The 'Fluffy' Coffee Steve Albini Drank Every Day In The Studio

Steve Albini was famous as a music maker, but he seemed to be equally passionate about food. While he never tried to make a career of it, he blogged about food and also enjoyed cooking for family and friends on a regular basis. One thing he was rather opinionated on was the subject of coffee. Oddly enough, he noted that he only ever seemed to drink the stuff when at work and never at home. Still, every day in his Electrical Audio music studio, he had one particular coffee drink that was part of his regular routine.

Albini's daily drink was something he called a "fluffy coffee," describing it as a cinnamon-maple latte (he must have been really into those fall coffee flavors). As he told Grub Street, this was "kind of [the] house specialty" and something he very much enjoyed. He admitted that he kept a fancy espresso maker on hand in the studio, too, but didn't have such a setup at his house.

Albini's interns were trained to make this coffee

So serious was Steve Albini about his fluffy coffee that all of the interns who came to work in the studio were taught to make it on the day they started, As he revealed to Gothamist, the drink started with a specific brand of espresso beans (Metropolis Redline), which were ground and mixed with cinnamon (bought in bulk from Costco because it's cheaper there). Milk was then steamed, frothed, and mixed with maple syrup. Albini said the process helped the foam to keep its structure. In order for the coffee to be sufficiently fluffy, each serving needed at least an inch of froth on top. The froth gave the coffee its name, but it was essentially just a latte, not one of those whipped Dalgona coffees that gained such a foothold in the TikTok era.

Once the fluffy coffee was made, the intern — or whoever else had concocted it — was also expected to find some creatively weird pattern in the foam and then describe it to the person who'd be drinking it. (One example Albini gave was that of an "abstract Rasta Tweety Bird.") Needless to say, these fluffy coffees must have been pretty memorable, whether for the flavor or the presentation. In fact, there was even a musical tribute to them recorded by a band called Warm Ones that served as the studio's answering machine message back in the 20-teens when such things still existed.