A poorly made flavored latte — and the only two words that you really need to know here are “gas” and “station” — is an atrocity. Sweet as pie and drowning in one-note, chemical boosted flavor, it’s a sugar-delivery system, nothing more. It has its place, but it’s generally a place of desperation and fatigue.
That said, a well-made flavored latte is a thing of beauty. We’ve sung the praises of the cardamom latte at Anelace, and now we’re changing the tune to a couple of drinks in the key of the Angry Catfish Coffee and Bicycle Bar.
The coffee shop’s newly debuted Fancy Lattes ($5 each), made with house-made syrups and Kalona SuperNatural whole milk, come in two flavors: the here-to-stay vanilla molasses variety and the winter seasonal maple cardamom. (Orange lavender is coming this spring.) Both lattes are nicely balanced.
Think of a triangular sweet spot with flavored syrup, milk, and coffee as each of its three points. We thought the Anelace latte pushed toward “coffee”; the Angry Catfish approach pushes toward the flavored syrup, but neither is out of balance, overall. The maple cardamom variety starts with a maple note and finishes with the warm depth of cardamom; the vanilla molasses variety is dominated by the former and anchored by the sweet funkiness of the molasses. The milk is rich and smooth, and the coffee mellow.
As the mercury dips below zero, the body wants something warm and the spirit wants something soulful and delicious. The Fancy Lattes at the Angry Catfish ring both of those bells.
The Angry Catfish Coffee and Bicycle Bar, 4208 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406; 612.722.1538