How to Make a Coffee Latte at Home

coffee latte with cake

Today is a great day to treat yourself to a tasty latte.

A homemade latte always beats overpriced cafe creations that force you to escape the comfort of home.

The best part about making a latte at home is that it doesn’t require fancy barista skills or high-end equipment.

With Nomad Coffee Club, making coffee from home becomes a simple and refreshing experience. Pairing our organic coffee with this perfect latte recipe is what you need to kickstart your day.

Are you ready to savor your next aromatic, smooth, and tasty cup of joe?

White cup with a coffee latte

Follow this latte recipe, take a sip, and thank us later.

Coffee latte

History of the Cafe Latte

Any great painter needs a muse before starting on their next masterpiece. Likewise, you need to know why lattes are so widely loved before diving into the recipe.

Lattes are the perfect depiction of beauty in simplicity. That makes it such a timeless and popular drink. 

“Latte” is the short version of “caffe latte”, which is Italian for “milk coffee”. After originating in Europe, the latte quickly grew in popularity, making its way to Seattle, Washington in the 1980s.

Fun travel tip: To order a latte in France and Northern Europe, ask for a café au lait. In Spanish-speaking countries, order a café con leche.

A latte is made from strongly brewed coffee and steamed milk, topped off with warm milk foam. Optional latte art will make your coffee a Pinterest-worthy creation.

coffee and milk

coffee and milk

How to Make a Latte at Home

Coffee is a social beverage that is wonderful to share with friends and family. Our homemade latte is super easy to make, takes under 10 minutes total, and is suitable any time of day.

First, you need to gather all the tools and ingredients you’ll need.

Kitchen Tools 

For the perfect homemade latte, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

Key Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces of strongly brewed ground coffee
  • 4 ounces of milk
  • Cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg to garnish

Note: Any kind of milk will work, including soy milk, almond milk, skim milk, or oat milk.

Step 1: Make Your Strongly Brewed Coffee

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There’s nothing quite so rejuvenating as a freshly brewed espresso. What’s more, your lattes will always taste great when you use a high-quality espresso roast.

With that in mind, let’s explore the two different ways you can make your strongly brewed coffee.

Using a Coffee Maker

Who needs a fancy espresso machine when you can simply use the coffee maker you already have?

After grinding your espresso beans, use a 1:15 coffee-to-hot water ratio.

Remember: The less water you use, the stronger your coffee will be.

For the perfect strongly brewed coffee:

  1. Pour 4 ounces of water into your coffee maker.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of ground espresso beans.
  3. Turn on your coffee maker.
  4. When the espresso is done, pour it back into the coffee maker and re-run it for a rich and flavourful espresso.
  5. Pour 2 ounces (or 2 shots) of the espresso into your mug.

If you own an espresso machine, you can brew 2 shots following these steps:

recipe, cappuccino

If you don’t have a coffee maker, you can watch this video for some extra tips:

No matter which method you use, pour the strongly brewed coffee into your mug and set it aside.

Step 2: Steam the Milk

Heating milk enhances its creamy texture and emphasizes the taste of the espresso. It creates a thin layer of micro-foam bubbles that form the base for latte art.

Did you know that latte art isn’t merely decorative? If the drawing stays fixed in the milk, it means that the foam and coffee are perfectly made. It’s proof of quality!

Use 3 ounces of milk to make steamed milk with either a small saucepan or a steam wand if you have an espresso machine at home.

Using a Small Saucepan

  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and place it on your stovetop over low-medium heat.


    Tip:
    Avoid steaming the milk over 70 degrees Celsius because it ruins its rich taste. Ensure the steamed milk attains between 55 to 62 degrees Celsius.

  2. Rapidly whisk the milk until you see small bubbles forming on the sides of the saucepan.
  3. Turn off the stove and pour the warm milk into your mug overtop of the espresso shot.

