In 2015, I flew to L.A. to try “almost certainly the best latte” in the U.S., as rated in The New York Times
, and made by Springs native Charles Babinski’s shop, G&B (see “Raising the barista,”
March 11, 2015). It was epic. Locally, lattes in many sizes and flavors command as much as $5.50. For that price, they’d better be excellent, and while Story’s true-to-flavor honey vanilla latte ($4.75) is great, their sea salt caramel latte ($5) stands as my “almost certainly the best latte” at present, tasting like holiday brittle in a great way. It starts with Story Coffee Company
's Walden blend, now an Ethiopian/Costa Rican, but whatever it is, “the goal is the profile,” says co-owner Don Niemyer, noting a balance of bitterness, acidity and sweetness, “engineered for simplicity” (hence, the Thoreau homage). Then comes caramel from Pueblo’s Hopscotch Bakery, spiked by Himalayan pink salt crystals. Iced, it’s still perfectly velvety and in harmony, a day-brightener, emotionally speaking.