One BIG caffeine fix

Breaking a Guinness World Records Ltd. record is a larger-than-life proposition, but Nestlé USA, Glendale, Calif., Silverson Machines and David Lees Productions put their heads together -- no doubt over a cup of coffee -- to create the World’s Largest Latte.

The extra-grande latte marked the launch of Nestlé’s Coffee-mate Latte Creations, and it amused thousands of commuters in New York’s Greeley Square on a Thursday morning in May. It seems appropriate the world’s largest food company would create the world’s largest cup of coffee (verified by Guinness at 660.5 gallons), which almost doubled the former world record of 329.95 gallons set in Verona, Italy, in 2002. In fact, divided into 8-oz. servings, this latte could have served 11,200 coffee drinkers.
 Nestlé personnel unveil the World's Largest Latte.

Some 350 million cups of coffee are served daily in the U.S. alone, and more than half of Americans typically consume 3.4 cups of coffee a day.

The world’s largest latte, which must be drinkable to break the record, was mixed in a red Styrofoam coffee mug that was constructed by a movie prop studio in St. Paul, Minn. It took a team of sculptors six months to design, carve and assemble the outer mug. Reinforced inside with a stainless steel food grade tank, the mug measured in at 7 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide and weighed 5,000 lbs.

“There are always challenges when setting up any new mixing unit for the first time, but to do so outdoors and in a short couple of hours required a tremendous amount of planning and expertise,” says Michael Boyd, technical sales manager at Silverson Machines, East Longmeadow, Mass. “With all those thirsty commuters looking on, you only have one shot at getting the product mixed right. We were just happy to be able to play a role in satisfying so many people.”

Ingredients for the latte included 475 lbs. of vanilla-flavored Nestlé Coffee-Mate Latte Creations, 45 lbs. of Nescafe Taster’s Choice and nearly 500 gallons of water. It was brewed on the spot by mixing the coffee and latte powder with water that was heated to 150 degrees in a piece of equipment called Flashblend, which mixed and circulated the ingredients throughout the mug.

When the latte reached the correct temperature and perfect mix, a cameraman atop a ladder looking into the mug, yelled to the waiting crowd, “Dude, I think the coffee’s done.”

And although the World’s Largest Latte was deliciously drinkable, it would have been rather awkward to serve it from the gigantic cup. Several commuters did offer to jump in (literally) to sample, but Nestle opted to serve freshly made latte from smaller coffee urns.

If you’d like to see the world’s largest mug, it is on permanent display at the Nestlé manufacturing plant in Waverly, Iowa, where Coffee-mate Latte Creations is produced. Coffee-mate Latte Creations come in three flavors -- vanilla, mocha and classic.

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