Ames is known for many things, from its Cyclone pride to the Main Street events. The city is also known for its intense coffee culture and, so many people have different specific tastes, ranging from an iced americano to a vanilla latte with two pumps of caramel.
Here is a guide to figuring out the basics of the different types of coffee.
Starting with the basics, an espresso is typically thicker than coffee brewed and it’s created by forcing a little bit of boiling water through finely ground coffee. Because of the small amount of water, it is typically much stronger than a cup of black coffee, and is the base of most popular drinks such as lattes, mochas and cappuccinos.
A latte is a popular drink that has espresso with steamed milk, which can taste bitter on its own. Many people tend to add flavorings such as caramel or vanilla.
“I like to get a vanilla latte usually if I am going to a coffee shop because it's not just straight espresso because sometimes that is too hard on my stomach,” Mercy Ommaid, an Ames community member said. “If I am at home or at work, I will make a dark roast coffee and just add some creamer.”
A dark roast is coffee grounds brewed with water—known as ‘black coffee’—which has a bitter taste and less caffeine as opposed to a lighter roast.
A breve is very similar to a latte but instead of milk added into the espresso, it’s half and half.
Mary and Ben Law, visitors at Stomping Grounds, said they both enjoy coffee but have very different tastes.
“I am not an avid coffee drinker, but my husband is,” Mary Law said. “Whenever he is having a bad at work, I try to make him feel better by dropping some coffee off at any time of day or night!”
Her husband, Ben, said he can work odd hours so coffee typically lifts his mood.
“I like the way that I can make other people feel with coffee," Ben Law said. "It’s an easy way to cheer people up and warm them up or cool them down, and it usually makes people feel energized. too."
Ben Law said he enjoys americanos — an espresso with water — but also enjoys the atmosphere of coffee shops. Mary Law agrees but lately she has been learning how to make different drinks at home.
“I have been learning how to make lattes,” Mary Law said. “It is actually very hard to make them, I think I am getting the hang of steaming the milk. I recently learned how to make mochas and I have been looking forward to trying them out.”
Mochas are lattes with steamed milk and chocolate flavoring.
Steaming is the process of warming milk while using a steaming wand and the end product will have foam sitting on top of the beverage. Lattes may have less foam as opposed to cappuccinos, which have a lot of foam. Cappuccinos are a combination of espresso and steamed milk.
While the choices for coffee is endless, creating coffee is also a craft those strive to perfect.
“I love coffee because I love the smell and taste of it and I love the way it makes me feel,” Ben Law said. “I also love the craft of coffee; the artisanship of the growing and roasting and grinding and brewing can come in so many forms and it’s fascinating to me to explore and try new things. I like trying to get good at things too so it’s fun to experiment with new ways to make coffee.”