I love a good latte.
I wanted to make one at home, but I didn't want the process to be complicated. My mornings are busy enough.
So, I came up with this little latte hack/recipe to make it easy.
This is how to make a latte so good that it tastes like it came from a coffee shop.
Here's the secret (shhhh!) …
I use instant coffee.
Yes, it's a travesty.
But you know what? I think it tastes pretty darn good.
In the morning, I am looking for coffee that I can make quickly and that doesn't require a lot of clean up.
This is a very practical latte recipe in my book.
What Is A Latte? Let's Get Clear On What We Are Making
Traditionally, a latte is a layer of espresso coffee mixed with steamed milk and topped with a layer of milk foam.
Cappuccino vs. Latte
The difference between a cappuccino and a latte is that a latte is about two thirds steamed milk and one third espresso coffee.
But a cappuccino is about one third coffee, one third steamed milk, and one third milk foam.
I am calling my latte recipe a “latte” because it is entirely milk based.
You will see what I mean.
This article on the Dunkin' Donuts site explains the differences in coffee drinks in more detail.
Let's get started.
What You Need to Make a Homemade Latte
The ingredients for a homemade latte are simple: milk, instant coffee, and sugar if you like it sweet.
As far as equipment goes, you will need a milk frother like this one. (I picked mine up at Amazon.com but you can find one at any kitchen goods place – or even the grocery store. They run in the range of $10 to $20 depending on the one you choose.)
What Is a Milk Frother?
So, at it's most basic – a milk frother is basically a very mini battery operated whisk that you use to make air bubbles in warm milk.
There are some fancier milk frothers on the market, like this one from Breville but I have not given them a try (although I would love to – gadget geek that I am 😉 )
And here is my latte hack ….
How to Make a Latte at Home
Pour 1 cup milk in a two cup glass measuring cup. You can heat the milk directly in your coffee much if you like – just make sure that there is plenty of room for frothing to take place.
I use a half cup of fat free milk combined with a half cup of whole milk. But you can experiment with the milk that you like best.
Heat the milk for two minutes in the microwave on high heat.
When heated stir the milk. The measuring cup should not feel cold to the touch or scalding hot – rather it should feel nice and warm.
Add one teaspoon instant coffee crystals to the warm milk.
Use the milk frother to froth the coffee and milk mixture for a few seconds.
Your latte should be foamy but not like a bubble bath (unless you like it that way).
This article shows you how to make your milk bubbles just the right consistency.
Pour your latte into a coffee mug, add sugar if you like, and enjoy.
Print This Recipe
- 1 cup milk (I use 1/2 cup fat free milk and 1/2 cup whole milk combined)
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
- Pour milk into a 2 cup glass measuring cup.
- Heat in microwave on high for 2 minutes or until measuring cup is warm to the touch.
- Stir the instant coffee crystals into the warm milk.
- Froth the coffee and milk with a milk frother for a few seconds until foam appears on top.
- Pour latte into your favorite mug and add sugar, if desired.
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Not a Fan of Instant Coffee?
I get it – this coffee hack may not be your cup of tea (see what I did there?).
True coffee connoisseurs may want to use freshly brewed espresso coffee in a homemade latte.
If that is you, then you may want to consider a cappuccino maker that also has a latte setting like this one from Mr. Coffee.
I wouldn't mind having something that good looking sitting on my countertop.
Behind the Scenes
Taking Good Food Photography
Even though this is not an official food blog, I do like to add easy recipes every now and then.
When I started adding recipes, my food photography skills were absolutely terrible.
But with the help of Food Blogger Pro, things have gotten a lot better.
Food Blogger Pro is a food blogging course that covers everything from setting up a blog to photography and video. They only open for enrollment a few times per year – so if you are interested, I suggest that you click here and get on the no obligation waiting list.
Use a Recipe Plugin
Another thing I use in every recipe post is a recipe plugin for WordPress.
This is what gives you the nice and neat printable version of the recipe. And – I don't know the technical ins and outs – but the recipe plugin also makes your recipes more search engine friendly because it adds some kind of open graph type tags that you need.
The recipe plugin that I use and love is called Tasty Recipes by WP Tasty.
You Don't Need a Fancy Table
To add variety to my food photography I also use these vinyl backdrops from Ink & Elm.
Enjoy that latte!