Mrs. DavesBeer and I spend like we're in a depression (are we in one yet?). Two thousand years in school will do that. So, when the economy really gets shitty, what to do? The frills go, first are the girly coffee drinks. However, I absolutely love a latte once in a while but at greater than $3 a shot, once a month is about all I'll treat myself. How to make one at home without an expensive machine?
A while ago, I noticed a mini press pot that claimed to froth milk. I saw it long ago and the concept stuck in my head. All it could do, if it worked, is aerate a liquid that had surface properties adequate to contain the gas punched into it. To the lab.
I already had my 2nd cup this morning, so I opted for a decaf shot with my moka pot (the cheapo espresso). For a latte, even an instant espresso shot would probably be adequate (parenting kills one's purist tendencies) since it's mostly milk, e.g., Medaglia Doro, is a good instant. Then, I put 2% (lower fat milk has the best surface properties) scalded milk in my french press with the coffee, plunged it , lifting it out of the milk each time. Within several plunges the volume nearly doubled. Voila! Latte that would easily rival your local barrista's.
So, the economy might just tank, but we'll still have our latte.
(Note: images aren't the best because I was fooling with no flash settings, should be better in the future.)