Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s not so bad when you’ve got a deliciously creamy oat milk latte (and extra shoe money!) to show for it. Coffee lover Sigourney ponders the joys of making your own coffee and shares her secrets for creating the ultimate cup.

I didn’t see it coming. The break up, I mean.

I’ve always been very fond of my baristas – most recently it was Vee at Side Part Café in Milson’s Point – he was like a smiling bastion of goodwill in my morning. It helped that the steaming almond latte he handed me – without asking – was always hot and delicious. I never thought we’d part.

And frankly, I lacked the confidence to believe I could make it on my own. (The coffee, that is.)

But all that changed. It all started when I was invited to the Nespresso Essenza Mini launch this year. Apart from being a total coffee lover, I’ve always admired the sleek machines and marveled at the multicoloured capsules. At the event – amid Nespresso martinis and incredible espresso marinated chicken canapés – I became enamoured by the stories behind the beans. The 24 “Grands Crus” (yep, just like whiskey) are sourced sustainably from all over the world, so that every cup can be traced back to its origins, right down to where the bean was picked. After the event, I was lucky enough to get my own machine experimenting with different flavours – (I love Dulsao do Brasil and Rosabaya de Colombia) and trying them with a variety of milks.

What to do when you can’t drink milk?

Now, luckily I’m not dairy intolerant, per se, but I do find that I feel better generally when I don’t drink too much milk. So, for my morning latte, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect non-dairy milk. I tried almost every almond milk on the market but found most of them pretty bitter. Macadamia milk is good but a bit hard to find. I think I’ve found the answer though… enter Oat Milk (I like the Vitasoy brand) – it’s creamy, widely available and froths beautifully with my Nespresso machine.

The second sign that we were approaching a break up?

We moved house – away from my beloved barista. Mornings were hectic enough as it was. Piling kids in the car and taking detours to try out different cafes in the area was just not working.  Time after time I was disappointed with the quality of their almond milk. It was watery. It was bitter. IT DID NOT FROTH! I had to get this at-home coffee thing sorted.

I became obsessed with brewing the perfect latte. 

It was lucky that I sorted out my milk situation because Nespresso just launched their latest collection – the BARISTA Limited Edition range, which are specially crafted to enjoy with milk. At the media launch for the range, which was inspired by artisans and craftsmanship, I met some baristas who gave me a couple of tips to help with my coffee preparation

– You can tell a coffee’s quality by looking at the crema – the layer of froth on top. You want fine bubbles with no holes or separation. After your machine has finished dripping, tap your cup gently on the counter to help the crema settle nicely.

– To create latte art, first swirl the milk jug and tap it gently on the bench. Then swirl both the jug and the cup of coffee gently, to create a bit of motion in both, then use the tip of your milk warming jug like a pencil – dipping it lightly and swirling back and forth as you pour.

– For an even more sustainable cup, make sure you recycle your Nespresso capsules at one of more than 19,000 outlets around Australia.

And you know what? I’ve finally done it. I just made another cup with the BARISTA Chiaro (it’s the subtlest flavour of the three and it’s totally delicious) combined with my oat milk and a few barista tips and I’ve kicked my café habit to the curb. I even picked up some pretty convincing latte art techniques. I’ve already decided, with all the money I’m saving, it’s only fair that it goes towards a pair of shoes, because who needs a Barista when you have a little Giambattista?

In association with Nespresso

Comment (0)

  1. October 3, 2017

    Is the essenza mini as good as the delonghi inisa? I’m thinking about getting one but don’t know the difference?

  2. October 3, 2017

    Hi Katherine, I haven’t tried the Delonghi one but I LOVE my essenza mini – it’s compact but makes beautiful coffee. The external frother is great for babycinos for the kids and hot chocolates too.