5 Easy Steps - How to Make a Latte at Home!

Updated on: April 28, 2023
Author: Nick
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How to Make a Latte

My aim is to teach coffee lovers like you how to make delicious java drinks at the comfort of your own home. So, I put together this simple guide on how to make a latte at home!

Ready to become your own professional barista?! Then keep reading!

How Does a Latte Differ from Other Milk & Coffee Beverages?

Most people already know what a latte is, but for those who don’t, a latte is made up of two main ingredients: 1/3 espresso and 2/3 frothed milk with about 1.5 inches of foam on top. Simple, right?!

Latte at Home

So how do lattes differ from other espresso and milk beverages?

  • Cappuccinos contain a single shot of espresso with one-to-one ratio of frothed and steamed milk. It’s similar to a latte but has a greater percentage of foamed milk to steamed milk. 

  • Breve is made just like a cappuccino, but contains half-and-half milk instead. The proportions don’t matter, because any drink using half-and-half milk will be called a breve.

  • Noisette is a single shot of espresso and a small amount of milk added. Unlike a latte or cappuccino, the milk is neither frothed nor steamed. ‘Noisette’ means hazelnut in French; but this drink takes its name due to the color of the drink and not the flavor.

  • Macchiato is 1 or 2 shots of espresso and a dollop of foamed milk on top of the espresso and served in a small cup.

How to Make a Latte at Home?

This guide is helpful for all coffee lovers who want to enjoy their favorite beverage at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can make delicious lattes at home without one!

Ingredients & Tools Needed to Make a Latte at Home

You’ll need the following tool and ingredients to make a latte at home:

  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • A 6oz mug, and
  • A kitchen tool for frothing the milk

Next, follow the steps below to make a delicious cup of Latte:

Step One: Find the right espresso beans

If you want to make the best tasting latte, then buy quality espresso beans. The taste of the drink is greatly dependent on how good the espresso beans are. You can buy espresso beans from:

  • Your favorite local coffeehouse
  • A grocery store with organic coffee beans, like Whole Foods, or
  • Online stores, such as Amazon (click here to buy)

It all depends on your taste! So, you might want to experiment with a few types until you find your favorite beans.

To keep your espresso beans fresh, make sure to store them in an airtight bag or container.

Step Two: Finely grind the espresso beans

When you are ready to make your latte at home, use a burr grinder to finely grind the espresso beans before brewing. Some will have an espresso machine that does the grinding itself.

If you are a coffee lover and you see yourself making more and more coffee at home, then I recommend you invest in a nice burr grinder as it does the job right.

Burr Grinder

Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

  • 4 – 18 cup slide dial
  • Scoop & cleaning brush included
  • 18 position grind selector

If you are not sure this is for you yet, then try the following:

  • Many coffeeshops will offer to grind beans for you. So, head to those shops and get it done, or

  • Use a food blender or processor to grind them quickly. Make sure your blender or processor doesn’t have built-in steam, because that can destroy the coffee beans’ flavor.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s not!

Step Three: Brew the perfect espresso shot

Once you have the right espresso beans that are finely ground to the right consistency, the next step is to brew the perfect espresso for the perfect homemade latte!

How to Make a latte at home with an espresso machine?

Having an espresso machine with a built-in steam wand in the kitchen is a blessing when you’re making a latte at home. If you're in the market for one, make sure to check out our article about the Best Nespresso Machines or this one about the Best Automatic Espresso Machines...

As mentioned earlier, you’re free to play with ingredients and proportions, but here we’ll prepare a standard latte with two shots of espresso and a cup of frothed milk.

Make a Latte with Espresso Machine
  1. First thing you want to do is start up your espresso machine

  2. Next, warm up your espresso cup to keep your espresso shot warm once brewed. You can do this by placing your cup under running hot water. This is because a cup at room temperature will cool down the espresso shot

  3. While warming up your cup, start grinding the espresso beans

  4. Once your cup is warm and before the espresso starts pouring, dry your cup and place it under the espresso nozzle

  5. The perfect shot of espresso should start pouring into your cup between the 8 to 12 second mark. Anything outside this range, and your espresso shot will be over or under extracted and it will taste horrible

  6. As your espresso is pouring, start steaming the milk using the espresso machine’s automatic wand

  7. Finally, pour the steamed milk into the cup slowly and take your time pouring the milk so that the foam is the last thing entering your mug

How to Make a latte at home without an espresso machine?

While having an espresso machine is ideal for making a latte at home, many of us are unable to afford such luxury. Some espresso machines can cost thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t mean there’s no other way! 

The good news is you can still enjoy the best-quality latte without investing in an espresso machine. It takes a little longer, but it’s worth it! 

Follow these steps for the perfect homemade latte:

  1. First thing to remember is that an espresso shot is a much stronger coffee than a regular drip coffee. So, to strengthen the taste of your coffee, you need to play around with the coffee-to-water ratio. I recommend a ratio of 18 grams of coffee to 18 grams of water (1:1) or 18 grams of coffee to 36 grams of water (1:2)

  2. Use a pour-over or drip coffee machine to brew your espresso coffee. You can even use your 4 cup coffee maker!

  3. While the coffee is brewing, heat up the milk in a microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds – keep it uncovered and be careful not to burn yourself! Stop every 15-seconds or so to stir to avoid hot sputs and clumps.

