At Café Pedlar, in Brooklyn’s charming Cobble Hill, I stumbled upon a gem of a barista — Miss Sasha King — who makes a special drink one can only call divine.
A new resident of the neighborhood, I wandered in one lazy morning and ordered my regular morning cortado. Sasha made it perfectly using Stumptown’s Hair Bender espresso, the milk steamed just right, and I drank it in one minute flat. I went back for another.
“Can I make you something special?” she asked. How could I turn that down? She pulled out a jar of Sicilian honey, and I knew it was going to be good.
The “Honey Cortado,” as she calls it, is served in a Gibraltar glass, with the same ratio of milk to espresso as a regular cortado, only laced with the aforementioned sweet kick: honey. King first spoons the honey into the glass to warm it up and make it malleable, then pulls two shots of Hair Bender right on top, and stirs a bit to distribute. She steams a mixture of two-thirds half-and-half and one-third whole milk — the half-and-half’s fatty quality makes the milk component a little fluffier, and it’s steamed at a slightly warmer temperature to compensate for the extra sugars. She does a perfect pour of the the milky mixture on top, et voilà.
It’s lightly sweet and creamy, yet the smoothness of the espresso creates a drink of balance — especially if one has a little bit of a sweet tooth (or yearns for a taste of one’s childhood, when momma made warmed milk and honey for a good night’s sleep… or was that just me?).
All the elements blend together perfectly, just as coffee, milk, and honey, should.