Ember Mug in white | Latte graphic with cream background..

How to Make the Perfect Latte at Home

August 13, 2020

It’s easy to fall in love with the silky smooth texture and indulgent taste of a well-crafted latte. Creating the perfect latte at home may seem out of reach, but with some basic equipment and a little practice, achieving café-quality lattes at home is absolutely possible. Our classic latte recipe shows you how.

No espresso? Be sure to read our tips at the bottom for making lattes at home without an espresso machine.

What You'll Need: Latte Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) finely ground espresso beans
  • 8 ounces of milk
  • Espresso machine
  • Milk steaming wand or other milk frothing device
  • Milk steaming pitcher
  • Coffee grinder (optional)
  • Kitchen scale (optional)
  • Ember Mug²

Directions: How to Make a Latte

  1. Pull 2 espresso shots (2 ounces) directly into your Ember Mug²
  2. Steam and froth milk
  • Pour milk of choice into steaming pitcher
  • Submerge steaming wand just under the surface of the milk. Keep wand submerged and angled to the side of the pitcher in order to create a vortex. This will help evenly texture the milk and prevent large bubbles
  • Steam milk to about 140℉ (usually when pitcher begins to feel slightly too hot to the touch comfortably but not burning)
  1. Tap pitcher on counter to break up any bubbles and swirl milk in pitcher
  2. Pour milk over espresso shots in your Ember Mug²
  3. Serve at 135°F

Want to take your coffee knowledge a bit deeper?

What is a latte?

Espresso and steamed milk: it sounds simple until you learn that several other drinks – like cappuccinos, flat whites, and cortados – have the exact same ingredients. So what makes a latte a latte and not, say, a cappuccino?

Lattes have more milk than other espresso-based drinks, usually a ratio of 1:4 or more. While a cappuccino may only have 4 oz of milk, a latte usually has 8-12 oz. The texture of the milk is another distinguishing factor. While a cappuccino has a thick layer of airy foam, a latte is topped with only a thin layer of foam and consists mostly of steamed milk.

How to make a latte without an espresso machine?

Yes and no. Technically, a latte includes espresso, but brewing a few ounces of extra strong coffee can create a similar, still enjoyable drink. If you have an Aeropress or Moka Pot, these coffee makers are ideal for making pseudo-espresso. Use about 18g of finely ground beans to create 4 oz of very strong coffee. Resist the temptation to use only 2 oz of water as you would for a true espresso shot. Without the high-pressure brewing of an espresso machine, you’ll need the full 4 oz to properly extract the flavor from the beans and avoid the weak, sour taste of under extracted coffee.

Can you froth milk without a steaming wand?

If you don’t have an espresso machine or if your espresso machine doesn’t have a steaming wand, you can achieve similar results by heating your milk on the stove and using a battery-powered milk frother. Follow a similar technique of submerging and angling the frother to create a vortex and achieve the smoothest froth possible. The texture will likely be more bubbly and less silky than steamed milk but still enjoyable.

Other techniques include frothing warm milk in a french press, a blender, or with a handheld mixer.

We recommend savoring every last sip at the perfect 135℉ in your Ember Mug².

Try out Ember's favorite Latte recipes!

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