How To Make A Latte

How To Make A Latte

Make a pro-level latte at home with our simple caffe latte recipe. Follow our expert barista tips for that coffee shop taste anytime.

Caffe Latte Key Ingredients:

Equipment needed:

  • Coffee machine
  • Milk jug
  • Thermometer
  • Mug
  • Spoon or stirrer

Caffe Latte Jargon Explained

  • Tamped - Pressing and evening out your espresso grounds in the basket of your coffee machine. Tamping them down makes them as even as possible to help with extraction and achieving a tasty espresso.
  • Aerate – Increasing the volume of your milk by adding tiny micro-bubbles. Aeration helps create a silky and fluid milk to add to your latte.
  • Steaming – Using steam to aerate and heat the milk to make it frothy.
  • Ristretto - This translates to “restricted” in Italian. When you restrict the amount of water that flows through the coffee you make a stronger espresso.
  • Dispense time - The time it takes your espresso machine to brew and dispense coffee. Dispense time affects the flavour of your brew. The optimal dispense time depends on the coffee you’re using and the chosen recipe.

How To Make A Latte At Home

Latte Recipe Step-By-Step Method:

  • Step 1: Get your espresso machine ready

    Switch on your espresso machine so it can preheat.

  • Step 2: Check it’s in working order

    Ensure parts such as the shower screen, the espresso basket and the spouts of your machine’s handles are clean, hot and dry before you begin.

  • Step 3: Measure your coffee in the espresso basket

    Grind or dose your espresso coffee into the espresso basket and evenly distribute it before tamping. A single shot of espresso would use 7-10g of coffee in a single shot basket. A double shot of espresso would use 14-20g of coffee in a double shot basket. Check the instructions of your coffee machine to see if you’re using the right amount for your equipment.

  • Step 4: Tamp the coffee down

    Tamp down on the coffee with a well-fitting tamping device for the basket you’re using. It’s important to press down firmly and evenly across the coffee bed’s surface area.

  • Step 5: Brew your espresso shot

    Press the relevant buttons to brew your espresso shot. Freshly grinding coffee at a grind texture that balances the coffee’s acidity, sweetness and bitterness is key. Coffee companies often have an ideal dispense time listed online for espresso recipes with particular blends, but generally dispensing time should be 25-30 seconds from when you push the button on your machine.

  • Step 6: Aerate your Arla Barista milk

    For caffe latte preparation, we recommend growing the milk by one-third of its volume through the steaming process. Your priority first of all when steaming milk is to aerate the milk to the required growth for the drink.

    Hold the jug in a position that allows the milk to form a whirlpool, with the steam wand no more than 2cm deep. The noise the milk makes as you steam will tell you if it’s working - a gentle chirping is what you’re after. If it’s making a loud screeching sound, the tiny bubbles you need may not have formed properly and you might need to try again. You can also try holding the steam wand a little deeper in the milk. It can take practice to get it right, but you’ll get there. The milk should be at 60-65C to finish the steaming process.

  • Step 7: A quick clean

    Once the milk is aerated, give the steam wand of your espresso machine a wipe with a damp cloth to remove any milk residue.

  • Step 8: Polish your milk

    Polishing the milk simply means taking out the larger bubbles for a smooth, velvety texture. Swirl and tap the jug bottom gently on the counter to even things out.

  • Step 9: Pour your milk

    As soon as it’s ready, pour your milk into your hot espresso.

  • Step 10: Time for latte art

    If you want to get that professional barista finish, have a go at creating some latte art with your steamed milk. This will take finesse and perfect practice to refine your work! Mastering pouring speed, angles and texture creation for each design you try and finishing all of this in a fast, fluid process is a real art.

    Start by watching some videos on YouTube to get the hang of the basic technique, then you can try making your own designs!

Expert Tips For Your Latte

Latte Cup Size

A latte usually has more milk content compared to a flat white or a cappuccino so you can go for a larger cup or glass. A regular UK latte is usually no larger than 320ml, but you can make it according to whatever you want to use at home and your own tastes.

Latte Ristretto Count

The latte can be either single shot or double shot depending on your preference for coffee versus milk flavour and caffeine intake. Try both and see which you prefer! Single shots are often 15-25g and doubles are often 30-50g. Double shot caffe lattes are usually seen in larger cup sizes to avoid the coffee flavour being too weak. Smaller cup sizes often warrant the change to a single shot in the recipe, or else the drink may end up more like a flat white by mistake.

Latte Milk Aeration

The key with latte milk is a low level of aeration to avoid a heavy, deep foam. You want the foam to be fluid and silky in texture with about a third growth in volume. You can try foaming as low as a quarter growth in volume to start with and see what your preference is. Successfully aerating the milk anywhere in those ranges makes for a silky, delicious textured latte like you’d get in a top-quality coffee shop.

Latte Milk Temperature

Aim to get the milk temperature to 60-65C to optimise how long your foam lasts and for textural quality with a gloss and shine. Arla Barista milk will last much longer than many alternative choices, and even at 70C, it holds really well.

If you want to try a latte macchiato, pour your steamed and foamed milk into the cup first and add your brewed espresso on top.

Caffe Latte Ratio

A latte is usually one part coffee to four parts milk to one part milk foam. You can create drinks in this format using volume or weight as a measure and figure out what you like best.

Caffe Latte FAQs

What Is A Caffe Latte?

A caffe latte, also just called a latte, is the big sibling of the cappuccino. With a latte, it’s all about the silky foam. A latte usually has a single or double shot of espresso and steamed milk with a small layer of froth on the top. A latte should be silky and great to look at. It’s usually served in a longer glass to show off its velvety appearance.

What Is In A Latte?

A latte is made up of a single or double shot of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam on top.

What Kind Of Milk Should You Use For A Latte?

We recommend Arla Barista milk as it contains the optimal ratio of fat and protein to create a silky smooth latte.