You Put a Latte in My Heart

27 Jul

The Mister and I aren’t really coffee drinkers… except that lately he has found room in his heart for the foamy latte.  This has been going on for months and I truly didn’t understand it.  Then it happened to me. 

Last Friday I purchased a latte for my friend Megan, who you met here, and one for myself.  I figured that two of my favorite people like this stuff then it might not hurt to give it a go.  Now I’m sunk.  They are much better than I could have guessed.  Perhaps it’s that I’m older now and I like things that are bitter.  I learned from Alton Brown’s Good Eats that when we are young we associate bitter with poison.  So we don’t like veggies or dark chocolate or coffee.  Now I love veggies, dark chocolate, a pint of bitters and, after much hold out, coffee.  Or at least I do right now as I’m typing under the influence of a grande.

Something I learned is that latte is often mispelled as latté or lattè.  This kind of extra flair is attributed to something called hyperforeignism.  I read about it on Kottke and you should too.  Basically it’s taking a foreign word and making it, well, more foreign by mispronouncing it.

In hopes of avoiding more errors, I was interested in how the Mister and I can order these suckers when we’re overseas.  I knew that if I ordered a latte in France that I’d get a cup of hot milk.  Research suggests that I can order café crème or un crème in French speaking places.  In Italy, I can simply say caffèe latte as the Italians invented the stuff, and not, as so many people thought, the French.

Now in Germany it’s a whole other matter.  I did a little research and it’s pretty important how you phrase this one, apparently.  If you want a latte then you’d better say you’d like a Macchiato Latte.  Why?  In German the word latte refers to a post or something wooden, like the English word lathe.  If you are requesting a latte you will likely be interpreted as wanting something wooden.  And someone will probably giggle at you.  They have another term that refers to something being wooden in the morning, Morgenlatte.  So how do I put this delicately?  It would not be a good idea to go into a German café and request something stiff and wooden and creamy, you feel me?  If you don’t then just heed my advice about adding Macchiato and watch more HBO, will ya?



One Response to “You Put a Latte in My Heart”

  1. Red 2011/07/27 at 11:18 #

    So where did you get your latte from? Now that you’ve come around to the seductive allure of coffee, you can start trying them different places to see where your favorite one comes from! I recommend Peace Coffee’s shop on Minnehaha. They are expensive, but they are amazing.

    And thank you for the heads up about Latte’s in Germany!

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