This simple process for making a caffe’ latte at home is perfect for someone who just has basic coffee making equipment. No need for an espresso machine – just a few minutes and basic ingredients and you can be enjoying all the homemade lattes you want!
I love a good cup of coffee. Especially during the time of the year, when the seasons are changing.
Give me all the pumpkin spice and peppermint flavored drinks, please!
But I prefer to make these drinks at home for a couple of reasons.
One – it’s way cheaper (not only because of the cost of coffee, but because I live 30 minutes away from the nearest coffee shop. ) Two – I can have better control over the quality of the ingredients.
Here’s the deal though. I’m not a barista and I don’t have an espresso machine or other fancy equipment. Nor do I feel the urge to spend money on these items.
Can these items add depth and flavor and make a high-quality latte? I’m sure they can. But I’m just a mom on a budget who wants to use this old coffee pot until it won’t work any longer.
So, I’m not going to pretend to be a coffee expert in this post. I’m just going to share what I have found as a happy medium to get my latte fix.
And now that we’ve got that disclosure out of the way, let’s get started 🙂
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What is a latte anyways?
Before I share the simple process, let’s look at exactly what a latte is.
According to Google, “caffe’ latte” means “milk coffee”. When you purchase a caffe’ latte from your local Starbucks, you’re getting a combination of espresso, steamed and frothed milk, and whatever flavors and /or sweeteners you request.
Making a Latte at Home on a Budget
Making a caffe’ latte at home can easily be adjusted based on what equipment you do have.
You just need to figure out how you can best create the components of a latte.
Ingredients to Make a Latte at Home
- Strong Brewed Coffee/Espresso
- Sweetener, like flavored syrups, sugar, or honey
- Steamed and frothed milk
How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Machine
If you don’t have an espresso machine, your best substitute is to just use strong brewed coffee.
To do this, just reduce the amount of water you would typically use to brew your coffee. If you typically use 1 cup of water to brew your coffee, use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.
This will yield a strong, concentrated coffee, perfect for making homemade lattes on a budget!
How to Warm Milk at Home for a Latte
Since a latte is largely warm milk, you want to get this component right!
Two easy options for warming milk are on the stovetop or in the microwave.
For the stovetop method, heat the milk over low/medium heat until you start to see steam. You’re not trying to boil it – just get it hot enough to steam.
Personally, I pop my milk in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
How to Easily Froth Milk at Home for a Latte
When it comes to frothing milk, warm milk always works best.
To do this, warm your milk as mentioned above. From here, you have a few simple options.
- Shake it Up: You can place the warm milk in a jar with a lid – and start to shake it vigorously. You can then pour out the warm milk into your espresso/strong brewed coffee, holding back the foam/frothed part. Once the warm milk is incorporated, top with the foam.
- Whisk it: This one is going to require a little more time and elbow grease, but you can whisk your milk until it starts to foam. You’re not going to get the best frothy milk, but you can get a little froth with this method.
- Affordable Mixer: (Best Option) If you think you’ll regularly be making lattes at home, one budget friendly tool I will always recommend is this little handheld frother. You get a nice froth in just a few seconds with little effort!
Add the Ingredients
Now you just need to combine all your ingredients together.
Start by putting your flavored syrup or sweetener of choice in your coffee cup. Add in the strong brewed coffee or espresso.
Lastly, top with your steamed and frothed milk.
If you’re wanting to get extra fancy, top with whipped cream, candy sprinkles or chocolate shavings!
More Recipes for Homemade Coffee
Simple Latte at Home
- 4 oz strong brewed coffee or 2 oz of espresso
- 6 oz steamed milk
- 1 oz liquid sweetener or coffee syrup can adjust to taste
- If using strong brewed coffee, you will want to brew about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee with 4 oz of water.
Heat and Froth Milk
- Start by heating your milk on the stove top or in the microwave. You just want to milk to start to steam, not boil. In the microwave, this usually takes 30-60 seconds.
- To froth your milk, you can use a handheld frother, whisk, or by shaking the milk vigorously in a jar with a lid.
Assemble the Latte
- Add liquid sweetener or flavored coffee syrup of choice to the bottom of your coffee cup.
- Add strong brewed coffee or espresso.
- Pour in the warm milk, holding back the foam. Top with foam and enjoy!