Using a Steam Wand

Espresso machines usually come with an in-built steam wand. To make the steamed milk:

  1. Pour cold milk into a cold metal pitcher just below the spout.

    How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

  2. Turn on the steam wand by either pulling on the lever, rotating the knob, or pressing the button. This depends on your espresso machine.

    How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

  3. Let some air in for a few seconds to prevent the milk from getting too hot.
  4. Insert the tip of the steam wand just below the surface of the milk with the pitcher facing straight up.

    How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

  5. Let the steam wand whirlpool until the thermometer reads 55 degrees Celsius.

    How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

  6. Now angle the pitcher slowly and swirl it around gently to incorporate the newly formed foam.
  7. Stop steaming once you see small bubbles or microfoam forming in the milk.

    How to Steam Milk with Espresso Machine

  8. Pour the steamed milk gently into your mug.

Howcast showcases this method perfectly:

With a little skill, you now have the perfect canvas to create awesome latte art. Here are some simple latte art ideas you can try at home.

Step 3: Top off Your Latte With Milk Foam

Frothed milk forms a large fluffy mound on your latte. You can skip this step if you prefer less foam on your latte. Either way, your latte will still taste great.

To froth the milk, you can do the following:

  1. Pour the remaining 1 ounce of milk into your mason jar and cover it tightly. Ensure the milk fills less than half the jar.
  2. Shake the jar as hard as you can for about 60 seconds.
  3. Once it’s ready, you’ll notice the milk has doubled in size and is frothy, as in the picture below.

Question: Are Lattes and Cappuccinos the Same?

No, they aren’t.

Sometimes people confuse lattes and cappuccinos because they both contain steamed milk.

Lattes have more steamed milk, which mixes with the espresso shot. In comparison, cappuccinos are layered and topped with more milk foam than lattes. 

Question: What’s the Difference Between Steamed Milk and Frothed Milk?

Steamed Milk Frothed Milk
Created by heating milk for a silky smooth texture using either a saucepan or steam wand Created through aerating cold milk by either shaking it or using a milk frother
Forms a thin micro foam layer Forms large and fluffy foam

This side-by-side picture illustrates the difference between the two:

After shaking the mason jar, scoop up the milk foam with a spoon. Gently place half an inch of foam at the top of your latte mixture.

Finally, take a pinch of cocoa powder or nutmeg and sprinkle it over the foam to garnish the latte.

Now you have the perfect homemade latte.

vanilla latte, how to make a latte

Upgrade Your Caffe Latte

Now that you know how to make a latte, you can manipulate this recipe to suit your dietary needs and taste preferences.

You can make a latte with different flavored syrups and ingredients for a variety of choices. Below are a few options to consider. 

Chai Tea Latte

A chai latte, derived from Asia and dating back more than 5000 years, is made with black tea instead of espresso shots. Make this latte with coconut milk, almond milk, and warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom for the best outcome.

Vanilla Latte

This study shows that most people prefer vanilla-flavored drinks. Vanilla sweetens the frothy milk without the need for so much added sugar.

All you need to do is add vanilla-flavored syrup to your latte.

Fun Fact: October 7th is National Latte Day.

Mocha Latte

A mocha latte has 8 ounces of strongly brewed coffee and hot chocolate. So, if you love chocolate, this mocha latte recipe is exactly what you need.

Fun fact: You can make vegan alternatives to all of these recipes using dairy-free milk!

Get Your Monthly Coffee Subscription at Nomad Coffee Club

Nomad Coffee Club is all about high-quality and equality. Our 100% organic, ethically-sourced coffee comes from around the world.

Our coffee has an extra special flavor and aroma because we employ:

  • Continuous quality control.
  • Fairtrade pricing.
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans.
  • No use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

From every coffee bag you buy, a portion of your purchase contributes to building the Nomad School in Kenya. Your love for coffee helps impact the lives of less fortunate women and children.

Contribute to our efforts by joining our monthly coffee subscriptions for either 3, 6, or 12 months.

Join the club and learn more about us here.

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