The term latte macchiato translates disturbingly to stained milk. It is a coffee beverage prepared by adding espresso to foamed milk, and true coffee nerds like to pour the espresso in gently, so it floats between the liquid milk below and the frothed milk above. When done correctly, the layers stay separate, like an adorable little metaphor for racial segregation. You can buy these cups of Apartheid for $5.00+ at Starbucks, or you can just make them yourself at home. (Or you can be like me, and not drink them at all because you don’t give one piece of flying monkey shit about coffee anyway.)
My wife takes great pride in preparing her own latte macchiatos. (And then telling me how much money she’s saving every… single… time.) She uses this little reverse espresso thingie, which sits directly on the stove and bubbles the water up through the grounds. Check it out:
But the problem has always been how to properly froth the milk. My wife started out using an absolute piece of garbage milk foamer, which looked like this:
…but the foaming process took so long our breakfast would get cold and then I’d get all hungry and pissed off, like a little bitch. So thankfully, my wife graduated to a real milk foamer, which looks like this:
Aww yeah! This thing can foam the shit out of some milk. It’s from a chain of German coffee retailers called Tchibo, which, inexplicably, sells completely unrelated products as well. One week you can roll into Tchibo for some coffee and a complete set of running gear, and the next you’ll get your coffee while enjoying a sale on electronic gadgets. Makes no sense to me. All I know is the logo — which is supposed to be a steaming coffee bean — looks more like a smoking vagina after a particularly exhausting porno shoot.
So anyway, my wife has been making these stupid coffee drinks for herself every weekend since we moved into our new house. She’s the only one who drinks them; I just take pictures of her efforts so I can mock them. What follows is a list of my German wife’s top 10 attempts to make the perfect latte macchiato:
Oh come on, honey! That looks like a glass full of toilet water! There’s hardly even any foam on top, and that gradient from milk to espresso… for shame. I cannot award this attempt with anything higher than 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds:
Dear God, this one’s about to spill over! And I bet I’ll be the one to clean it up! What is that coming out of the top anyway? A stool sample from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? 1 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds for you!
Alright, now this one is lookin’ better. I don’t see any spillage, and the foam has a nice, non-fecal shape. But dude, there’s more espresso in there than milk! The ideal proportions should be 1:1, or so say the rules I just totally made up. This one scores 2 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
Now we’re gettin’ somewhere. Nice rounded foam top. Visible gradient lines between milk and espresso. The ratio is still off, however, and I know you’re better than that. Again, 2 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
Wow! Excellent foam, better ratio. Your technique has really improved, my dear. But what is that brown streak running down the side? Looks like a skid mark. Filthy, but much improved. You’ve earned 3 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds with this one.
Solid foam top, distinct layering and a decent milk-to-espresso ratio — although a bit heavy on the espresso. But my main concern is THAT GIANT FESTERING TUMOR ON THE SIDE. Are you really gonna drink that, honey? Better lance it first and then cauterize the wound. Jesus Christ. 3 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
I like where your head is at: good ratios, graceful foam formation and no malignant tumors. But what’s with the turbo skid mark? Looks like my undies after an hour on the stationary bike. “Honey, I sure hope today is laundry day!”
This one kicks it up a notch to 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
Again, I’m not a big fan of the skid marks down the side, but I must applaud your attention to detail. The foam comes to a pleasing apex, and the espresso is clearly separate from the milk. (Though you’re still using enough milk to drown a dairy cow.) 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
Oooo! Now that looks professional! I hate to see that little brown star on the side, and the milk could be in better balance with the espresso, but still, great work! The ratio is still too heavy on the milk, however, and the German I married would never settle for second best. That’s why you get 4 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds, mein Schatz.
Ahhhh, perfection. Look at that generous heap of milk foam. It’s like a pile of baby dreams. And the milk-to-espresso ratio? Perfect. Why, you can even see two distinct layers in the coffee. It’s a two-tone work of art! Congratulations, my little German wife, you’ve finally achieved 5 out of 5 Merkel Diamonds.
But what do you think, Dear Reader? Which of these 10 latte macchiatos is the best one? The comment section is open, and we’ve even got a survey in which to make your preference known!
