How To Make A Latte: A Guide to Your Perfect Cup

We provide everything you need to know to brew the perfect latte including brewing guides, recipes, and top espresso machine models.

Today we will walk you through the easiest way to create a delicious latte at home. We promise your taste buds will thank you for this easy to make cup of comfort!

Not many things are as comforting as a big mug filled to the brim with a warm, creamy latte. This rich, foamy drink is a fan favorite for many reasons!

Lattes have grown in popularity over the past few decades, however, different versions of the latte have been around for centuries. In fact the term latte originates from an Italian phrase meaning milk coffee!

Get to Know the Latte

For those who are new to lattes, let’s take a moment to introduce you to this velvety and comforting drink. 

A latte begins with a single or double shot of espresso that is combined with steamed milk resulting in a creamy, delicious drink topped with a layer of foam. Lattes are often made with flavored syrups and can be created with a variety of milk types. 

You can find a latte at almost any coffee shop, however, a latte habit can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, making a hot and frothy latte at home is fairly simple and more economically friendly.

Latte Ingredients

A cup of latte with all the right ingredients.
The latte is typically made with espresso, steamed milk, and frothy milk foam.

There are only two main ingredients needed to make a latte:


You will want to use espresso or strong coffee. You can also substitute decaffeinated coffee if that is your preference. 

Don’t have a home espresso brewer? Don’t worry there are a lot of ways to make espresso at home without an espresso machine.


You can opt to use any dairy or non-dairy milk. Popular milk choices for lattes include:

  • Skim milk
  • Whole milk
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Soy milk
  • Creamer (Flavored or unflavored)


Aluminum whisks used to make a latte.
The only tools needed to make the perfect latte is an aluminum whisk and your favorite coffee mug.

Fortunately, crafting lattes at home is very easy! In order to brew your latte, you will only need a couple of tools that are typically found in most kitchens.                                                                                    

Aluminum Whisk

You will want one that is small enough to fit inside your coffee mug.  

Coffee Mug

Once you have all your kitchen tools ready, you can then create your latte in 5 simple steps: 

1. Brew the coffee or espresso of your choice.
2. Heat the milk in a microwave-safe container for 45 seconds.   
3. When milk is heated, vigorously whisk back and forth for approximately 30 seconds until the milk is frothy.  
4. Pour the coffee into a mug, then pour the frothed milk very gently on top of the coffee. Spoon the remaining foam on to the top of your latte.   
5. Put your feet up and enjoy that sweet, frothy, foamy goodness!


Coffee beans used to brew flavorful coffee.
One of the best things about a latte is that they are an incredibly versatile drink when it comes to flavor. 

Many simply enjoy a plain latte, choosing to savor the espresso and milk flavors. For those who like a variety in flavor or sweeter drinks, it has become very popular to use different flavors in a latte. 

When it comes to flavoring your latte the options are endless. You can use a variety of coffee flavored syrups to add a new twist to the traditional latte flavor. Popular flavors for lattes include:

  • Vanilla
  • Hazelnut
  • White Mocha
  • Caramel
  • Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon
  • Irish Cream
  • Coconut
  • Butterscotch 

Additionally, you can opt to add your sweetener of choice or to top the milk foam with a variety of toppings such as:

  • Stevia
  • Agave Syrup
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Chocolate Flakes
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Caramel Syrup 
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sugar
  • Coarse Salt

If you opt to add a sweetener to your latte, we recommend you add it to your milk of choice prior to heating it up. 

When  making a latte, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to the flavor combinations you can create. Below we share a few of our favorite flavored latte recipes to get you started:

Cinnamon Sugar Latte

For a decadent and comforting treat, look no further. This delicious Cinnamon Sugar Latte is like drinking comfort in a cup! 

To make this delicious treat you will need the following ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top (you can mix equal parts cinnamon and sugar)

Cinnamon Sugar Latte Recipe

1. Pour the milk into a small microwave safe bowl, add the light brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. Heat the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
3. Vigorously whisk the milk for 1 minute or until frothy.
4. Carefully pour your brewed coffee or espresso into a mug.
5. Pour the warm milk into the coffee.
6. Spoon out any of the remaining foam and place it on top of the coffee.
7. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar on top. 
8. Serve warm and enjoy every sip!

Salted Caramel Latte 

This sweet and salty treat will have your taste buds saying thank you! This drink is not only decadent but also very easy to make.

To make this delicious treat in a cup, you will need the following ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce (store bought caramel sauce will work great)
  • Pinch of coarse salt

Salted Caramel Latte Recipe

1. Pour the milk into a small microwave safe bowl and then add the caramel sauce.
2. Heat the milk up in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
3. Vigorously whisk the milk for 30 seconds or until frothy.
4. Carefully pour the brewed coffee or espresso into a mug.
5. Pour the warm milk into the coffee.
6. Spoon out any remaining foam and place on top of the coffee.
7. Sprinkle the top of the latte with coarse salt.
8. Serve warm and enjoy this sweet and salty treat!

