While many assume a piccolo latte (or piccolo for short) is just a smaller latte, it is actually more complicated than that. The milk to coffee ratio is different, meaning that the espresso packs more of a “punch”.
Tip - A Piccolo glass is not something you’d usually have around the house but you can still enjoy the same flavor using the espresso to milk ratios in any glass or cup.
Small Glass or Demitasse
First, grind your freshly roasted beans. Give the portafilter a few gentle taps to settle the grounds before tamping on a level surface. Remember, consistent pressure is key.
Place the portafilter into the group head. Twist until it’s firmly in place. Before you start the shot, make sure you set your cups underneath. Hit the two cup button. Espresso should drop from the spouts after 8-10 seconds. Look for a flow that looks like warm honey.
Pour cold milk into the jug, up to the bottom of the spout, but remember to purge the steam wand first. Place the wand about a ½ inch/1.5cm into the milk. Open the steam valve and lower the jug to introduce air to the surface of the milk.
Aim for a temperature of around 140-150°F, or 60-65°C. A good manual indicator would be when the milk jug becomes too hot to touch. For non-dairy, try not to go over 130°F, or 55°C, as the milk can start to separate or curdle. Look for a velvety and silky-smooth texture. Swirl the jug to ensure the milk is integrated.
Before the pour, don’t forget to purge the steam wand to clean remaining milk inside then give it a wipe with a damp cloth. Gently pour the textured milk into the espresso, with a layer of microfoam on top.