As a globally loved style of coffee, and in fact the most ordered coffee in the UK, the latte holds a lot of weight in the caffeine world.
With it’s thick, milky consistency and smooth silky foam; the latte feels both comforting and satisfying, and it doesn’t take much to understand why it’s a firm favourite.
This guide covers the steps and tips you’ll need so you know exactly how to make a latte at home. Soon you’ll be making latte’s that are so good you’ll never want to return to coffee shops again!
How to Make Lattes at Home With an Espresso Machine
Considered the true way—and for some the only way—to make coffee, the espresso machine can substantially simplify the latte-brewing process.
- 18 g ground espresso or 1 espresso pod
- 250ml milk
- large cup or latte glass
- Barista jug
- Fill your portafilter with the ground coffee just below the line and set it to one side.
- Froth the milk using the spout on your coffee machine. Aim for the milk to have a silky foamy texture rather than a thick froffy texture like a cappuccino. You want your milk level to reach the bottom of the jug spout and no more.
- Place your wand just below the surface of the milk (so it’s quite shallow) within the centre of the jug and keep it there while the milk rises.
- As the milk reaches the top of the jug, decrease the amount of air in the milk by sending the wand to the bottom of the jug. The milk should be looking silky and foamy at this point.
- Once the milk temperature is in between 145-165 degrees fahrenheit, you should turn your wand off.
- Set your milk down and bang the side of the jug to get rid of large air bubbles; you should also give the milk a swirl to ensure a more uniform consistency. The milk should look full and silky rather than frothy and bubbly.
- It’s now time for your shot. Attach your portafilter and press the button to filter the shot into your cup. If you would like your shot to distribute through your milk and trickle down then pour it into the glass last. However, if you’re looking to add a nice design to the top of your milk, pour the shot into your glass first.
- Begin pouring your milk steadily; allowing the thinner milk to pour into the cup first and allowing the thicker foamy milk to pour through gradually. With the foamy milk, drizzle this on top (shaking the jug gently from side to side) and pull away at the end to make a pear shape.
- And now it’s time to enjoy your freshly made latte in the full satisfaction that you know how to make a latte at home.
How to Make a Lattes at Home Without a Coffee Machine
If you don’t yet have a coffee machine, don’t worry, you can still make a latte, the coffee just might not be as strong and aromatic.
- 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder. Ideally strongly brewed coffee would taste best but if you don’t have the appropriate equipment, instant coffee works as well.
- 250 ml milk.
- Large cup for latte (ideally a tall latte glass)
- Spoon to stir
- Whisk for the milk (ideally an electric mixer)
- Measuring jug
- Place the coffee into your latte cup
- Pour all of the heated milk into a measuring jug.
- Foam the milk using the whisk and continue until the milk turns into a silky thick texture.
- Once the milk is silky, put it down and leave it to settle.
- Add 1/4 a cup of boiled water to your coffee and stir slowly to ensure it has mixed well.
- Begin pouring the milk into your latte cup allowing the runnier milk to fill up the cup to ¾ of the way and holding back the foamy milk for the top of the latte.
- With the foamy milk, drizzle this on top and pull away at the end to make a pear shape.
What Is the Difference Between a Latte and a Cappuccino?
Many people confuse lattes and cappuccinos because they’re both milk heavy, topped with foam, and incredibly popular.
But it’s good to differentiate between them so you understand how each one meets your caffeine needs.
A latte is only one shot of coffee and has a smoother, silkier finish. It tastes milkier and has a thick smooth consistency rather than big frothy milk bubbles.
A cappuccino has equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and frothy milk. Cappuccinos often involve two shots of coffee and since they come in a smaller cup. As a result, they often taste stronger than a latte.
And while lattes have a uniform silky texture, cappuccinos have a silky milk texture below a layer of thick airy milk on top.
Advanced Tips & Tricks for At-Home Lattes
Add Coffee Syrup
Why not take your latte to the next level and consider adding a syrup? If you’re looking to feel seasonal, try gingerbread or cinnamon. Or if you simply want to sweeten the milky taste, add a little bit of caramel or vanilla.
Syrups do tend to be strong though, so we wouldn’t recommend adding any more than 25 ml.
Add a Design
Creating a nice pattern is dependent on how well you frothed your milk. So ensure the milk is thick and silky first.
To create a heart, the first thing you want to do is pour the milk from a greater height to allow the thinner milk to enter the cup first. Begin pouring the thinner milk into the centre of the cup until the cup is ¾ full.
Then bring the jug closer to the cup as you start to pour the foamy milk. Give it a slight shake as you’re doing it so it creates a peach shape, then lift the jug up at the end and pour the milk through the peach shape to create that heart-shaped design.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out just right the first time.
Latte art requires a bit of practice and you can always check out a few extra tools to help you perfect your skills.
If you’re looking to get even more creative for your next latte, check out these baristas and latte artists that will give you the inspiration you need to up your game.
Hopefully by now, you know how to make a latte at home, but if you’re still a bit unsure, why not learn more about latte’s with our helpful guide?
All that’s left now is to sit back and sink into your delicious latte.