How to Make a Latte: The Fun and Versatile Espresso-based Drink

Last Update: March 26, 2021
A latte is a popular drink made with an espresso base. Read on about how it bacame popular, and how it transforms from espresso to a light and foamy drink.

From the ancient coffee fields of Ethiopia to the present coffee plantations in South America, Asia, and Africa, there’s a reason coffee has been around for many years. Coffee has a rich and enticing aroma. It also contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and mood-altering substance. One of the most popular coffee drinks is the latte. Coffee drinkers are amazed at how to make a latte.

In small doses, caffeine stimulates the nervous system to boost energy and alertness. Studies also show that caffeine may enhance the burning of fat. Moreso, coffee improves memory and mood. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and niacin. Besides, drinking coffee may decrease the risk of some diseases like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, liver cirrhosis, and depression.

Yet, keep in mind that coffee may elevate blood pressure, which may persist for some people. Also, for some people, drinking coffee in large doses is said to trigger migraines, but caffeine can ease the pain in small quantities.

How to Make a Latte

Here is how to make a latte at home. Foam your milk before preparing an espresso. Set it aside. Pour espresso into a latte glass. A single shot of espresso is usually 7 grams of coffee dissolved in 30 milliliters of water. You can adjust this according to your preference. Add 1/3 of milk to your cup or glass. You can use almond, whole, or skim milk. Whole milk is the one recommended by trainers who teach how to make latte art. Using whole milk creates a creamy microfoam, the signature of the perfect homemade latte.

Make sure that the steam arm of your coffee machine is purged before steaming your milk. Dip the steam arm on the side of the jug and allow air to enter the milk. Crank up the dial of the steam arm to “high,” creating a vortex. A stainless pitcher is preferred, which is easier to check for the milk’s temperature. If it is hot enough, you can stop aerating it. In removing large air bubbles, you can tap your jug gently on the table. You will know that you got the right consistency when the milk becomes creamy. From a high position, pour the milk foam into your espresso. You can alter the angle and height from which you run it, depending on which design you wish to create.

In designing latte art, make sure that your milk foam is silky and smooth. Beginners usually create different shapes, such as hearts, rosettas, and spirals. Some baristas come as far as being inspired to copy Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night as latte art. How fascinating is that!

What is a Latte?

W.D. Howells first used “latte” in an essay in 1867. Latte is often mistaken for a cappuccino or an americano. A latte and cappuccino have similar ingredients. However, a cappuccino is known for its frothiness as it has more microfoam but less milk than the creamier latte. As the creamiest lot compared to other coffee, lattes are trendy drinks at coffeeshops due to their versatility. Because of the creaminess of the milk, lattes are a top choice in adding different flavors.

Some of the more popular flavors are vanilla, peppermint, caramel, and hazelnut. There are also unusual flavors like lemon, maple syrup, and pomegranate. Not to be outdone, the more ridiculous flavors like lavender and bacon are also available in some coffee shops.

Coffee is synonymous with mornings. And nothing wakes you up faster than the aroma of brewed coffee. It will be pleasurable if a coffee maker with grinder is handy every morning. Regularly grinding coffee beans will give you fresh coffee every day.

what is a latte

What are the Ingredients for a Latte?

The ingredients of a latte are mainly coffee and frothed milk, and in some cases, flavoring.


You can use any of the three significant types of coffee beans. These are robusta, liberica, and arabica. More comfortable to cultivate than arabica, liberica has the most assertive taste between the 3. Coffee beans are mainly grown from Vietnam and Africa. This type of coffee bean is the cheapest to produce. It can withstand harsh sunlight and high temperatures. It is also resistant to plant diseases caused by pests.

Brazil is the top producer of the arabica type. This type of coffee bean comprises 60 percent of coffee production in the world. The arabica bean is more significant than the robusta. Moreso, with less acid content, the arabica is less bitter compared to robusta. The robusta bean is more bitter than the arabica bean because of a higher concentration of caffeine than the former. Also, the robusta bean has less sugar content than the arabica. The third primary type, the liberica bean, mostly comes from the Philippines, is the largest bean. Though manufacturing liberica makes up 2 percent of global production, it has a more pungent taste than robusta. Also, the liberica has a distinct smokey aroma.


