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Author Topic: Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?  (Read 37535 times)

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« on: 16/01/2006, 10:46 AM »
The humble coffee mug has evolved over time to be the perfect vessel for delivering a hot beverage. Primarily because of the ingenious use of a handle.

Why then do we serve a hot caffe latte in a glass?

The glass is almost always served to hot to hold and results in a good 5 minute wait before we can even attempt to raise it for a sip.

Regards,

Burnt Hands



nunu

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #1 on: 16/01/2006, 11:57 AM »
Most latte glasses have handles.

For the ones without, you need to take a different approach to consumption.  A small stack of napkins work as well as an oven mitt for the duration of the sip (no one holds a hot coffee cup/glass for longer than it takes to quaff some).  Another key is to keep the napkins dry.  When damp, they conduct heat much faster, leading to scalding.  Once you get a bit down into the drink, say 1/3 the way down, you can effectively hold the glass near the top, and not get burnt.

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #2 on: 16/01/2006, 01:40 PM »
The glasses with handles I have no beef with, these to me are just a stylised mug. But in my part of the world, Australia / New Zealand, the latte glass (no handle) is common place. There is even a product sold here that is essentially a finger width rubber ring that you can put around the glass so insulate yourself from the scolding liquid therein... why oh why do they not just use a mug?

I apprceiate what you're saying, and the dry napkin tip is a 'keeper', but this is exactly what I'm getting at... Like myself and everyone else in the civilised coffee drinking world your immediate thought was how I could accomodate the hot glass more comfortably.

While the use of paper napkin / oven mitt / asbetos glove / tongs etc would achieve my desired result of being able to consume the beverage without fear of disfigurement I would pose this in respone...

Why should we accomodate the glass?
The glass is wrong and it must go.

:-[ Burnt Hands

nunu

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #3 on: 16/01/2006, 02:02 PM »
Standards dictate that a caffe latte should be served in a 170-220ml glass.  You have a 25-30ml shot of espresso, with textured milk and 10mm of microfoam.

If you're really concerned about getting coffee in a glass, you should be ordering a flat white, which standards dictate will be served in a 170-220ml cup with a 25-30ml shot of espresso, textured milk and 5mm of microfoam.

The only real difference between the two is 5mm of foam.

If done properly, a caffe latte will exhibit a strata effect, or layering, between the slightly mixed coffee & milk, more vigourously mixed coffee & milk, and unmixed froth on top.

Pioneer Roaster

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #4 on: 16/01/2006, 02:32 PM »
Essentially the flat white and latte are the same drink. However to differentiate the 2 here in australasia(the only place that has flat whites) the latte is served in a glass with a slightly larger milk volume.
I'm not addicted.....I just really, really, really like it!!!
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Reschsmooth

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #5 on: 16/01/2006, 02:51 PM »
I don't get it - if the glass is too hot to hold, then, wouldn't the beverage contained therein be much too hot to drink, thereby rendering the argument over handles, etc obsolete? (I know my fingers are less sensitive than lips & tongue)

Then the argument would be, if the drink is too hot to drink, possibly the PBTC has scalded the milk anyway, and you should change cafes.

Why don't you just do what I do - extract espresso straight into your mouth (layback style), pour in some milk and lift your head up to the steaming wand? Saves the need for glasses in the first place.  8)

P

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #6 on: 16/01/2006, 03:20 PM »
Firstly, thank you all for indulging my rant... its been 'brewing' for some time ;-)

Nunu, totally agree with the formula for a latte but do you know where these standards came from? Maybe I'd feel better about the glass if I knew why it was used instead of a mug.
Who sets the rules?
Who created the latte?
Who can I send my dermatologists bill for grafting skin back onto my hands?

While living in Europe I always went with the latte as my morning drink as it always came in a a mug (or takeaway cup) and they don't do a flat white. Also I was under the mistaken belief that the flat white was topped up with water as well as milk. Thanks for correcting that one, flat whites may be the answer...    I still don't get the glass though  :-/

Lukey

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #7 on: 16/01/2006, 03:33 PM »
Quote
Who created the latte?

While living in Europe I always went with the latte as my morning drink as it always came in a a mug (or takeaway cup) and they don't do a flat white. Also I was under the mistaken belief that the flat white was topped up with water as well as milk. Thanks for correcting that one, flat whites may be the answer...

