Nail the Drink: A Foolproof Recipe for Café Latte

Cafe Latte Foam ArtReady to go the DIY route with your latte? We’re with you. There’s just something about the creamy concoction that inspires us all (or at least those of us who are into espresso spiked with steamed milk).

The good news is that making a latte is pretty easy. Though some people may spend years traveling the globe’s cafes in search of the perfect latte, this easy recipe should do the trick for the rest of us:

Foolproof Recipe for Café Latte

Makes 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. If you have a milk-steaming machine, follow the directions to steam the milk. If not, heat it on the stove over medium, whisking until hot and foamy.
  2. Pour brewed espresso into mug.
  3. Pour steamed milk in, holding back the foam with a spoon. Then gently spoon the foam on top.

It’s as easy as that to enjoy a café-quality latte. Enjoy!

What Is In a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

What Is In A Pumpkin Spice LatteOkay, so the holidays are over and you’re already counting the months until the next time you can gulp down another drool-worthy pumpkin spice latte. Rejoice: the wait is over. We’re about to spill the beans (pun intended) on what is in a pumpkin spice latte.

It’s all about the secret weapon that is flavored syrup. All you need is espresso, milk (dairy or otherwise), and a spoonful of this magical concoction, and you’ll find yourself face to face with a real-life pumpkin spice latte. Several companies make some version of this syrup, but we’re partial to Torani Pumpkin Pie sauce, probably because it’s the one so many great cafes use.

And the best part is, you can whip this baby up any old time you want. Click here to follow our quick tips on how to make a latte, then add a splash of pumpkin syrup to taste. Cheers on getting what you want, when you want it!

Impress Everyone You Know by Learning How to Make Lattes at Home

Here’s one fast track to impressing your pals: Learn how to make lattes at home—without actually having to go through barista training. What’s that? You don’t care what your friends think, but are just in it for the sheer love of a latte? In either case, we’ve got you covered with this crash course.

How To Make Lattes At Home

What You’ll Need

The first order of business is a bit of a no-brainer—make sure you have the right equipment. (Sadly you can’t just stare at your mug and wait for creamy deliciousness to appear…unless you’re a Kardashian, perhaps.)

Choosing a quality machine will make all the difference in the world in your quest to learn how to make a latte at home. We’ve rounded up a few of our recommendations:

Nespresso CitiZ Automatic Espresso Maker and Milk Frother ($272): The true no-brainer of latte makers, this single-serve contraption uses coffee pods so you don’t have to fret over measurements and ratios. A 19-bar pump extracts the espresso’s aroma and flavor in all the right ways, serving up a “crema” aka, that golden creamy top that’s the trademark of real espresso, in under 30 seconds. The milk frothing process is also pretty fool-proof. You just pour the milk into the Aeroccino, press a button, and voila, hot milk froth, without a sticky mess that happens with other frothing products.

De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker ($89): This more affordable product lets you make two single servings side by side. You can use pods, but you can also measure out your own coffee if you’re a control freak, er, appreciate precision. Its 15-bar pump makes a mean cappuccino, and a swivel jet milk frother lets you whip up the milk to desired foaminess. For more of that made-to-order feel, the DeLonghi has two separate thermostats enabling you to achieve two very different temperatures. It’s also built to last—the boiler is made with stainless steel.

Of course, as with all good things in life, there’s a more budget-friendly path: choose to make a latte without a machine. Some non-mechanized products are a lot cheaper than your typical machine, but still yield worthy results. Try the Bialetti maker ($25) for an easy-to-use stovetop espresso. You’ll just need a handy (and budget-friendly) milk frother, and you’ll be good to go. Click here for a few of our recos on milk steamers and frothers.

Of course, you’re probably gonna need some beans with that machine, too. For our faves, click here.

What You’ll Do With All That

Now that you’ve got your tools and ingreds, here’s the basic drill:

  1. Make the espresso.
  2. Pour the milk into the frothing pitcher and follow product instructions. You want steaming milk underneath the surface, and allow the top to foam to just below the surface level.
  3. Pour espresso into a mug, then top with steamed milk with foamy top (ratio-wise, about 1/4 espresso to 1/2 steamed milk with 1/4 foamy milk).
  4. Enjoy!

And there you have it: how to make a latte like a pro. Now you just have to figure out how to work a cool design into the froth and you’ll be able to outdo even the best café latte.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Coffee for a Latte

Is it latte o’clock? If frothy hot (or iced) espresso drinks are your thing, then treat yourself with the best coffee for a latte. Go on, you deserve it.

Best Coffee For a LatteThere are a few key things to look for on the quest for the perfect latte-appropriate bean: First off, it’s gotta be dark and bold. You’ll also need one that creates a thick and velvety crema (that’s the creamy top layer you get in good cappuccino). And as with any coffee, freshness counts.

The very freshest option will most likely be one that’s roasted locally, so before you head to the grocery store (online or otherwise), check your favorite local coffee shop to see if they’ve got anything roasted that day or week.

There are some exceptional options in the international marketplace as well. Try illy iperEspresso Capsules Dark Roasted Coffee for a robust flavor that will compliment the milk’s froth perfectly. Lavazza is also a critics’ choice—try their Super Crema Espresso for rich flavor and serious crema.