Drinking an espresso latte at your favorite coffee shop is one of life's simple pleasures. Why wait in line when you can make one at home, it’s certainly much cheaper.
With just a few steps and some basic ingredients, you can have your barista-style latte any time you want. Here's how to get started.
Making Your Espresso Latte
1. Gather Your Ingredients & Tools
Prepare the ingredients:
- 2 shots of espresso (or 12 ounces of strong brewed coffee)
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flavored syrup (if desired)
What tools you need:
- If you don't have an espresso machine, you can use strongly brewed coffee with a coffee filter, or a moka pot instead.
- A whisk or handheld milk frother.
- For the milk, whole milk will produce the creamiest texture and most robust flavor, but feel free to experiment with almond or oat milk for vegan drinkers.
- If you like flavored lattes, pick up a bottle of your favorite syrup from the store — vanilla or caramel are great options.
2. Brew Your Espresso Or Coffee
- Brew your coffee. A good rule of thumb is to grind 2 tablespoons of fresh beans for every shot you want to brew — so in this case that would be 4 tablespoons worth of grounds.
- Measure out the water (2 ounces per shot) and fill up your machine or pour it into your moka pot.
- Once the espresso has finished brewing, set it aside while moving on to the next step.
3. Steam The Milk
For a professional-style finish, steaming your milk is essential!
If you have an espresso machine with a steam wand:
- Fill a pitcher with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Put the steam wand just below the surface of the milk and turn it on.
- The milk will start to bubble and expand, so be sure to move the wand around so it’s evenly heating up.
- Once you hear a loud hissing sound, turn off the steam wand and give the milk a few whips with your whisk or frother to create foam.
If you don't have an espresso machine with a steam wand attachment (a frother):
- All you need is a microwave-safe pitcher and some elbow grease!
- Heat 1/2 cup of whole milk in the microwave (or using the pot on top of the stove top) for about 45 seconds before transferring it to the pitcher.
- Whisk vigorously until it starts to thicken and foam up slightly — about 45 seconds to 1 minute should do it! Depending on what kind of milk you use (whole milk will produce more foam than skim milk).
- Keep whisking until larger bubbles begin to form — this will give your latte that signature creamy texture everyone loves so much.
4. Putting It All Together
Now that all of our ingredients are prepped, let’s assemble the drink.
- Start adding them together in layers starting with the espresso or coffee.
- Pour two shots of espresso into a mug or a transparent glass.
- Next, slowly pour the steamed milk into the mug. Start with a small amount and gradually add more until the mug is 3/4 full.
- Finish off the latte with a drizzle of syrup or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder. It looks so much prettier that way.
Espresso Latte FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about how to make a latte.
What is espresso latte?
An espresso latte is a type of coffee beverage made by combining espresso and steamed milk. It's one of the most popular coffee drinks and can be made with a variety of different ingredients.
The espresso shot gives the latte its signature flavor and rich texture, while the steamed milk adds a creamy finish. Popular variations of the latte include almond, oat, and flavored syrups like vanilla or caramel.
What is the difference in an espresso latte and latte?
The main difference between an espresso latte and a regular latte is how the coffee is brewed. Espresso lattes are made with shots of espresso, while regular lattes are made with brewed coffee.
The espresso shot gives the latte its signature flavor and rich texture, while brewed coffee gives the latte a milder flavor. Additionally, espresso lattes typically contain more steamed milk than regular lattes.
What is the ratio for an espresso latte?
The ideal espresso-to-milk ratio for a latte is 1:2. This means that for every one shot of espresso, two shots of steamed milk should be used. However, the ratio can vary depending on how strong you prefer your coffee.
For a stronger latte, use two shots of espresso and 1/4 cup of milk. For a creamier latte, use one shot of espresso and 1/2 cup of milk.
Tips & Tricks
- If you want to add an extra touch of flavor and elegance, add some chocolate or caramel syrup in the bottom of your mug before pouring the espresso shot.
- If you want to get a bit creative, try adding some fun spices or extracts like nutmeg, cinnamon, or vanilla to see how they affect the flavor of your latte.
- For a super creamy latte, try 1 shot of espresso and 1/2 cup of milk. If you're looking for a stronger drink, use 2 shots of espresso and 1/4 cup of milk instead.
With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, now anyone can make an espresso latte without having to leave home.
Need an espresso machine or a moka pot for making your latte? Check out our top picks in the links below.
Grab yourself some good-quality coffee beans and an espresso tool, and whip up something special right in your kitchen! Happy sipping!