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How to Make a Latte: What is a latte and How to Enjoy it

Dave Carter

June 5, 2020

Strong and delicious espresso coffee is the Italian tradition loved and practiced around the world. One of the most popular espresso-based drinks is Italian Latte. Caffe latte, or known as the Latte, is a caffeinated drink that consists of steamed milk and espresso. The word "latte" comes from the Italian phrase "caffè e latte," which directly translates to coffee and milk. In this post, we will be guiding you on how to make a latte with or without an espresso machine.

This is a popular drink across the world because of its mellow and sweet flavor, and the other reason for its popularity is its simplicity, only consisting of steamed, frothed milk and brewed coffee.

How to Make a Latte: The Basics​

What is Latte, and how do you make it? Latte is a versatile drink, and it's considered as the most customizable espresso-based drink. You can effortlessly construct this drink with different coffee machines to ensure you browse for the best latte machine in the market for your perfect Latte at home.


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Making Latte with an Espresso machine:​


Grind your coffee finely in creating the perfect espresso shot. Before starting the process, make sure you learn how to make espresso for a faster process.

Preparing and Steaming Milk​

You need to produce 6 ounces of milk for every 1 ounce of espresso or brewed coffee. You could use nonfat or soy milk in the process because it's the easiest way of constructing latte foam, but it may not exhibit the same richness of whole milk.

Steam the milk by pouring the amount of milk you desire in a metal pitcher. Insert the steam wand of the machine diagonally in the pitcher, resting it right below the surface, creating the necessary froth for a good cup of Latte. Steam it until it reaches the temperatures of 150ºF - 155ºF (66°C - 68°C).

Measure and tamp the coffee​

Each shot of espresso needs a specific amount of coffee. Most lattes are created with a double shot of espresso. Also, after measuring, you need to tamp it. This is when you press the espresso in the machine's portafilter using the espresso tamper (it resembles a small weight with the small handle on top).

Pour the milk over the espresso.​

Empty the froth over the espresso and serve. You could add latte art if you desire.

What are the ingredients for a latte?​

We have established that the Latte is an espresso-based drink that is made with heaps of foamed milk, which distinguishes it from its counterparts like the cappuccino. This versatile drink can be customized in numerous ways. But you may ask yourself what is in a latte? What latte recipe is the original and traditional one?

The caffè latte is a combination of espresso and steamed milk, which could be made with the commercial espresso machine or other methods like the French Press and Aeropress. Below are the basic ingredients of the conventional latte recipe.

  • 1 or 2 shots of espresso.
  • Steamed milk.
  • Two shots of foamed milk (or more, depending on your taste).
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How do you make a latte without a machine?​

The Glass Jar and Microwave Method​

Construct your strongly brewed coffee or espresso​

Use the espresso of your choice. You may begin with 1/3 cup espresso or more, but you may adjust it based on your taste.

Froth the milk​

Get a jar with a lid and pour the milk in it and fill it halfway. Screw the lid of the jar on tightly and shake the jar (30 - 60 seconds) until you should see the milk becoming frothy and doubled in volume.

Microwave the milk (steamed milk)​

Remove the lid of the jar then place it inside the microwave uncovered for at least 30 seconds. When you see the foam rise to the top of the milk, leave it be as the heat from the microwave will stabilize it.

Pour the warm milk into the coffee base.​

Pour the brewed coffee or espresso of your choice into a wide and shallow coffee cup. You could use a large spoon in holding back the frothed milk. Put as much of the warm milk in the mug or cup.

Additional foam and flavoring​

If you want a more sweet or flavored latte, you can add syrup in the milk before adding the foam. Adjust the amount of foam of the drink based on your preference. Spoon as much of the milk foam you would like in your Latte. You may also garnish it with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top of the foam.

The French Press Method​

  1. Measure and add the amount of coffee you desire in the French Press.
  2. Pour water in the pot and wait for it to boil.
  3. Let the coffee sear and brew for 4 minutes.
  4. Pless the plunger down when 4 minutes has gone by and set aside.
  5. Pour cold soy milk in the milk frother and microwave for 30 - 45 seconds.
  6. Pump the milk frother until the milk becomes visibly foamy.
  7. Fill your coffee mug halfway with the freshly brewed coffee from earlier, pour a bit of still liquid milk, and top it off with foamy steamed milk. You may incorporate latte art at the top if you like.
  8. Enjoy!

Can you make a latte with regular coffee?​

Yes, strongly brewed coffee can be used as an alternative for the espresso used in making cafe latte. Brew two tablespoons of light, dark, or medium roast coffee for each 5 to 6 ounces of water. When you see your coffee is made brewing pour it in the cup and leave the room at the top for the addition of steamed milk that you made.

What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

Like most espresso-based drinks, what distinguishes a latte from a cappuccino is the milk content. Latte contains more milk than the cappuccino. The latter contains more coffee content, and it uses stronger coffee.

  • Cappuccino – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed, and foamed milk. The espresso is washed down with the milk, but the taste of the coffee is still prominent.
  • Latte – 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, 1/6 foamed milk. This drink is significantly milkier than the former. It's a milk-based drink with subtle hints of coffee.

These two drinks can be made with the designated cappuccino and latte maker. But for the best results, the Breville latte machine is recommended for you to create the best Latte at home.


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You don't have to be an expert barista in creating this popular subtle caffeinated drink. You need patience in understanding every delicate process this drink undergoes. We hope this guide helped you learn how to make a latte at home. Follow us for more helpful content. Happy Brewing!


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