Processed with VSCO with wwf preset

How to make a perfect Piccolo Latte

Variations of our most cherished coffee beverages have existed for years. Even the humble macchiato is a variation, and an evolution, of the espresso. It was developed over time for people who find espresso too intense or others who wanted something slightly different.

Another coffee beverage that is an evolution-drink which has gained a lot of popularity over the past ten years in Australia, is the Piccolo Latte.

How the the Piccolo Latte came to be

2016-10-06-20-43-37

Like many staple western foods, milk has gone through a bit of a love hate relationship over the past decade. This has resulted in a growing number of people wanting to reduce their milk intake and therefore were after a smaller milk based coffee rather than their regular flat white or latte.

The macchiato was just a bit too small for those moving on from their lattes, and doesn’t suit our culture of lingering over a coffee with friends. Enter the Piccolo, a perfect fit between a good milk-coffee experience, but not as rich as a full-sized latte.

The piccolo is really a scaled down version of the full sized latte and is meant to represent the same flavour and strength. I believe this is the trap people fall into when making a piccolo that causes confusion and customer dissatisfaction.

Let me explain.

It’s all about shot length

dom-with-piccolo3

The length of the shot is crucial. The coffee component in a latte is less than one quarter of the entire beverage, a 25ml shot in a 220ml glass. That means if we draw our standard shot of 25ml into the 90ml piccolo glass, the flavour balance is all wrong, and this is where most mistakes are made when making this drink.

This is how we make it

Piccolo

  • Grab 90ml glass, preferably not a demitasse cup. It’s a piccolo latte not a piccolo cappuccino, so try and make it in a glass.
  • Start with our standard brewing recipe of grinding and dosing 23g into your double portafilter basket. This will make 2 piccolo’s perfect for you and your friend.
  • Place the glasses on a scale on your espresso machine. If you don’t have one we sell them here.
  • Extract the coffee into the glasses and stop the extraction at around 30g (15g in each glass).
  • If you can manage two tasks at once heat milk (65-70 degrees) in a small 300ml pitcher at the same time.
  • Then pour the milk evenly over both coffees and hey presto, its coffee time.

You can read about heating and texturing milk in our guide here.

I really enjoy making piccolos, and I love sharing them with a friend even more. And the best thing is that I don’t feel guilty about having a second or third cup.

Enjoy!

Get the gear

In this article we mention weighing your coffee. We use a simple scale that you can get here. And you can get other brewing gear here as well.

Dom

4 comments

  1. Guys can you do a blog post on frothing milk….specifically why jug size is important? I’m working on latte art but understand that jug size has implications.

    Cheers

  2. Hi,
    In my last European trip I had a coffee in Italy that was like a Macchiato but with 1/4 amount of milk compare to the amount of coffee and then foam on top.
    Would you know what it is called because I can’t remember the name?

    1. Can you give me some more information Vijay? on how they made the drink? How full was the cup when it was served to you? Did it have art on it? Was it served in a glass? demitasse cup or cappuccino sized cup?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

KG1

Introducing Giakanja, a very special coffee from Kenya

Blackcurrant jam, lemon zest and rose Showcased : July 2 – July 28 When we first tasted this coffee on the cupping table in our roastery we were amazed at it’s high quality. When we experienced it’s exquisite flavours, we knew right away we had to buy it and offer it to our customers. In […]

Buf2

Introducing Muduha, a delicious, fully washed coffee from Rwanda

Nectarine, raspberry and cola Showcased : June 4  to June 30 We’re excited to introduce you to the showcase coffee for June from Rwanda. It’s a real cracker! Muduha is an elegant fully washed red bourbon with distinct notes of nectarine, raspberry and cola. In our cupping and espresso testing we also discerned mild lemon, honey […]

B1

Unboxing and reviewing the Bodum Siphon Vacuum Brewer

Yes, another siphon brewer review. Why, because it’s damn good, brews a fine cup of coffee and is “oh-so-simple!” I must point out that I won this brewer at the MICE 2018, however Bodum did not ask me to review it, nor would I review it with any favour because I got it for free. Having […]

Join our passionate community of Home Baritas and get helpful info on how to make great coffee at home.