What is it with people holding back foam anyway?
The problem for me is that too many people seem to view foam as some sort of topping. Like it's an alternative to whipped cream. I've only seen people at starbucks (and independents that do a similar to worse job) using spoons to hold back the foam, then scooping it on top.
FOAM IS A COMPONENT OF YOUR DRINK, PEOPLE!
The irony is that there is no such thing as a "no foam" or "flat" latte. A latte is inherently flat. You're only injecting enough air to sweeten and texture your milk. The purpose isn't to make foam necessarily. A cappuccino is another story, but once again, that's a coffee experience that needs to be free-poured.
Sorry. My shop is in the suburbs and i have to say these things all day long, so it's a sort of touchy subject for me.
Ah yes...suburbia. "I want an extra hot skim milk no-foam latte. "Decaf."
Were it my shop...but then...it isn't.
For the sake of "THOSE PEOPLE" (skim milk, extra hot, no-foam) I use a stainless steel tool designed for use by makeup artists. It's basically like a metal stir stick which I can use for mixing flavoured lattes, etching into poured shapes for appearance purposes, and finally, holding back foam for Those People.
It's also good for cleaning out my ears...which is just about as gross as no-foam skim milk lattes.