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #8 on: 16/01/2006, 03:58 PM »
Lukey, you just answered my next question. If...

flat white = instant + milk + 5mm of foam
latte = espresso + milk + 10mm of foam

at least they're different enough to justify 2 different names. If the only difference was 5mm of foam then some not so creative aussie has been claiming the creation of a new coffee by scrapping a bit of froth off the top of his latte.

So what you're saying is that the instant flat white was around before the latte so it gets the mug, the newcomer (latte) is forced into the glass so that they don't get confused?

Lukey

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #9 on: 16/01/2006, 04:21 PM »
ok, here we go,

instant coffee was introduced into australia by the us army dudes before italian immigrants introduced espresso coffee.

so the only coffee vocabulary people had was a flat white being: intant coffee - boiling water- dash of milk.

so when coffee shops started popping up, the only coffee people knew was a flat white.

of course the reply wouldbe "whatta the hell iz a flatta white?"

to which replied: 'it's a white coffee'
to which replied: "oh ok, no problem, cafe latte coming right up"

from then on cafe lattes were served as flat whites and cafe latte were then put in various other vessels to differentiate the two. go to nz and most likely you'll get it in a bowl.
where the glass came about, i'm still not sure of.

in concern with those standards, 5mm = flat white, 10mm = latte....whatever.

go to GJ's and ask for a flat white and you'll get just that. FLAT!
when i was working at gj's u wouldn't stretch the milk at all, made a terrible noise, but the coffee was flat.

if any customer whips out a tape measure and goes 'my latte has only 7mm of foam, it should be 10mm of foam'

i'll just say " your 10mm of foam", and get on with making good coffee.

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #10 on: 16/01/2006, 04:31 PM »
Don't get me started on the latte bowls this rant is bad enough   ;D

You've totally nailed the history of the 2 drinks here, thanks... now to find the saddist who thought glasses were the answer!

plus... am I really the only person in Australia who hates the glass?

nunu

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #11 on: 16/01/2006, 05:00 PM »
I don't mind glasses, as I take my doppio ristretto in a shot glass.  You'd think mine would be hotter, as you don't add a cooler liquid (milk) to the just-brewed coffee.

Chinese have been drinking tea in cups without handles for centuries...

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #12 on: 16/01/2006, 05:27 PM »
ahhhhh but by saying that the milk is cooler you are assuming a competent barista and not the school leaver who likes to super-heat the milk

point taken about the chinese though


Lukey

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #13 on: 16/01/2006, 05:29 PM »
Quote
... now to find the saddist who thought glasses were the answer!

plus... am I really the only person in Australia who hates the glass?


i wouldnt go that far to call the person saddist.
drinking out of glass as opposed to china is just a different mouth feel.

just like drinking champagne out of crystal glass as opposed to plastic.

different thickness aswell. glasses usually have a thinner lip which i prefer but some people prefer the thicker lip found on some china cups.

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #14 on: 16/01/2006, 05:46 PM »
I can't argue the feel of the coffee thing, I'll drink a coffee out of what ever it comes in... even a glass, its the practicality I'm questioning.

I know I'm labouring the point but, there is a reason that all over the world coffee (I can't argue the chinese thing) is served in a cup or mug... its hot.

Yes, the short espresso etc can be served in a shot glass... but like the latte is that not an Austalasian custom? The Italians serve it up in the dinky little cups with the wee handles. Granted no one has ever served me a short that I couldn't just hold by the rim.

I'm yet to see a convincing arguement for the glass, other than it lets the customer know its not a flat white. But why then don't we put decafe varieties in their own special mug?

Greg41

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #15 on: 16/01/2006, 11:22 PM »
I think the latte in a glass started as a trendy yuppie thing and people would get off on seeing the different layers(colours) in the glass. I sell takeaway coffee from a mobile setup and sell lattes in cardboard and foam cups and nobody has commented yet.yep we people are a funny lot.

Greg.

Lukey

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #16 on: 16/01/2006, 11:50 PM »
Quote
I'm yet to see a convincing arguement for the glass, other than it lets the customer know its not a flat white. But why then don't we put decafe varieties in their own special mug?


didnt i just say it. some people prefer to drink their coffee out of a glass instead of china.
different mouthfeel and yes believe it not the coffee does taste differently when drunk out of either.

i wont explain it, but i'm pretty sure when matty reads this he'll ask, so until then... :P

and why would u want to put decaf into their own mug. why are they asking for decaf in the first place.

greg brought up a funny point.
takeaway cups. serve a latte in one and a flat white in the other and i'll guarantee u the customer wont be able to tell the difference, why...cause there is no difference.


