Hot Lunch Club

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Wednesday

16

April 2014

Taking It Up A Notch With Your Iced Drinks

by Jen Kwan, on café, summer, beverage, chai

Cold Frothed Chai Latte

It may not be the warmest of April's so far. I'm looking out the window and there is still snow on the ground fresh from a light blizzard that blew through yesterday. Yet, after an extremely cold winter any temperature above freezing is considered balmy. Time to pull out the cold drinks.

Here is a trick I learned from my days at Luna.

Cold Frothed Lattes

TOOLS / INGREDIENTS:
  • a french press (I used a 12 ounce Bodum)
  • whole milk (use any kind of milk you want, I can't guarantee it's effectiveness and tastiness)
  • remaining components of said drink you want iced (I used chai mix)
  • vessel for said drink (I used a frosted pint glass)
  • ice cubes (I used 5 homemade cubes*)
METHOD:
  1. Add 30% less milk than you usually would in your drink into your french press.
  2. Start slow, press down and pull up a couple of times then increase the pump-frothing action as the milk thickens with bubbles. Focus the pump-frothing action just below and above the current level of the milk.
  3. Finish by giving it a few full draws up and down to distribute and incorporate all the tiny bubbles throughout the volume of milk. Repeat this step if you have allowed the milk to sit for a few dozen seconds and the froth has separated from the liquid milk.
  4. You can knock out any undesirable bigger bubbles by gently tapping the french press down on to the counter.
  5. Build the remainder of your drink the way you want. I poured my chai mix over my ice cubes, then the cold frothed milk on top.
  6. Add a straw if you want but take a few sips off the top first, especially if you love the velvety foam on your hot lattes. Enjoy the airy, delightful addition to an otherwise boring liquid beverage.

ON ICE:

Homemade ice cubes are little solid blocks of ice as opposed to restaurant ice machine ice cubes which are thin walled and sometimes hollow. At home we load up our trays with water and let it solidify to a completely frozen block through and through.

Restaurants/cafes/bars go through so much ice that the ice machines are built to crack out a sheet of cubes from their metal trays every few minutes. This means that the ice “cubes” are just thin, rectangular cups from only being frozen from the five sides that made contact with the tray. Their increased surface area means that they melt at a much higher rate than homemade ice cubes.

Your favourite cafe will fill your cup to the top with ice just to achieve the same chilling power as a few homemade ice cubes. This also affects the ice cubes’ ability to blend in slush-type drinks. Ever wonder why they can blend up a frappe or a margarita so quickly? Again, since their ice is so thin it fragments much easier than your solid little ice block at home.

In case anyone was wondering...

Jen Kwan
Jen Kwan

I do the food thing where it is prepared, often with the application of heat, and then we all eat it.

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