The drink, as we know it, became popular in the Sydney coffee scene about ten years ago among the coffee roasting fraternity and soon spread its wings around the country. Only the cool crowd drank piccolos, and the coffee bores annoyed many a café barista about the true definition of this drink. I remember responding to an early coffee forum years ago and was eaten alive by know it all coffee aficionados.
Here I go again!
Traditionally, a Piccolo Latte is a ristretto shot (15 – 20 ml) topped with warm, silky milk served in a 100 ml glass demitasse (small latte glass) … basically, a baby latte, as the Italian pronunciation suggests. There have been other names for this drink, such as the Spanish version Cataldo, or a Mezzo-Mezzo. I like the Aussie version: the low tide latte. Many Melbournians were nearly experiencing the Piccolo with their own long or stretched Macchiato.
Why I think coffee roasters and café owners took up this little favourite is because when you are in the industry, it is hard to drink full size milk coffees all day. Having these little caffeinated milk shots lets you taste your fresh roasted coffee with milk, without the bloated feeling.
Please café owners, if you aren’t doing a Piccolo Latte, throw it on your menu board and get involved in industry trends …. and never argue with a Piccolo drinker. They are always right! I think.
New innovations in Piccolo Latte presentation are being developed by industry cup suppliers. Keep Cup has introduced a new range of ‘Extra Small’ reusable plastic Keep Cups with lids. I think I will need to buy two cups: one to throw down on the walk to the office and the other when I get to my desk, just to look cool among my work buddies.
Hook Turn Industries have also come up with a small reusable cup that doubles as a Babyccino cup – and that is another story!
Arterial Packaging has some pretty cool designed Piccolo cups – especially for the trendy businesses that do not have branded 100 ml cups. There are two colours in the design, and it is becoming one of their biggest sellers.