We’re going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of the “Latte vs Coffee” debate. More importantly, if you’re looking to consume your morning, noon, or evening comfort food AND enjoy it with more satisfaction, then you’re in the right place.
Coffee or Latte Comfort Food
Ahhh… there are just times when you’re craving something to eat or drink that makes you feel good. Why do certain foods make us feel good? Well, let’s put it this way. If variety is the spice of life, then comfort food is the foundation of life. We eat and drink around the campfire, kitchen table, or sofa, soaking in the camaraderie and love of friends and family. Thus, making us feel content, satisfied, at peace with the world, and at peace with ourselves.
I contend, that coffee and its brother, the latte, are the most popular comfort foods in America. Fortunately, the National Coffee Association agrees with me, stating that 66% of Americans drink coffee daily.
Latte vs Coffee Definitions
Coffee is made from the pit of a cherry like bush. When dried, that pit looks like a bean, hence the term coffee bean. Up until the last century, that dried coffee bean was roasted at home, in an oven or in a hot skillet, until it was dark brown, but never black. Then the roasted bean was ground and added to hot water to steep, kind of like tea. Lastly the hot coffee was strained into a cup.
The end result of this old fashion method of making coffee was a warm, super smooth, and flavorful cup of coffee, which often had tasting notes of chocolate, berry, citrus, etc. The coffee was so smooth and flavorful all by itself, that there was no need nor interest in adding milk, whip cream, chocolate, caramel, and sprinkles. This old fashion method was, for a time, the epitome of comfort food.
Contrary to what you’ve been told, Espresso is not a bean. It is not a roast. It is not a blend. Espresso is simply a quick coffee brewing technique utilizing hot steam with about 600 PSI of pressure to extract the coffee oils out of the grounds and into a small cup. In fact, the Italian word Espresso literally means “quick or fast”.
Today, espresso in America, utilizes very low quality, burnt and bitter, industrial roasted coffee beans. Worse yet, these espresso beans were roasted months, if not years ago. In America, drinking a straight espresso, is literally taking your life into your own hands. On the other hand, espresso in Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and hundreds of other countries, use high quality beans that were roasted days ago, and they were not over roasted and burnt.
To mitigate the strong bitterness of espresso, baristas in America add water, milk, steamed milk, cream, chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, sugar, anything that could coverup the strong bitter flavor of espresso.
In America, espresso by itself isn’t good for anything other than degreasing wheel bearings. BUT, like the Europeans, if you find good quality beans, with low acid, low bitterness, roasted to a dark brown, and freshly roasted within the last week or two, THEN your expresso can be quite enjoyable.
Let’s Talk Coffee Calories
A cup of regular coffee has about 5 calories. Your typical single shot of espresso has about 5 calories. On the other hand, your typical Plain-Jane latte has about 150-200 calories, most of which come from the milk containing saturated fats and carbohydrates.
Here’s the insidious part. Most people don’t drink black coffee, straight espresso, or even a Plain-Jane latte. A vast majority of people add milk, cream, and some kind of sweetener.
Let’s face it, without the milk and sugar, your latte or coffee is anything but comfort food. Why? Because the typical American latte or coffee you’re drinking is bitter, burnt, and stale industrial coffee, which is nothing like the coffee that our European cousins make. Nor is it anything like your great-grandmother’s coffee which was freshly roasted, smooth as silk, with subtle flavors of chocolate. AND her coffee had only 5 calories.
How To Save 200 Calories a Day
If the average American coffee drinker drinks at least one cup of coffee a day. That means there are a lot of you folks, drinking a lot more than one cup. If you reduced your coffee additives and just drank your latte or coffee straight, you’d save a minimum of 200 calories a day. That’s over 1,000 calories a week or 50,000 calories a year!
Here’s your solution. Drink better coffee or a better latte without any additives. But you want your comfort food, right? Of course, you do. You want what great-grandma used to make; a coffee, or espresso, or latte that’s smooth as silk, naturally sweet, with the prominent flavors that God put into those beans.
Where Are The Best Coffee Beans
I drink coffee where ever I go. When I travel, I have to stop into every coffee shop that’s open. Almost without exception, coffee tastes better on vacation, better than anywhere in America, except in my home and the homes of my customers.
Why? There are three major variables to great coffee. The first is the bean itself. Is it a good quality bean? Just because a bean was grown in your favorite coffee country, doesn’t mean that the beans you just bought are any good. The second most important variable is in the roasting. Most coffee companies roast the snot out of their beans to cover up the fact that they buy lousy beans. Lastly, how fresh are the beans.
Super Smooth Beans
A vast majority of industrial coffee companies, as well as local coffee roasters, never taste test the beans before they buy them. On rare occasion, a roaster will taste test one or two beans before buying.
Alisha and I (Russell), found that the smoothest and most flavorful beans come from the Tarrazu Region of Costa Rica. Therefore, each year, we taste test at least two dozen beans, from this region BEFORE buying the beans. Therefore, we only sell one bean. In 2022, we selected beans from one specific lot on the “La Pastora” plantations. We have also contracted for the same “La Pastora” beans for 2023.
Almost without exception, coffee roasters in America roast their beans hot-n-fast in order to burn the snot out of their beans. Why? Because they’re trying to be the next Charbucks.
Not me. I roast our coffee beans low-n-slow. Why? To preserve the natural oils within the bean. It’s those oils that contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, AND flavor. That’s also why we offer only three roasts; white, medium, and barely dark (never black).
The Fresher The Beans The Better The Coffee
Unbeknown to most people, all roasted coffee starts going stale, thus bitter, in a matter of days. Unfortunately, a vast majority of coffee sold in America was roasted months, if not years, ago. No wonder American coffee sucks.
That’s why we roast and ship our beans on the same day. Heck, the beans are still warm, when they go into your USPS Priority Mail box. Does freshness matter? In reality, no other single variable makes more difference to the taste of your coffee than freshness.
How To Make The Best Latte or Coffee
Over 66% of Americans drink coffee daily. A vast majority of them make their own coffee at home. What that means is that you are in control of your own coffee.
Latte vs Coffee? Which is better? Frankly, it’s all a matter of personal taste. I think a better question is this. Are you just looking for a jolt of caffeine or are you looking for comfort food? If you’re looking for comfort food, then I highly recommend that you read my article “How To Brew Smooth Coffee”.
For you latte fans, from what you’ve read above, you already have the knowledge to make the best latte of your life. To recap; great beans, not over roasted, and fresh. With that alone, your lattes will never be the same.
Lake City Coffee
Regardless of your predilection for latte vs coffee, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you consider your coffee fix as comfort food and treat that delight with the respect that you deserve.
That’s why Alisha and I are here. We started Lake City Coffee to provide the very smoothest, perfectly roasted, and freshest coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere. Additionally, we’re here to teach you how to take your coffee making skills to a whole new level, without taking up much time or money.