Best Thing to Happen to the Latte

The Ipsento at Ipsento

Critics' Picks

If you drink enough lattes, you will come to realize that some are indisputably better than others. But, once you account for differences in quality, you have to admit, there's a sort of sameness about them: espresso plus steamed milk, maybe a flavor shot or some sweetener. It almost makes you feel sorry for baristas. Why shouldn't they get to experiment with flavors the way chefs and bartenders do? But you should exempt the baristas at Ipsento in Bucktown. The cafe's signature drink, also called the Ipsento, has espresso and milk, but otherwise, it's completely different from anything in the city. It's sweeter, owing to a mix of honey and coconut milk, and spikier, thanks to a pinch of cayenne that turns every sip into a slow burn. Ipsento also makes a Nutella latte and a cardamom rose one, but, frankly, I don't know if I'll ever get tired enough of the Ipsento to try either.