One of the best parts of eating the creamy dessert, crème brulee is taking a spoon and tapping its glassy top. Formed by broiling or blow torching sugar placed atop the custard, cracking the wall of caramelized sweetness is part and parcel of the whole package's goodness.
Terra Java barista Amanda May completely understands the importance of that small gesture and has helped to recreate the dessert in coffee form.
May says it was while brainstorming new drinks to highlight as Terra Java's Drink of the Day that the idea for a Crème Brulee Latte popped into her head. But rather than just mix syrups with coffee to recreate the flavor, she wanted to make it as much like the dessert as possible.
The result ended up damn delightful. A double shot of espresso gets done breve style, where cream is steamed with the milk, adding a serious richness to the experience. It also helps create a custard consistency similar to the actual dessert, itself. Vanilla syrup, caramel and cinnamon are mixed in as well.
The foamy, steam creamed top is covered with granulated sugar and gets a serious visit from the business end of a kitchen-sized blow torch. Crackling, glasslike top? Check. The bold espresso cuts through some of the sweetness while all of the desserts tasty flavors remain. Creamy, crunchy and a nice extra warm hug on a cold day.
The drink also goes well with one of Terra Java's pastries, made in-house and include choices like lemon muffins and gingerbread cake.
May is in the culinary program at Scottsdale Community College, mostly interested in dessert and pastry making. She enjoys being a part of helping to create the sweet treats at Terra Java. She likes making a variety of options that don't only taste good but can accommodate dietary restrictions. Vegan, gluten free, and low glycemic options are available. The Arcadia spot offers full breakfast and lunch menus.
A few fun facts about barista Amanda May:
1. She loves panda bears which she thinks may be a remnant from being called "Amanda Panda" throughout her childhood. 2. She can touch her tongue to her nose. 3. She hopes to team up with some of her four siblings to open a bakeshop or bed & breakfast, someday.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.