Latte means milk in Italian. If you’re in Italy and want to order coffee with milk, you would say caffe latte. Caffe latte is a popular drink in Italy, mostly made at home for breakfast. Although originating in Italy, the caffe latte became popular in the United States, particularly in Seattle.

The milk recommended for a latte is whole milk. Whole milk, when steamed, results in a creamy and smooth texture. Whole milk contains 8 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein. A uniform 8 grams of protein is contained in 2-percent milk, 1-percent milk, and skim milk. The difference is in the amount of fat. A 2 percent milk contains 5 grams of fat. Compared to 2 percent milk, 1 percent milk has less fat at 2.5 grams. Skim milk has 0 grams of fat.


Most people prefer a nutty taste to their coffee, combining hazelnut or peanut flavors. Also, coffee may seem weird when you factor in an orange or lemon zest. In some cases, it gets even stranger with the addition of herbs like lavender or even oregano. Some even border on the ridiculous with bacon flavors or cheeseburger ones. These flavors seem to work well with any coffee. For most of the characteristics, the aromatic espresso and creamy milk are the perfect combinations. The possibilities are simply endless—another surefire way to have variety in coffee. Just choose a drink that you enjoy.

How to Make a Latte at Home

If you’re an espresso master and are looking to perfect your espresso coffee, there are a lot of specialized espresso machines that you can buy. These machines are specific, have unique functions, and are expensive. However, if you wish to enjoy your freshly-ground coffee at the home-front level with instructions that are easier to follow, you can choose from different espresso machine models. These machines are also affordable.

With less than 250 USD when bought brand new, the best latte machine for home use out in the market is bought for ease of use, automation, and affordability. The instructions for using the device to make espresso are easy to follow and are similar. 

First, put ground coffee in the porta-filter. Second, after making sure that the water and milk jug are filled as per machine instructions, press the button for a latte. Crank in the dials for the settings that you prefer. In most coffee machines, a dial is available where you can choose the level of frothiness. Usually, pressing the machine button for the type of coffee twice will double the servings. Milk and coffee will start filling in your glass or cup.

If you prefer an iced latte, you can cool your espresso coffee for a while and add ice cubes to the cup. Mix it up with a spoon, and you’re ready to go!

How do you Make a Latte Without a Frother?

If you prefer frothy coffee, there are a lot of frothers in the market. One of the best milk frother in the market costs as little as 10 USD. At home, you can also make frothy steamed milk without a frother. You would need a transparent container, a microwave, and a strong arm. Fill a transparent container with one-third of milk. Seal the container.

Tense your muscles and shake well. Continue doing this until you can observe that the frothed milk has increased in volume. When the frothed milk has doubled in size, heat the liquid on the microwave at high for 45 seconds. Add the frothed milk to your hot drinks. And if you prefer a raspberry latte, add in your favorite raspberry syrup, mix it in, and enjoy your drink.

How does Starbucks Make a Latte?

With over 30,000 locations worldwide, Starbucks takes the helm in the brewing industry. This powerhouse provides great coffee for brewing and an inviting ambiance for a relaxing and pleasant experience.

One of its famous drinks is a latte. Starbucks creates lattes with 100% arabica coffee beans. Unless otherwise requested by the customer, baristas use 2 percent low-fat milk. After pouring shots of espresso into a cup, steamed milk is added. Starbucks tops off its latte with a spoonful of foam.

 If you want to know how to make a latte with ice, it is simple. The barista will substitute steamed milk for cold milk. Instead of topping with foam, the barista will use ice.

 Perhaps the most famous latte is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. This latte is a combination of sweet pumpkin, deep espresso, and a cinnamon spread. Available starting August 1, this seasonal must-have is the ultimate in Starbucks lattes, topping the list of customer favorites year after year.

Starbucks latte


A lot of people want to know how to make a latte. It doesn’t take rocket science. One of the most successful craft coffees, the latte, has taken the world by storm. It has topped endless lists for the ultimate favorite in almost any coffee shop. Not just by expert marketing, the latte is ingenious in itself. Something pungent and bitter like an espresso mixed with creamy smooth milk is bound to create magic. The name even makes it more exotic than when a latte is just coffee and milk.

For most, the simple mixing of coffee and milk does wonders already. And in today’s challenging times, where small issues are magnified and important matters vilified, the latte's approach, as simple as it is, maybe the answer.

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