Anyway... What I want, on a nice hot day, is this: A small (8oz) cup with just a couple ice cubes in it. A single shot, 1 oz, not burned, not 2.5 watery oz. overflowing a single-shot pitcher, just a nice single shot with decent crema. A tiny bit of milk foamed in a clean pitcher, dry but not scalded. 3 or 4 spoonfuls of said dry foam dolloped first over the ice. Then the shot with some fresh, cold milk poured slowly and simultaneously over the ice, into the mix. You get the sweetness and velvety-ness of the steamed milk but the cool refreshment of ice and cold milk in a caramel-colored swirl of espresso that cascades slightly, with a nice little head of foam that rises to the top.
Dang. Alright, it's true; it's impossible to steam 3 spoonfuls of milk and not create waste. Can you steam exactly the amount for a macchiato, and not a drop extra?
The solution to the problem of needing/wanting an espresso beverage while working at home is really very simple, a solution I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned, and one I employed just before typing this. A solution anyone truly serious about espresso I'd think should be able to do. I walked up to my grinder and espresso machine on my kithen counter at home and made my wife and I after dinner Misty Valley Americanos. No need to tell some other barista in their shop how or what to pull or steam...PS: I should add that when I'm not working at the cafe, I work from home as a freelance writer. As deadlines near, coffee becomes essential, but I really don't want to have to pack everything up and go that far just for a latte...