Appetite For Instruction: Churro-ccino

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Recipe Demonstrated by Micah Horton of The Pearl Cup

Talk about overnight success. Carlene Saelg and Rita Davis' Pearl Cup Espresso Bar opened seven months ago on Henderson Ave. and buzzed its way to the top of the local indie coffee food chain faster than you can say "you have spilled my macchiato."

How'd they do it? Attention to detail.

Watch barista Micah Horton craft one of Pearl Cup's sophisticated drinks and you'll understand why there's just no comparison to the leading chain. His latte art alone is the stuff of legend. Seriously--when was the last time you heard "I'm gonna Facebook this!" when the guy next to you picked up his order from the counter at Starbucks? Thought so.

While we couldn't get Micah to give up the closely-guarded Pearl Cup latte recipe (he's one of only four people in the world who know the secret), he happily shared the formula for his "Churro-ccino". Named for the addictive deep-fried Latin street treat, it's an easy way to gourmet up your morning joe.

Step 1: Add 2 tsp. dark brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon to the bottom of your cup. Micah prefers dark brown for its higher molasses content. You could go with light brown, but he warns, "You'd have to use a lot more to get the desired effect."

Step 2: Froth 1 ½ cups of milk or warm gently over low heat in a saucepan. (Don't even think about using anything but whole.)

Step 3: Combine 2 shots of espresso with the sugar and cinnamon and top with the warm milk. Swirly flower "rosetta" thingy optional. But it sure does make for a pretty start to the day, doesn't it?

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