Thanks for joining me again today for day three of a five part series on local coffee and roasting companies in the Pierce County, Washington area. I have been on a mission recently to find independent coffee shops to help support the small businesses in the area.
Check out day two here. I am hoping you will find inspiration to start looking for hidden gems in your area.
Today’s local coffee shop is Bertolino’s Espresso Bar. This is a small one-shop craft coffee roaster company. This is one of the only 24-hour coffee shops in Pierce County. It is not far from a university and is frequented by students needing a pick me up when studying late. This shop has a lived in feel with a comfy couch, several tables and chairs and available printer. I would say that it a great place to work, study or meet up with friends for a great coffee (or tea) and just be comfortable.
On my first trip not knowing anything about the store I wasn’t sure what to order and decided to try something I had never had before. I chose a cappuccino. It is coffee with extra foamy, foam and was life changing for me. My go-to milk flavored drink was a peppermint white chocolate mocha. This cappuccino was delicious and it was the foam that made it!
I didn’t know there was a difference between latte and cappuccino, I don’t recall ever seeing both on a menu. I just had to look it up what the difference was and this is what I found at thecoffeebrewers.com: “Cappuccino and Latte are drinks made with espresso and milk. The distinction is that in cappuccino, the milk is “frothed” (using the steam wand that is part of an espresso machine) into a “microfoam” that is about twice the volume of the original milk. In a latte, the milk is merely “steamed” (heated, with the result being hot milk with a small head of froth) using the same steam wand, but a different technique. For frothing, the milk is converted to a “microfoam.” The microbubbles in the foam are formed by forcing hot air into the tightly-knit “fabric” created by the protein molecules in milk. So ironically, skim milk, being higher in protein, will produce a more voluminous foam than whole milk. For the latte, the goal is not to create that much foam, so any type of milk works. For cappuccino, we start with equal portions of espresso and milk. The milk is then “frothed” (in a special frothing pitcher) into a microfoam that is roughly double the original volume of the milk. The microfoam is then poured over the espresso. (If the espresso is poured into the microfoam, then the drink is called a “latte macchiato.”) For the latte, we start with twice as much milk as espresso. The milk is then heated (but not frothed) to 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit (but not hotter) using the steam wand. The hot milk and espresso are then poured together into a serving cup. Whatever microfoam had formed in the steaming process is poured over the top of the latte. Sometimes, the foam is poured artistically to create fancy designs on top of the drink.”
I was really surprised at the flavor difference with the cappuccino, it didn’t water down or flavor the coffee it basically sat on top rather than blend in with the coffee. If you haven’t had it before definitely give it a try, you won’t be sorry.
I went back to Bertolino’s intending to get another coffee and started talking with the friendly barista and went with a Chai Tea with vanilla and almond milk instead. It was delish too! I did have another of their raspberry scones and it was a perfect combo. I’m hoping that no one else heard me umming and ahhing. It really was that good. So I am two for two at this comfy shop and anytime I am in that area will be stopping in again.