HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Really, does a great latte exist in Baltimore?

I'm new to Baltimore, freshly transplanted from the all-too cliche coffee capital of the world: Seattle, Washington. As cliche as Seattle may be for coffee and rain alike, the coffee culture in Seattle (and the west coast in general, Portland and San Francisco come to mind), is vibrant and particular in how coffee is both roasted, but also prepared at the bar.

I've found it really challenging to get a decent latte in Baltimore. Many coffee shops don't seem to put the time or care in steaming the milk at a lower temperature and frothing their milk to make a deeper, softer foam. What I have seen is a lot of scalding hot cups of coffee that make my coffee loving heart sink in sadness. The foam dissolves in moments and what's left is a coffee-burnt, steaming cup of hot milk. Really, this seems like a tragedy.

Where are the latte's where there is foam left at the bottom of the cup once you're finished drinking? I'm not looking for the dry, egg-whitey kind of foam. I mean smooth, velvet foam.

Can anyone make my Valentine's wish come true and point me towards a well crafted, B-more made latte? <3

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Sadly, I'm afraid your Baltimore Valentine's wish will be just that.

    "Foam" is usually nothing but large bubbles here and 12 years after leaving Ballard, found it easier to buy a quality machine and DIY.

    There are no Diva or Vivace-esq coffee houses around.

    Good luck in your search!

    2 Replies
    1. re: tbw

      :( Anyone have coffee shop reccomendations? Even if there foam isn't foam at all...?

      1. re: clementimes

        My coffee companion likes Koffee Therapy on E. Franklin, just down the hill a 1/2 block or so from Charles.

        I've never been but she says they serve "great foam." If it matters, I'm not certain they keep evening hours.

    2. I just had a latte at Chocolatea that seems to meet your criteria. I am definitely not a latte specialist, having come to coffee drinking late in life, but there was definitely foam left when I was done drinking. I actually thought too much foam and which got me thinking of the distinction between latte and cappuccino again and how there often doesn't seem to be much difference when they are made wrong.

      -----
      Chocolatea
      3811 Canterbury Rd, Baltimore, MD 21218

      1 Reply
      1. re: a70wilson

        I had the same thought. Perhaps I don't know my espresso drinks well enough, but I always thought a caffe latte left most of the foam to its brother, cappuccino.

      2. Well, it's not exactly Baltimore, but if you happen to be in Frederick, there's a great little coffee shop there called La Dolce Vita. I went in there expecting to get a close to terrible cappuccino, but I came out with one of the best ones I've ever had. Beatiful crema on the espresso when they pulled it and a soft, velvety foam.

        1. Try Bonaparte Bakery or Patisserie Poupon. Both are French bakeries and do a really nice latte. Bonaparte is on South Ann Street in Fells Point and Patisserie Poupon is on East Baltimore right near the intersection of President and Bmore.

          1. Good luck! I have been out here for almost 4 years and I have yet to find a decent latte. It is just not the same! I worked at a coffee place throughout college and I am really picky. I miss the pulled shots and manual steaming...no push buttons!

            1. Spro.

              http://www.sprocoffee.com/home.html

              and the bar at Woodberry Kitchen, open during dinner service and also brunch.

              That is it.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pleiades

                "Where are the latte's where there is foam left at the bottom of the cup once you're finished drinking?" My house. Drinking one right now: Silvia Rancilio + La Pavoni grinder. Not the most expensive set up but it does the trick.

                Short of doing it yourself, pleiades has pretty well summed it up. There is a coffee company called Crema Coffee Company that runs some of the kiosks at the Univ of Maryland. They have a couple of baristas that know what they are doing, but unfortunately not all. They are hit and miss.

                http://www.cremacoffeeonline.com/

                (Note: I see they have taken over the hollywood diner. I wonder if that's where all their good baristas go? Anyone ever been?

                )

                Of course, onocoffee who posts here may be able to give some hints about when he is opening his coffee shop on the Avenue in Hampden.

                1. re: KAZ

                  I live in Hampden and I can't wait til Onocoffee opens his place here. I love his coffee at Spro in Towson, and from talking to him, I've found out that his training does in fact come from the mecca of coffee, Seattle. He tells me that it will be open around March 1st, snow willing.
                  And yes, the Lattes they make will knock your socks off.

                2. re: pleiades

                  I should also add that a couple of the baristas at Atwater's in Belvedere Square are also good.

                3. I'm a coffee snob. Whole Foods Market really does make a great latte. No kidding.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 180hearted

                    Spro. New location in Hampden! The only coffee in B-more, so far...

                  2. 'Latte' = milk
                    'caffe latte' is what I think you are really asking for help with. ;-p

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pool Boy

                      as a friend of mine grudgingly discovered when he ordered a latte in the Rome airport.

                    2. Woodberry Kitchen and Peregrine are both heavenly!

                      1. There exist such a place it's called Cafe Q, located on the John Hopkins campus - Homewood. They use Torani brand flavoring syrups, have an assortment of pastries, italian sodas & cream soda, Chai. The original owner Matt Mc Cauley was quite a whip for properly pulled shots of espresso 17-23 seconds and the steaming/frothing of milk - using techniques from Mr. David Schomer.