My wife, Josie, surprised me one day with a large mug of coffee that didn’t taste like the coffee I usually drank. It was an instant coffee latte, made with UHT milk instead of water, and that was more than five years ago at our house in the Philippines.
Instant coffee is more popular in the Philippines than brewed coffee, opposite to the way it is in the United States. With a much higher population in poverty, most residents can’t afford the luxury of ground coffee, if they can even afford a coffee maker.
I have an inexpensive coffee maker, which I bought years before that, which I can’t even use. There aren’t any filters that can fit the shape of the coffee grounds receptacle. I didn’t have many choices in coffee makers at the time. It now sits on a countertop, simply taking up space. I intend to replace it when I return to the Philippines.
An instant coffee latte doesn’t hold a candle to a coffee latte made at a coffee shop like Starbucks or Seattle’s Best. It suffices for people who can’t afford buying coffee from a coffee shop, and for people who have no other way of making coffee drinks at home.
An instant coffee latte uses instant coffee instead of espresso as the base. Boiled milk is used instead of steamed milk or milk foam. UHT milk dominates the dairy shelves of the grocery stores in the Philippines. In the years that I lived there, I never saw regular, pasteurized milk even once. I don’t even know if it exists there.
The procedure is simple: Heat the milk to boiling and put it in the mug. Add two teaspoons (tableware) of instant coffee and stir. Add sugar to taste. Since milk is naturally sweet, you can get by on one teaspoon of sugar if you usually use two. The order doesn’t matter as long as it’s stirred well.
Coffee powder works better than granules or crystals, in my experience. Of course, I no longer use any kind of milk or non-dairy creamers in my coffee. I prefer black coffee with one teaspoon of sugar normally. If I drink it weak enough, I’ll forego the sugar completely.
This post is a complete rewrite of the post titled “Make Coffee Like Starbucks at Home”, itself a rewrite of an even earlier post at another website. I know it offended at least one person who seemed to be a coffee connoisseur, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not a coffee connoisseur myself, and I prefer it that way. My past is filled with days of bad and worse coffee (in the military), as well as good and excellent coffee since then.
The instant coffee latte I’m describing doesn’t taste like a coffee shop latte, but it’s close enough for people who don’t care about the difference. I’m sure it can be adapted to mimic other coffee shop drinks, but I’m not inclined to do it myself.