What does your ideal morning look like? Mine definitely includes having time to myself to read the newspaper and drink my coffee.
And not just a cup of Keurig coffee (although there are some tasty varieties). Last month, I tried a honey cinnamon latte at a coffee shop in downtown DC, and I’d love to be able to enjoy a similar hot beverage at home.
In order for my ideal morning to become a reality, a few important things would have to happen first.
1. I’d have to actually wake up and get out of bed when my alarm clock goes off at 6:30 AM. Most days, I turn it off, close my eyes, and wait for Levi to come barreling through our bedroom door at 7 AM. While I love staying in bed for an extra 30 minutes, getting woken up by Hurricane Levi is not the most peaceful way to start the day.
2. I’d have to subscribe to a newspaper — the New York Times, the Washington Post, or both. (I need the Times “Style” section and Sunday magazine back in my life.) Sure, I could read the digital versions of each, but I prefer print. Longer articles are easier to read on paper than online, and I could stand to spend a little more time offline each day.
3. I’d have to learn how to make a honey cinnamon latte at home. And I don’t own an espresso machine.
I tried recreating the drink by squeezing some honey and sprinkling cinnamon into a cup of regular coffee with steamed milk — so, basically a honey cinnamon café au lait — but the results were underwhelming. So I asked Trevor Corlett, CEO of Madcap Coffee Company and the Past Chair for the Barista Guild of America, how to make a better (faux) honey cinnamon latte at home.
Brew your coffee double strong.
“If you’re making an au lait, you want the coffee to cut through the milk well,” explained Trevor. Making double-strength coffee is as easy as using the same amount of coffee you’d normally scoop but with half the amount of water.
Measure your honey.
Use 1mL (or 1/4 tsp, according to Google) of honey for a 12oz cup of coffee. For a more balanced drink, use a little bit less, and for a 16oz cup, add a little bit more.
Splurge on milk from a smaller dairy.
A really nice milk from a dairy tends to have more natural sweetness, so you can use less sugar — or in this case, honey — in your coffee. Aerating it with a frother also adds a perceived sweetness though the introduction of air into the milk.
Skip the cinnamon syrup.
I thought that cinnamon syrup might be more flavorful than ground cinnamon, but Trevor said it would make the drink too sweet. Instead, dust the frothed milk with ground cinnamon so you can taste it with most sips and smell it while drinking. Trevor prefers freshly ground cinnamon because the aromatics “make a huge impact on taste.”
Have you ever had a honey cinnamon latte? (It might be called a “café miel” at your local coffee shop like it is at Madcap’s Grand Rapids location.) What did you think? Would you try making it at home?
Today’s conversation about good mornings and hot coffee was sponsored by Wayfair. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help support this blog.