How To Make An Iced Latte

How To Make An Iced Latte

Make a delicious iced latte at home to enjoy on a hot day or whenever you fancy. Discover our easy iced latte recipe from our expert barista.

Iced Latte Key Ingredients:

Equipment needed:

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

Iced Latte Jargon Explained

  • Tamped - To precisely press your espresso grounds in the basket of your coffee machine so they’re even. Even extraction is key to a tasty espresso.
  • Aerate – Increasing the volume of milk by adding air to it in the form of micro-bubbles. It helps create a silky and smooth milk to add to your iced latte.
  • Steaming – Steaming the milk for the aeration process using your coffee machine’s steam wand.
  • Ristretto - Translated to “restricted” in Italian. It means the amount of water that flows through the coffee is restricted to make a shorter and stronger espresso.
  • Dispense time - The time it takes from pushing the button to brew on your coffee machine for the coffee to be dispensed. Different coffees have optimum dispense times for certain recipes.

How To Make An Iced Latte At Home

Iced Latte Recipe Step-By-Step Method:

  • Step 1: Get things going

    Preheat your espresso machine and get it ready to go.

  • Step 2: Clean and dry

    Before you start, make sure everything on your machine is clean, hot, dry and ready to work. Always check the shower screen, the espresso basket and the spouts of your machine’s handles.

  • Step 3: Coffee in the basket

    Get your espresso coffee ready then grind or dose it into the espresso basket. Make sure it’s evenly distributed and ready to be tamped down. For a single shot of espresso, you’ll need 7-10g of coffee in a single shot basket. Double your measurements and basket for a double shot of espresso. Check all your equipment so you don’t under or over-fill the basket.

  • Step 4: Tamp down

    Use a well-fitting tamping device to tamp down on the coffee in the basket. Make sure you press down evenly on as much of the coffee bed’s surface as you can. For optimum brewing, press down on the coffee firmly, or with anything that’s around 5kg or more.

  • Step 5: Brew that coffee

    Brew your espresso shot using your machine. It’s important to freshly grind your coffee at a grind texture that allows a dispense time to balance its acidity, sweetness and bitterness. Look online for the ideal dispense time for a latte with the coffee you’re using. You’ll see a lot of recipes call for a dispense time of around 25-30 seconds.

  • Step 6: Aerate your milk

    Steam your Arla Barista milk gently to suit the low level of aeration required for a cold foam iced latte - around one-quarter growth in volume. For steaming, choose a position that allows milk to spin a little inside the jug. The steam wand should be more than 2cm deep into the milk. After turning on the steam arm, listen for a gentle chirping noise - this lets you know when the milk is being properly steamed.

  • Step 7: Now you’ve got your cold foam

    Stop steaming before the milk jug feels warm to the touch. This is the trick to keeping it in the category of ‘cold foam’ so you don’t melt too much of the ice in the final drink. The quicker you aerate the milk to that small growth in volume, the quicker you can stop heating the milk.

  • Step 8: Get cleaning

    Don’t delay in cleaning the steam wand after you’ve used it as the milk can dry quickly. Give it a wipe with a damp cloth initially before cleaning properly after you’ve made your drink.

  • Step 9: Polish your milk

    Swirl and tap your milk on the counter. This will polish it and burst any larger bubbles that may have formed.

  • Step 10: Pour the milk over ice

    Pour your cold foamed milk over the ice in your glass or mug.

  • Step 11: Add the espresso

    Finally, add the brewed liquid espresso over the mixture and watch it descend into the cold foamed milk. Giving it a little stir can help at this stage if it is not mixing enough for your tastes.

  • Step 12: Time to taste

    Enjoy your perfectly made iced latte!

Expert Tips For Your Iced Latte

You’ll find iced lattes made differently from coffee shops to cafes, but here are our professional tips for getting a perfect pour at home.

Cold Foam Iced Latte

For an iced latte with cold foam, we recommend adding a small amount of micro-foam with tiny bubbles introduced into the cold milk, targeting an aeration of only 20-25% so to not over-thicken the milk. This will be poured over ice and may not mix well if it is heavily thickened.

Ice Quantity

In quantities of ice, you need to account for some ice melting as you pour espresso and milk onto it. If you use too much ice you will dilute the final drink, so you don’t need to fill up your glass completely. Try a glass with around two-thirds of ice and taste to see whether your drink feels too watered down or not in the end. If it’s too dilute, you can use less ice next time or increase the intensity of the coffee another way. It can take some trial and error to settle on your preferred recipe, but that’s the beauty of having the option at home - fully customising your drinking experience in a way you won’t get at a coffee shop.

Iced Latte Cup Size

If you have seen our latte blog post or how-to, you’ll note that the caffe latte was once a small beverage of 150-240ml. Iced lattes had no such standard and end up being much larger due to ice occupying a significant amount of space in the cup. However, we’d advise starting with the same coffee and milk quantities as a hot latte, but simply pouring those over ice in the below order: cold foamed milk poured over ice first, liquid espresso added second to allow beautiful marbling to occur in the glass.

Iced Latte FAQs

What is an iced latte?

An iced latte is a cold version of the traditional latte. It’s made up of ice, espresso and cold milk. It’s brewed by pouring frothed milk over ice and then finished with a shot (or double shot) of espresso.

What's the difference between an iced latte and a regular iced coffee?

With an iced coffee, you can use any type of brewed coffee. The freshly brewed hot coffee is poured over ice and served with or without milk. For an authentic iced latte, you can only use a shot or double shot of espresso (not regular coffee). The espresso is added last, once you’ve poured the frothed milk over the ice.

What is the best milk for iced lattes?

For a wonderful iced latte at home, we recommend Arla Barista. It contains the optimal ratio of fat and protein to create velvety smooth cold foam for your iced latte.