  4. Once the milk is warm, you want to froth it to create that creamy foam on top. More on how to do this later

  5. Finally, pour the frothed milk slowly into the brewed espresso. The coffee foam will rise to the top just like you see at a fancy coffee shop

There you go, you just served yourself the tastiest coffee at home. Enjoy it, you deserve it!

Quick Note
Another cheap alternative to buying an espresso machine is to get an Aeropress. It is small, easy to use and a fraction of the cost. See below:


Aeropress Coffee & Espresso Maker

  • 1 – 3 cups
  • Includes funnel, scoop & microfilters
  • Quick & easy to clean

Step Four: Froth the Creamiest Milk

Making your own espresso beverage at home can be very rewarding. But sipping on a homemade latte with perfectly foamed milk is absolutely delightful. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to froth your own milk with or without a frother.

You can also use any type of milk but experts recommend using plain old 2 percent dairy milk which is the easiest to steam. Of course, you can use any kind of milk or milk alternative. I’m lactose intolerant and I use 2% lactose free milk and my lattes turn out delicious! 

So here are a few ways you can froth milk at home and don’t forget to use about 6oz of milk and to warm it up before doing these:

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Using a Jar with a Lid

Using a mason jar to froth milk is probably the easiest method. You won’t face any difficulty while doing this.

First, heat the milk and then pour it into the mason jar. Then, tightly screw the lid and shake it forcefully for a minute or two until it doubles in volume. Make sure you cover your hands with a dishtowel to avoid burning your hands as the jar will get warm from the hot milk 

Whisking the Milk

If you don’t have a mason jar, you can still froth the milk easily. Just use a whisk or an electric mixer!

If you use a whisk, then whisk the milk vigorously in a circular motion and if you’re using an electric mixer, then put it on a low setting to avoid having an explosion of milk in your kitchen.

Other Tools from your Kitchen

Truth be told, many items in your kitchen can help you create foam for your latte. Any traditional or aluminum blender on a low setting will do the job for you. Just pour the milk turn on your blender for a few seconds until the milk is frothed.

Get a Special Coffee Tool

Coffee is a beverage you drink almost every day! Some might say, it’s a lifestyle. So why not invest in some tools that would make your life easier?

Knowing that the average American drinks two cups of coffee daily, it’s no surprise that there are many products out there that could help you make the perfect cup of coffee at home. A couple of these tools are:

  • An automatic milk frother: as the name suggests, it is easy to use as it does most of the work. It heats and froths the milk automatically in just a few minutes.
Automatic Milk Frother

Miroco Stainless Steel Automatic Milk Frother

  • Hot & Cold milk functions
  • Creamy foam in less than 2 minutes
  • Foam lattes & cappuccinos
  • A handheld milk frother: not difficult to use, but requires a little more effort to achieve similar results. Before using a hand frother, heat the milk for a few seconds then use the frother the same way you would use an electric mixer, move it in circles until the milk foams up. 
Handheld Milk Frother

PowerLix Handheld Milk Frother

  • Battery operated
  • Easy & quick to clean
  • Stainless Steel whisk & stand

The easiest way to realize if you’ve created the perfect latte foam is when milk gets almost double in volume and has tiny micro-foam bubbles. Make sure the milk temperature doesn’t exceed 139-145-degree Fahrenheit or 55-65 degree Celsius otherwise it will taste spoiled.

Step Five: Adding Delicious Flavors to your Latte

How do you customize your latte? Some like it strong and others like it sweet! If you’re one with a sweet-tooth then why not add some flavored syrup to it?

You will find dozens of flavors in the market including, but not limited to:

  • Caramel
  • Vanilla
  • Almond
  • Toffee
  • Buttered Rum
  • Peppermint
  • Hazelnut
  • Irish Cream
Flavored Syrup

Torani Flavored Syrup

  • Gold standard of flavor
  • Authentic coffee house flavors
  • Comes in Variety Pack

You can also make your own syrup at home as most recipes contain the same basic ingredients which are water, sugar and your flavor of choice.

Enjoy Your Latte

Frequently Asked Questions - How to Make a Latte at Home

How much milk is in a homemade latte?

A latte is usually served in a 6-8 oz cup with 180-240 ml of milk.

How much water is used for an espresso shot?

Each espresso shot should have about 30 ml of water.

When making a latte at home, how many shots of espresso should I be using?

This all depends on your preferences. Coffee shops usually have a single shot in smaller cups and a double shot in larger ones.

What's the difference between a latte and a caffe misto?

The main difference between a latte and a caffe misto is the type of coffee being used and the coffee to milk ratios. A latte is made of 1/4 espresso and 3/4 steamed milk, while a caffe misto is made of equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk.

Final Remarks - How to Make a Latte at Home

See? Making a latte at home isn’t so hard after all!
Anyone can be their own professional barista just at home. There’s no need to buy an expensive latte from across the street when you can make the best tasting cup right at home and at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, the first latte you make at home will not taste the best, but with practice and some tweaking here and there, you will be able to make your favorite drink just the way you love it. 

Not only that, but think about how impressed your guests will be when you make them a homemade latte from scratch. I’m speaking from experience; they will LOVE it! 

I have even converted some of my friends into homemade-latte-lovers and I’m teaching them how to make their own lattes at home. Same way I’m showing you how to do it.

If you have any questions for Your Coffee & Tea Essentials or just want to let us know how your homemade latte turned out, then please leave your comments below!

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!
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