Remus

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #17 on: 17/01/2006, 12:45 AM »
i agree with you mate. coffee in a glass is stupid, period. the only permissable coffee in a clear container is a nice dark espresso.

my theory on how this is eventuated is that some nancyboy flitting around the kitchen thought it would be a good idea one day and it just stuck...a bit like pop music.


One-a-day

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #18 on: 17/01/2006, 10:21 AM »
Quote
I think the latte in a glass started as a trendy yuppie thing and people would get off on seeing the different layers(colours) in the glass. I sell takeaway coffee from a mobile setup and sell lattes in cardboard and foam cups and nobody has commented yet.yep we people are a funny lot.

Greg.

I don't think it was a yuppie thing but more of an abstract art creation where you view the layering from the side. Or maybe the creater ran out of mugs and only had glasses left.

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #19 on: 17/01/2006, 12:01 PM »
Taking Lukeys point that some people like the taste of coffee in a glass... are these people the majority?

The yuppies aside, I didn't want to reduce this thread to a flame war, I do wonder if this is a matter of style over substance.

I don't hear much defense of the glass from a practical stand point.

mattyj

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #20 on: 17/01/2006, 12:46 PM »
wow, did I just read a reference to a LAYERED LATTE!?!?!?! How 80's!!! Come on fellas, that was 20 years ago.

don't worry lukey, I'm not going to ask about taste differences between glass and porcelain.

As for me: my pet hate is getting an espresso served in a super-heated duralex glass. You can't hold the thing, you can't sip from the thing. You've got to sit and wait for the cup to cool down, and as that happens, you can also watch the crema dissipate. Preheated cups are good, superhaeted glasses are bad. Handles make sense. Except when you get those big 80's latte glasses with handles ... Irish coffee cups I think they're called. They fit in gj's (no offense lukey) with all the flavoured syrups.

Lukey

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #21 on: 17/01/2006, 01:01 PM »
Quote
Taking Lukeys point that some people like the taste of coffee in a glass... are these people the majority?

The yuppies aside, I didn't want to reduce this thread to a flame war, I do wonder if this is a matter of style over substance.

I don't hear much defense of the glass from a practical stand point.


i wouldnt say they're the majority. just personal preferences.
i ask a lot of people who order latte's or a flatwhite why they didnt order the other.
most cases its either
prefer drinking from the either one
lattes are more milkier(depending on volumes)
flat white is their interpretation for a basic coffee where as lattes sound more technical or whatever.
and yes there is small % of people that feel that having a latte is more cool.
however there is a small % of people that do just the opposite. they'll order a flat white instead of a latte so it doesnt look like they're a yuppy or a nancy boy. hey this is just what people have told me.

from a practical point. i cant see any, maybe when i go back to work tomorrow i'll make both coffees and see if one stays hotter than the other.

Greg41

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #22 on: 17/01/2006, 02:09 PM »
Hey matty,the 80's to an old pug like me still seems like yesterday..........arrrrr the 80's.
who cares what it comes in or what it looks like as long as it tastes good.

keep smiling.

burnt_hands

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #23 on: 17/01/2006, 02:45 PM »
I thought that in an earlier post someone said the flat white is made with instant?

Lukey it would be interesting to see which is hotter the flat white or the latte... but consider this next time you drink either one, or any coffee for that matter.

How long after the coffee is put in front of you can you comfortably drink from it without using the handle?

8)

Reschsmooth

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Why is a caffe latte served in a glass?
« Reply #24 on: 17/01/2006, 02:55 PM »
As I said before, I don't see what the problem is - I would think that a glass that is too hot to hold will be too hot to drink, and indicates over-heated milk. Granted, some people may use boiler water to heat up the cups, but I don't see this too often.

So, what's the problem? I would have thought that a glass would cool faster than a ceramic cup?

And, to be honest, I would really be surprised if many people could judge the difference in taste, mouthfeel, etc of a coffee served in a cup assuming both drinks were at the same temp.

My overall view is that the container is much less important than the beverage - I would rather get a fantastic coffee in a takeaway cup (whilst I generally don't) than a crap coffee in an illy cup.

P

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