confused you are."

As promised, I have tried some reader suggestions. The "strong vanilla latté" (a variation of my personal favourite) was first on my list. As soon as I'd finished ordering, the look on the barista's face said it all. "Strong what?" Lesson No. 2: while in some parts of the world "strong" might mean "add an extra shot of espresso," here, it means you haven't a clue what you're talking about. In this town, it's say it like it is. "I'll have a vanilla latté with an extra shot of espresso." None of this "strong" business or "one-pump please." Thank you, Kim, for the extra bounce in my step and very strange looks.

From here it was a vanilla bean frappuccino, chai tea, a skinny caramel latté and caramel macchiato all making the "Starbucks Deliciousness List," as Lacey called it. (Thank you, Lacey and Danielle). My tastebuds were introduced to sweet naughtiness. From here, there's no turning back.

In short, here's what I've learned:

The latté, generally speaking, is one shot of espresso filled with steamed milk, topped with light foam (a 1:8 ratio of espresso to milk).

The cappuccino, like the latté, consists of espresso and steamed milk - the difference being the steaming process. By infusing more air into the milk it becomes more foamy and frothy. Your glass contains one shot of espresso, followed by a third of milk, then topped with a third of foamy goodness.

The macchiato, more of a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk - however, it can vary depending on the place.

You're reading this thinking, I still don't understand. Well, you're not alone. Me neither! Bottom line...espresso, milk, and a whole lot of steaming! At the end of the day, don't be afraid to ask the staff for help in finding your delicious drink! That's what they're there for.

In latté-unrelated news, our beloved mini-van finally reached rock bottom. After being nursed along, it was time to consider moving on. The mama-shuttle was requiring more and more upkeep and it made sense to put that money toward something else. I don't know about anyone else, but when you start looking for a vehicle that comfortably seats a family of five, and all the junk that we carry along with us, you quickly realize there isn't a lot out there. We soon realized that our options were another mini-van or a larger SUV. The new mini-vans could not only seat five, you could pitch tents in there! They have everything a mother could wish for and more. Just a little too much more. I had loved my van yet, even I was ready to say goodbye. In the end, we found our new friend, an Acadia.

We arrived to do the vehicle exchange a mere 48 hours ago. My two youngest fell apart as their loved van was driven away. I was shocked. I had no idea that they would react this way. True, this was the only vehicle they'd ever known and with that lots of memories for them too. Even I had a brief moment...yet it quickly passed. No longer would I be driving the sour-milk smelling van with its gum-filled carpets and unidentified food particles; we had a whole new car to slowly steal of its "new car" smell and unstained carpets! Oh, it was good!

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About Me...Mommy Jingles
I have a wonderful husband, three adorable children, drive a mini-van (what else are we all fitting into), love a good chick-flick and live on an awesome street. I am not a morning person nor will I ever be. I love being a night owl, yet strongly regret it in the morning when the pitter-patter of little feet stampede through the hall. Repeatedly! The fact my kids make it to school on time still amazes me. Hence, an outlet, refuge and sanctuary had to be found...Mommy Jingles is born. Thoughts, rantings, trials and successes from a mother, wife, friend, and an occasionally "I'm gonna loose it" woman!