All About the Espresso 

Espresso beans used to make a hot cup of espresso.
Espresso is coffee that is brewed under steam pressure, forcing the water through the coffee grounds. 

The foundation of the latte is good espresso. Espresso is known for its rich and intense flavor, and is also typically higher in caffeine than traditionally brewed coffee. This dark, oily brew is the perfect complement to the creamy milk you will use to create your latte.

Espresso Beans

The biggest success factor in brewing a great tasting latte is using high quality espresso beans. When it comes to brewing espresso, the bean truly is the most important part!

Interestingly, the difference between espresso and coffee beans has more to do with the brewing method used, not the beans themselves. 

Espresso beans, like all types of coffee beans, are at their best when fresh.

We recommend grinding your espresso beans very finely right before brewing to ensure the freshest cup possible. Ordinary coffee beans don’t need as fine a grind, and the coffee produced is much less concentrated than espresso as a result. 

Espresso beans complement the espresso brewing process. Typically espresso beans are medium to dark roast beans with a full body and lower acidity. 

There is a wide variety of espresso beans available for purchase. We have taken the guesswork out of selecting an espresso bean by providing our list of top 3 espresso bean:

1. Lavazza Super Crema
2. Kicking Horse Coffee, Whole Bean Cliff Hanger Espresso
3. Café de Loja Medium/Dark Roast Single Origin

Brewing Espresso 

Brewing technology today makes brewing lattes right in the comfort of your own home very easy. For novice coffee brewers, lattes and cappuccinos are typically the easier drinks to master. 

Are you wanting a coffee shop quality latte without having to complete all the steps a barista would? If so, you are in luck because there are a lot of brewing options on the market today that can create a perfect latte in just minutes:

Nespresso Machines

Nespresso Machine ready to brew a cup of espresso.
Nespresso is the leader in one touch espresso machines.

All Nespresso models brew delicious espresso milk drinks at the touch of a button, lattes included!

One of our favorite models is the Nespresso Lattissima Plus. This innovative, compact machine allows you to create high quality drinks using Nespresso capsules at the push of a button. 

The largest selling point for the Lattissima Plus is that creating any milk based drink is almost completely automated. This means minimal clean up, no measuring and no need for an extensive set of tools to brew all of your favorite drinks. 

The Lattissima provides you with a barista quality drink without having to expend a barista sized effort. This is a win-win in our book!

Automatic Espresso Machines

Automatic espresso machine brewing hot espresso.
The automatic espresso machine takes away the complex process of making espresso using traditional methods.

Automatic Espresso Machines definitely are a splurge, but a very worthy one. Although Automatic Espresso Machines are an investment, it is one that will pay you back in dividends when you pick the right one for your espresso drinking needs. 

At a Glance: Our Top 4 Picks for Automatic Espresso Machines

1. Philips 3200 Fully Automatic Espresso Machine (Best Overall)
2. De’Longhi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso (Great Value)
3. Breville Fully Automatic Espresso Machine (Best Commercial Model)
4. Breville Inissia Espresso Machine (Best on a Budget)

Budget Friendly Espresso Machines

Espresso machines can be very costly, however, there are also many budget friendly espresso brewing options available on the market today. 

Budget friendly espresso machines will not have all the bells and whistles of an expensive Automatic Espresso machine, but will still have the ability to brew you a decent cup of espresso. 

At a Glance: Our Top 3 Budget Friendly Espresso Machines

1. Nespresso Essenza Mini (Top Pick)
2. Yabano Espresso Machine (Budget Pick)
3. Nespresso Inissia (High End Pick)

Let’s Have A-Latte Fun

Lattes are not only delicious they can be fun too! Lattes are also the drink of choice for a popular trend known as “latte art”. Latte art has exploded on the social media scene, capturing pictures of some of the most beautiful drinks in the world!

Latte art is created by pouring microfoam into a shot of espresso resulting in a design or pattern on the surface of the latte. The result is often a drink so attractive it qualifies as art.

Latte art has become so popular that well known espresso brands such as Nespresso have even introduced the Creatista Machine so you can easily create instagram worthy latte art at home.  

Cozy’s Bottom Line

The popular latte is delicious and easy to make, making it a fan favorite of coffee lovers worldwide. Creating lattes at home is a budget friendly way to enjoy your favorite drink without having to incur the expense of buying your drinks at a coffee shop.

To brew a latte at home you will need high quality beans, a brewing method and your favorite milk. You can even be creative with your latte by adding different syrups, sweeteners and toppings to your drink.

All good lattes begin with espresso.  There are many methods and brewing machines that can provide you with the perfect, oily espresso in your cup. Deciding on which brewing method is best for you is dependent on many factors including your budget and how frequently you will be brewing espresso .

Whichever method you choose to create a delicious latte at home, we know this foamy and delicious drink will never disappoint! Cheers!

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