Bring water to a boil and turn off the heat. Leave the water for a while (the ideal temperature for brewing coffee is said to be 92 to 96°C). Put some hot water in the drip coffee carafe, and swirl it around to warm. Put that hot water in a coffee mug to warm the mug too.
Fold the seams of a paper coffee filter in alternate directions. (Fold the bottom towards you and turn over, then fold the other seam towards you, too.)
Set the paper filter in a coffee dripper, put 2 spoonfuls of coffee, and shake lightly to level out the surface.
Put the milk in a heatproof measuring cup. Heat in a microwave uncovered until it's about 70°C. (Please adjust the microwaving time depending on your oven. Milk will foam up suddenly, so be careful.)
Pour just enough hot water over the coffee grinds to moisten them (don't fill up the dripper) slowly, and then wait a while. This will moisten the coffee.
When the coffee is moist, pour the hot water in a spiral over it slowly and gently. When the water reaches the top of the filter, stop pouring. Make sure to pour the hot water on the coffee, not directly on the filter.
When there's still some water in the filter, add hot water one more time. When you have enough coffee, take the dripper off before the water in the filter is all gone. (The last bit of coffee that is brewed is bitter and ruins the aroma and flavor.)
Take the warmed milk out of the microwave. Take out your milk foamer! You can buy them at 100 yen shops these days.
Froth the milk!
Frost the milk until it doubles in volume. Then just combine the coffee and foamy milk in whatever ratio you like (I like a 1:1 ratio), top the mug with more foam, and it's done. Please sweeten with sugar to taste.
Story Behind this Recipe
The friends to gather at my house include those who love coffee, tea, or both! When I served this to my coffee loving friends, they said "It's just like being at a cafe!" and were so happy. I serve this sometimes with cinnamon sugar.
If you add caramel sauce on top of the foamy milk you will have "caramel macchiato". You can make a picture on the foam using cinnamon or cocoa powder. You can use this recipe as the base and make a lot of variations. Real caffe latte is made with espresso, but I used a deeply roasted coffee bean type like French Roast.