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Caffe Lagrima, full of milk, from Argentina


The reverse of Macchiato is the favorite coffee of the Argentines.

One of the most fascinating things in the world of coffee is the unique way in which it is practiced by every people on the planet. The term "coffee culture" is unique to almost every country, depends on many factors and includes social habits, different varieties of coffee, separate extracts, different habits and shops, and of course, different coffee drinks!

From Argentina, a country that has developed a rich and wide coffee culture, comes Café Lagrima, which for years was the most emblematic drink in the daily life of Argentines. Easy to prepare and with its own story, it is waiting for us to meet him!

What is Café Lagrima?

Caffe Lagrima is one of the most characteristic coffees of the Argentine coffee culture. This is essentially the "reversal" of Caffe Macchiato: a rich cup of milk, to which is simply added a dose of espresso. Lagrima also means "tear" in Spanish, which suggests that the drink simply contains a "tear" espresso, a small amount of coffee.

The origin of Lagrima comes from the years when coffee imported to Argentina was of low quality. The country imported mainly due to poor quality coffee from neighboring Brazil, which was even roasted with sugar, in order to mask their lack of taste. Naturally, such quality coffee is difficult to consume plain, so Lagrima, with its rich milk dose, has been the ideal solution for years.

Of course, Argentines can now enjoy quality coffee, as data has changed dramatically, as Lagrima has become a favorite habit that many do not intend to give up. So, they still enjoy it, just with much better quality coffee beans, and of course much better taste.

How do we prepare Café Lagrima?

The preparation of coffee is extremely simple: in a cup, place about 200ml of warm milk, and fill with a dose of espresso (about 25-30 ml). The ratio may seem excessive, but most cafes in Argentina serve Lagrima in a 9: 1 ratio. It is a coffee ideal for breakfast, a more "blue" version of Latte.

Do we use frothed milk or not? Traditionally, Lagrima was made with plain milk, without frothed milk, but in recent years, many have preferred frothed milk. If we want to experiment, we can create frothed milk with half the amount of milk, and use the other half as it is. Still, it was traditionally made with skim milk, probably because of the lower cost, and many Argentines still prefer it that way.

What espresso blends can we use for Café Lagrima?

Of course, it goes without saying that we will not use low quality coffee to be transported to Buenos Aires - after all, the Argentines themselves have left this season behind. We need a blend of beans from Brazil, with a relatively dark roast, and with a sensible presence of Robusta, in order to reconstruct the taste of the drink. Our goal is not to "cap" the taste of coffee from excess milk, but to achieve a balance.

Two of the blends of Lavazza's excellent Tierra range meet these requirements. Lavazza Tierra Brasile Intense (70% Arabica - 30% Robusta) and Lavazza Tierra Brasile Extra Intense (60% Arabica - 40% Robusta) have the necessary intensity, their beans come from plantations in Brazil and their taste profile, with notes of chocolate, caramel, cereal and sugar make them great for mixing with milk. Needless to say, these are blends of exceptional quality, as well as the entire Lavazza Tierra line!

Life is worth it thanks to its small pleasures ... make a light Lagrima coffee, steal some time for yourself, close your eyes and be transported to an alley in Buenos Aires!