This week, I taught myself how to make Lattes.
Maybe it was the desire for Pumpkin Spice Lattes without anywhere to get them. Or it could have been the fact that fall in general just began- and Lattes have always been a thing for the fall. I’m not sure what exactly possessed me to look it up this week, though… But what I do know is that I have never been so happy to be incorrect about something in my life.
Lattes have always been the one thing that I would happily drive miles to get; for the longest time I thought that you had to have all the fancy stuff to make them- like an espresso Machine, that little Milk Steamer thing, and a Milk Frother. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money for that, and living in a small home I don’t exactly have the space for it, either. As a result, I never thought that I would have the luxury of a Latte in the comfort of my own home, immediately after waking.
It turns out, though, that I was wrong; I was very pleasantly surprised to find that making Lattes at home is such a ridiculously simple thing. It only takes a few minutes, and you really don’t need all that fancy stuff… All you really need is a Coffee Pot and a whisk- including your Coffee and Milk (plus sugar if it suits you), of course!
Since then, I’ve had a Latte every morning upon waking- and sometimes I’ll have up to 3 or 4 of them by the time the day is done with (it really is no wonder that I’ve been dehydrated all week); Masala Chai Lattes, Green Tea Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you name it and by now I’ve made it myself- and I have no shame in admitting that I might have become a bit obsessed with them now that I know how truly easy it is to make even a simple one. At this point, I’m sure that my poor Husband is at his wit’s end with all the energy I’ve possessed.
My favorite by far are the Rose and Lavender ones that I’ve made; it’s amazing how the addition of one small, extra flavor can change the entire taste and feeling that you get from a Latte.
Lavender (or Rose) Latte
Milk of any sort
Dried Lavender Flowers (or Rose Petals)
Though it’s correct to do so, you don’t actually have to use Espresso for a Latte. In fact, I actually personally dislike the taste and texture of Espresso so I prefer to use regularly brewed coffee instead. For this Latte in particular, I prefer to use a French Roast as opposed to others- and to brew it I also use one of those little Keurig Knockoffs by Home Living (though they aren’t as great for the environment as I would like them to be).
If you choose to go the “normal” Western Coffee route, however, then regardless of how you decide to brew your Coffee or even what kind of Coffee you decide to use? Just make sure to brew it a bit stronger than you normally would. That doesn’t mean double brewing, though, which results in very bitter cup. Instead, add a couple extra scoops of grounds (fresh or pre-ground) on top of your usual amount. Either way, you’ll need to brew at least 3 ounces for this- especially if you plan on putting the finished product in one of those big Coffee cups like I do.
While that’s brewing, get your milk ready. Most sources tell you to use 2% or Skim Milks, but I don’t like the taste of those so I never buy them- and I’m certainly not running out to buy a jug just for Lattes. I prefer to use Whole Milk, instead, and I’ve had perfectly good results with it. Regardless of the milk, though, Lattes are generally made from 1 part strong Coffee or Espresso to 2, 3 or even 5 parts Milk depending on where you are. So for the milk you’ll need to measure out about two to three times the amount of Coffee that you’ll be using.
Next, add your Lavender flowers or Rose petals to your milk, depending on which of the two you’re making (or both, if you really want to make it interesting). It’s important to note, though, that when choosing your herbs or flowers you want to make sure that they are culinary grade ingredients at the very least. Culinary grade ensures that they have been processed in such a way that the products are actually safe for consumption or use in cooking; simply pulling petals off commercially bought plants (from, say, a Florist) isn’t really a great thing to do. You never know what’s on them.
Now warm your milk. At this point, you can then either choose to warm it slowly on the stove or pop it into the microwave in 30 second increments like I do. Either way, the milk should be warmed to a temperature where, if you put your finger in it, it’s a tad hot to the touch- but be careful not to scald it or make it too hot. When it’s ready, strain out the plant material and get ready to froth the milk.
Frothing is such a simple process that I was actually surprised by it. Personally I like to put my milk in a small bullet blender cup and give it a whirl for a minute… But you could also simply take a whisk to it and give it a vigorous go by hand. I’ve also seen some instructions that tell you to fill a jar about halfway up, cap it, and give it a good shake; there’s several ways to froth it, and it’s up to you how you want to go about doing so. Just do it for 30 seconds to a minute so that you have a healthy foam cap built up.
Once the milk is frothed, finish your Latte; add your sugar to the coffee base if you’re using it and stir it well, then add your milk in. Lastly, add your foam (if it didn’t come out when putting the milk in like mine often does). If you really want to, you can add a bit of Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Syrup to it, too, before you put the Milk in.
And viola! You’ve made yourself a Latte at home. Easy, isn’t it? But don’t just stop here, though! Get creative and experiment with it to find the ratios and flavors that you like the most… And when you do, feel free to share them here! I’d love to see what ya’ll decide to make.
If this isn’t well explained enough for you and you need a bit more help, though? These links were absolutely invaluable to helping me figure it out!
- How To Make a Latte at Home Without an Espresso Machine
- How to Make a Latte Like a Barista
- How to Make a Latte Without an Espresso Machine
- How to Coffee: Latte
- The Science of Steamed Milk: Understanding Your Latte Art
- The Science of Frothing: How to Make Your Own Milk Foam