If you liked this post, there’s a solid chance you’ll dig this one too: My German Wife Attempts to Reheat A Soft Boiled Egg in the Microwave
Oh, I can see the two separate in the last one. This is like an art form. She definitely deserves 5 stars!
I’ll pass that along, Amy! Thank you!
I feel like an idiot. Ten months in Germany and didn’t know they were primarily a coffee store. I never figured out what Tchibo was trying to be. It was always a mismash of stuff and I could never find whatever I was looking for that day.
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Hey man, my wife had to tell me what was up with Tchibo. I had no clue either.
telling how much she saves… soooo German! a treat is not really a treat for German unless it has a saving part hahahahahahahahaha
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God bless ’em! :)
Somebody has to save – who else would pay for the spenders if we did not save to do so?
“supposed to be a steaming coffee bean — looks more like a smoking vagina after a particularly exhausting porno shoot.”
Hahaha! All these years I grew up with their logo and never saw it that way… But, now that you mention it… *laughs until her belly aches*
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I cannot unsee it either!
ohmygodthisishilarious! I love the skid marks….I think they all look pretty awesome and would definitely give your wife a job in my cafe…if latte macchiato weren’t SO “noughties”. it’s all about galaos and flat whites now. at least here in hipsterland-berlin.
Thank you Brit! That’s awesome!
Holy Christ, what is a “noughtie?”
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2000 up to 2009 – the noughties … the decade after the nineties.
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Ooohhh. Haw haw!
Yknow, the “nineties” the “eighties”…the “noughties” blimey, you need to take a vacation back to the homeland! ; ) (or do Americans call that decade something else?)
We just say, “The 2000s.” :)
In America all we ever got was a bottomless pot of coffee from Denny’s that my family in Kansas would drink while eating their pot roast…
Haw haw haw! Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!
Lovely post, and yes #1 does look perfect. It is ganz klar, however, that you are an effete coffee snob :P and I have no sympathy. The only coffee I ever drank while living in Naples was “uno normale” (which I mentioned here: https://playingintheworldgame.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/ersatzkaffee/).
Joking aside, this was a lot of fun to read, and it sounds like the Woman of the House has learned a lot about making a lovely latte macchiato!
She seems to have perfected the technique, to be sure! I’ll pass that along. Thank you, Wolf!
Ahhh!! OMG!!! I was laughing so hard through this one!! Although, I’ve always thought the Tchibo logo looks like sperm….
Right on! I’m glad you liked the post, Hortgal.
And it totally looks like a sperm too. :)
I loved reading this, but have to agree that there’s entirely too much milk. Then again, that’s why I don’t drink latte macchiato.
Yeah, I’ve gathered from my extensive research that milk is really the point of the latte macchiato. :)
I have to say your grades on the coffee samples are very precise. Excellent details in mocking. *chuckle* Love the post. :-)
Great post and descriptions. To make segregation in a glass for myself, I have to wait for a visit to my in-laws with one of those high-faluting capsule espresso machines. As for the Tchibo logo, I’m wondering what my wife now thinks about it daily when she sees it, as Tchibo is one of her clients at her workplace.
Nice! Is Tschibo a good client?
Well, there are no discounts and I’ve heard the meetings sometimes need focus (constructive criticism in case they’re reading!). But on the other hand, my wife knows what’s coming in the next catalog, so I refuse the little insert they try putting in my bag.
That’s awesome! Please tell her my wife LOVES her client. Well, their special deals, anyway. :)
Is your wife in marketing?
Nope, she works in logistics and transportation.
Oh, like, coordinating the delivery of their goods?
Yup. Its probably a bit more complicated than that, but then she would have to shoot me. Then again, wouldn’t she have to prove that she’s a wild game hunter to get a gun? I think I started to enter the complicated realm of German wives, and you don’t want me as a model for one of the 10,000 versions of Tatort (which I have yet to watch one).
I’d love to know Tschibo’s marketing strategy — I broke a French press and hope to buy on at Tschibo, but no — I could get a cup of coffee, a 1,000 Euro coffee maker, a bikini, or a charcoal grill, but not a French press. And, unlike in the US where you stores that sell all of this, Tschibos are tiny little hole-in-the-wall stores.