Atlanta Coffee Guide

What makes the perfect latte?

According to Spiller Park’s Dale Donchey

Spiller Park Coffee latte Atlanta
Photograph by Andrew Thomas Lee

10 oz. organic whole milk from Working Cows Dairy, which raises cows on a grass-only diet. “A latte is so much about the milk,” Donchey says. “If the cow doesn’t get enough protein in its diet, the texture of the milk and its natural sweetness will be off.”

2 oz. espresso.
Donchey and his team prefer Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Classic for its butter and cashew undertones. Each bag sits for seven to 10 days, enough time to let the beans shake off any carbon dioxide fumes generated by roasting.

Taste test
“You should be able to drink it immediately,” says Donchey. A latte should be hot but not scalding,
which could result in burned milk.

Latte art
Most lattes at Spiller Park are ordered to go and served in paper cups rather than wide latte bowls. Still, Donchey and his team can pour dozens of designs, including rosettes and inverted tulips. “I’ve been in the coffee business for 13 years,” he says, “and I love that people still go gaga over latte art.” —Evan Mah