How to Make a Latte at Home

Skip the coffee shop. We'll show you how to make a latte at home.

I can’t think of anyone in my life that doesn’t have a coffee addiction. Many Americans rely on coffee to start their day, fuel their afternoon and even pep up their evening.

The cost of coffee shop lattes can certainly add up, but we have good news: you can learn how to make a latte at home and save hundreds of dollars throughout the year! There are plenty of Starbucks copycat recipes that you make yourself, and this easy latte is a good place to start.

What are the ingredients for a latte?

You’ll need freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk and milk foam. You can also add a flavored syrup—chocolate, hazelnut, caramel—for a fancier drink. The espresso is one of the most important components of a latte, so if you’re serious about making one at home, you’re going to want to know what to look for before you buy a coffee maker.

How do you froth milk for a latte?

There are many ways to froth your milk for your latte. If you’re lucky enough to have an espresso machine at home, chances are it features a milk frother. You can also purchase a handheld milk frother. To use a frother, pour milk into a glass measuring cup or mug, and immerse the frother into the liquid. Turn it on and whisk it around in the milk until it’s frothed to your liking.

Editor’s Tip: Using the frother toward the top of the milk will create more foam.

How do you make a latte without a frother?

You really don’t even need a frothing wand to make a latte at home. Other ways to froth the milk for your latte include using a whisk or an immersion blender. (The immersion blender will create a nice foam but tends to be a messier option.) You can also shake the warm milk vigorously in a mason jar. Be careful not to burn yourself, though!

Finally, you can use a French press to froth your milk. Pour the warm milk into the container and place the lid with plunger on top. Vigorously (and carefully) pump up and down, making sure to hold down the lid. The milk will expand as it is frothed, so be sure not to fill it too full.

How to Make a Latte at Home

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly brewed espresso

Editor’s Tip: Start with this recipe for Easy Espresso (skip the lemon) and measure out 1/3 cup. Or, if you have an espresso machine, pull 2-3 shots of espresso. When you make your espresso, be sure to avoid the mistakes everyone makes when brewing coffee.)

Instructions

Step 1: Warm the milk

Place milk in a 1-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, like a Pyrex. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute or until milk is hot and small bubbles form around the edge of your cup.

Editor’s Tip: The higher the fat content in milk, the easier it is to foam.

Step 2: Froth the milk

You can use a frother for this step; otherwise, it’s easy to do by hand. Use a metal whisk to froth the milk (or any of the other tricks mentioned above). Hold the handle loosely between your palms and quickly rub your hands back and forth. Use a spoon to remove foam to a small measuring cup as it forms. Continue whisking until the foam measures 1/8 to 1/4 cup; then set your whisk aside.

Step 3: Mix espresso and milk

Pour the espresso into a coffee cup, then pour in the remaining hot milk. Spoon foam over top and serve immediately.

It’s surprisingly easy to make a latte at home, right? You’ll save so much money by skipping the coffee shop, it might be time to invest in a brand-new coffee maker.

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April Preisler
April is a food and travel lover, wine enthusiast, ice cream obsessed and the vision behind the blog, Food n' Focus. Her favorite cuisine is Italian and loves to cook international recipes.