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.

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