Barista Secrets: 3 Underground Coffee Drinks Not On The Menu

published Jan 17, 2012
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You won’t see these coffee drinks on the regular menu at most coffee shops. But for those in the know, it doesn’t matter. And they can provide inspiration for some truly delicious homemade drinks.

Michael Phillips and Chris Owens, owners of Handsome Coffee in L.A., described these three underground coffee drinks in a recent interview on The Dinner Party Download. Each has their own slightly variant composition, and of course, their own cult following:

Flat White – You’ll hear this one the most in Australia and New Zealand. It’s a traditional-sized cappucino or small latté with no cocoa powder on top, which is the norm Down Under.

The Gibraltar – The brainchild of Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, The Gibraltar is a double-shot of espresso and a bit of milk. It’s served in a small Libbey “Gibraltar” tumbler, hence the name. The story goes that this was originally a drink that the Blue Bottle baristas made for themselves behind the bar; the milk cools the espresso just enough to be able to slam back the drink and carry on.

The Cortado – Usually served in a straight-sided juice glass, this Spanish and South American specialty is is essentially a miniature latté. It’s made of espresso covered with an equal amount of thinly steamed milk. Hold the foam.

I’m usually a black coffee kind of gal, but I could be convinced to veer from my usual for the novelty of ordering one of these drinks. I also think that these sound a little more accessible for making at home than your usual tall-nonfat-triple-whip-soy-sugar-free-vanilla-latte, eh?

What about you?

Listen to the Full Interview: Third Wave Coffee: Episode 130 on The Dinner Party Download


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(Image: Flickr member Kennymatic licensed under Creative Commons)