Latte is a big seller in coffee shops, but what if you want to save money and enjoy your favourite coffee concoction in the comfort of your home? Making your own latte is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and that’s just how we’re going to approach this coffee-making adventure. First, a few side notes, and then we’ll get started!
What is a Latte Exactly?
What you see as being a latte depends on where you come from. The word “latte” means “milk” in Italian, so if you’re in Italy, be sure to specify caffè latte if you want a caffeinated drink and not just a glass of milk!
Italians love caffè latte for their morning brew, and it’s the only time they drink it. They use a traditional moka pot to make a hearty espresso and then add it to a cup that already contains some heated milk.
Those of us who are used to coffee shop versions may miss the milk froth – no problem! After all, it’s your cup of milky coffee, so you can do what you like with it! If it’s any comfort to you, the Latte commonly made outside of Italy is the one most widely enjoyed. Let’s get started.
1. Make Espresso or Your Preferred Coffee Variant
For a real coffee shop style latte, you will use a single or double shot of espresso to a standard 240ml cup. 30ml is a “single shot” so 60ml is a “double.” Espresso differs from other types of coffee because of the size of the grounds and the brewing method used. I like mocha pots for brewing espresso, but how you arrive at it is up to you.
However, there’s no need to be a purist. I’ve even seen recipes for (heaven forbid) latte made with decaf coffee. The “heaven forbid” is me. I love my coffee with caffeine and brewed from fresh-ground beans, but if you prefer decaf or any other variant of coffee, go ahead. Since you’re going to be adding quite a lot of milk, you might want to make other types of coffee a bit stronger than usual.
2. Heat Some Milk and Keep Some for Frothing (Optional)
As you’ll have guessed by now, the ingredient that takes up the rest of your cup is milk. Heating milk can be a bit ticklish, but if you’re willing to invest in tools to make coffee like a barista, nothing could be easier.
Given that it’s probable that you, like most other people, are a sucker for frothed milk, investing in a milk frother will make things a lot easier than it will be if you make froth by hand. Milk frothers range from hand-held ones to my favourite, a frother that delivers either heated milk or froth on demand.
The alternative for latte fans who want to make this beverage by hand would be to heat milk the old-fashioned way, use some of it un-frothed, and then froth the rest. Remember, the froth is just a topping. A very precise article I read specified 12mm of milk froth – once again, it’s your call and I don’t think you need to measure the froth exactly.
3. Sweeten or Flavour to Taste
If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll leave sweetening and any other additives till last, but if you like American-style lattes, you’ll add the sweeteners and any extra flavours before adding the froth. Once again, it’s your cup of brew – play around and see what works for you.
It’s hard to pin down exactly how much to sweeten latte to get an American-style drink, but 3 percent sugar seems to be the minimum. I’m not crazy about super-sweet lattes, but tastes are individual and the freedom to choose is yours. If you want to skip sweetening altogether, go ahead!
The final ingredient for enjoyment is you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your home-brewed latte. While you’re at it, decide whether you’d like to vary the recipe next time around. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon find the perfect latte recipe to suit you. The basics are already there. The variations are a matter of personal preference