What Do You Need To Make A Latte At Home – Lattes are light and airy espresso-based drinks, topped with frothed milk. With a mixture of milk + foam with espresso, they are relatively light tasting compared to black coffee drinks and tend to have a smooth taste.
While most people will get a latte or cappuccino from a specialty coffee shop (and sometimes a vending machine – ew), they can be made at home with the right equipment and some practice.
What Do You Need To Make A Latte At Home
Lattes are usually 2 fluid ounces of espresso to 3 fluid ounces of steamed milk and a small topping of foam.
Tip: If You Can’t Do Latte Art Yet, Then Swirl Your Wdt From The Outside In And Make A Latte Galaxy. Requires 0 Skill And Looks Better Than The Usual Spaff On Lattes I
As always, start with a large, freshly roasted espresso bean. This does not necessarily have to be a blend of coffee roasts, if you feel a bit adventurous you can try several single origin coffees in different roasts. Those who prefer the traditional taste of dark roasted coffee (rather than single origin shades) still want to get a dark roast.
Your choice of coffee will be entirely dependent on your personal taste. Traditionally, “Espresso” is used, which technically only refers to coffee grinds (ground for an espresso machine) but commonly only refers to very dark roasted coffee. With the rise of third wave coffee roasters, premium light and medium roasts are becoming more popular for use in espresso, and they are completely valid. The taste will vary from a traditional espresso cappuccino with more brilliant single origin flavors, and that will have a brighter taste thanks to the presence of more coffee acids.
We recommend going with a darker roast for a more traditional coffee taste, and a medium roast for a more third wave/gourmet coffee experience.
Be sure and preheat the demitasse before you start preparing the espresso shot(s) for your Cappuccino, or any other specialty espresso coffee drink, or when you are brewing straight espresso. This helps to avoid premature cooling of the espresso when it comes into contact with the cup. You can also use very strong brewed coffee if you don’t have access to an espresso machine or to use a stove-top espresso machine.
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Learning how to steam and froth milk is probably the step that most aspiring home baristas can practice and work on to get the most improvement out of making their lattes. Starbucks style at home. Full fat milk is ideal for steaming, or a milk alternative that has been specifically formulated for lattes such as Pacific Barista Oat Milk.
Make sure the frothed milk reaches a temperature of at least 145º Fahrenheit but avoid a higher temperature as this can burn the milk. You’ll want to angle your frothing pitcher so that the steam wand creates a circular motion with the milk, rotating around the pitcher to get even steam. The tip should be just below the top of the milk, creating small microfoam bubbles rather than larger ones. It has a sound a little like a sizzling grill. To ensure velvety and creamy milk, see the section of the Espresso Coffee Guide on Steaming and Frothing Milk.
Then let the milk rest for just a few moments. This will allow the foam to rise to the top while the milk remains on the bottom. This will be important for proper layering of your Latte or Cappuccino.
Side note: You can use milk alternatives like almond, soy and coconut milk instead of regular milk to make a latte. These are especially useful for people who are lactose intolerant or have a milk sensitivity, but can be a fun experience for everyone. While products off the grocery store shelf can be used, there are superior products (like those from Pacific Barista) that are specially formulated to steam and froth specialty coffee drinks.
How To Make A Latte
For a cafe-style drink, flavors can even be added to replicate what you get at your favorite coffee shop, including Caramel Macchiatos , Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint Lattes – all at a fraction of the cost of buying from a cafe.
Any type of sugar can be used in a latte, including regular white sugar, demerara, honey, agave and maple syrup. For the most unflavored sweetness, white sugar is the best choice.
The level of sweetness here is entirely personal, ranging from none to candy-like levels. For health reasons, it is best to shoot for as little sweetness as possible while bringing out the flavor of the milk and coffee.
If you are using any flavored syrups for your Latte, be sure to add the flavor directly to the espresso shot(s) and then stir it very well to make sure it dissolves well.
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Whether you’re using pre-made syrups from Monin or Torani, both are designed to absorb the heat of coffee and espresso-based drinks without breaking down the flavor components – but this may not would be the case with cheaper flavoring products. On the higher end of the spectrum, organic coffee syrups can add the delicious flavor of chocolate, hazelnut and caramel without artificial ingredients.
It should be noted that some flavors are specifically designed to be used with milk products, in cappuccinos and lattes, to bring out the most flavors. The fats in milk work to enhance certain flavors that can be easily overpowered by a strong espresso, with higher fat dairy products working best.
Looking to cut calories in your coffee? Sugar Free Flavored Syrups are also available, using Sucralose (typically Splenda brand) as a sweetener instead of sugar. Sucralose is designed to withstand the high heat of coffee drinks without degrading the taste, and most syrup companies have a well-balanced profile between sweetness and flavor that avoids any artificial aftertaste.
Cappuccinos can also be flavored, but are becoming less common, as they are considered a purist coffee drink.
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For step-by-step instructions see our comprehensive list of Espresso Drink Recipes as well as Espresso Kitchen recipes.
Cascara is the dried fruit that surrounds the coffee bean, and has become popular as an alternative to coffee. When brewed it is technically closer to tea than coffee, however it contains higher levels of caffeine and nutrients. Most of the brewing instructions are very similar to regular tea – 4-5 minutes with fresh boiling water – but this would be too weak for a proper cascara latte. We recommend using a lower quantity of water (4 oz) and running it longer, up to 15 minutes. is supported by the reader. When you shop through the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.
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Caramel Latte Recipe (video)
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As coffee chains become more relaxed in their interpretation of the classic coffee drink,
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