Observing a barista whip together a specially crafted espresso drink can feel a little like watching a magician. A little bit of steam, some fancy arm movements and suddenly a perfect creamy latte with just a hint of foam appears ready for you to enjoy.
Unfortunately those lattes from your favorite java spots can start to add up, budget-wise. The disposable cups, lids and sleeves used to hold the drinks also contribute to unnecessary waste.
So, can you pull off the same coffee magic at home? Absolutely. Making a latte at home takes just a few simple steps. No elaborate machines needed. Just:
1. Brew up a batch of double strong coffee. If you have an espresso maker, make 1 to 2 shots of espresso.
2. While the coffee is brewing, heat 1 to 1 ½ cups organic milk in a saucepan. Two percent milk will make a creamier, rich latte, but skim or one percent will also work. You can also give soy, almond, hemp or rice milk a try!
3. Use a whisk and a little muscle to whip the milk into froth. If you’re not into the arm workout (or your arm gets tired before the milk has heated), you could use a blender or food processor instead.
4. Pour the coffee or espresso into your favorite mug. Leave a little room for the milk and foam. Then drizzle the milk over the coffee. Make sure to hold back the froth with a spoon. Finish by layering the froth over the top of the beverage.
5. Enjoy your drink as-is or use sugar or vanilla extract to sweeten it to your taste. Avoid using chemical-laden, non-dairy creamers. Dust the top with a bit of cinnamon for just a hint of spice. Or mix in a couple of spoonfuls of honey for a sweet and slightly-tangy honey latte.
Make it iced: Refreshing iced lattes can fill your caffeine cravings while also cooling you off during warmer months. To make a homemade iced latte, follow the same steps as above, but with a few changes. First, allow the freshly brewed coffee to cool. For impatient people like me, stick the coffee in the fridge to speed up the process. Then use cold milk to create foam. I think it’s easier to use a hand-operated mixer to froth cold milk. Once you froth the milk, pour the coffee and milk mixture over ice. Finish with the foam, and voilà, your very own inexpensive iced latte.