Home-style espresso machines were unsatisfactory for us, lacking the steam pressure to pull a perfect shot. Not willing to spend thousands on a quality machine, we gave up and learned to enjoy the espresso drinks we could find on the street.
A year or two ago, we happened across the Cold Brew system of coffee making. In this system, coarsely ground coffee is soaked in cold water for 12-24 hours, creating a triple strength coffee extract. Since no heat is used, only the aromatic compounds in the coffee beans soak into the extract with little to no acid created. When diluted with hot water, the cold-brew extract makes a uniquely smooth and flavorful cup of coffee. ( We use the Toddy Cold Brew system, but there are many others; Check this Instructables site for DIY versions or Google for more information on cold brewing).
It took me awhile (I'm not the brightest bulb in the 4-pack) but when my husband started using the undiluted extract for a quasi-Cuban coffee, it occurred to me that the cold-brew extract was a lovely substitute for espresso. Now, what to use for foaming the milk for lattés?
After digging around in the cupboards, I unearthed an old French press pot, and we entered a new era of home-made lattés and brevés, made with dense, velvety foam and smooth, rich coffee extract.
Enjoy this simple 'Ible and the great lattés you can make at home or when camping off the grid.