If you have ever been to any coffee shop, cafe, or even restaurant, you would have definitely heard of the term “latte”. It is the name of one of the best coffee drinks out there and is extremely popular among coffee aficionados. Today, we will be explaining to you what exactly a cafe latte is and how exactly you can make them at home.
What Is A Latte?
A latte is a coffee – based beverage that consists of steamed milk, milk foam, and espresso. Along with the cappuccino, it is one of the most iconic coffee drinks in the world. Lattes are usually made with a ratio of ⅓ espresso, ⅔ steamed milk, and a thin layer of microfoam on top.
Differences Between A Latte And A Cappuccino
A lot of people often get lattes and cappuccinos mixed up. If you are one of those people, don’t worry! They are both very similar drinks so it is natural that many end up confusing them. Both latte and cappuccino have espresso and milk as their main components. However, there are subtle differences between the two.
Lattes are much more velvety and creamier than cappuccinos since they have a higher milk to espresso ratio. This is also why they have a much softer taste. On the other hand, the cappuccino has a much bolder flavour due to the more equal composition of milk and espresso. Cappuccinos are also usually served with light chocolate shavings / dust on top.
Ingredients Needed For Making A Delicious Latte
- 2 shots of espresso (around 60 ml)
- ½ cup of fresh milk
Best Milk For Lattes
Technically, you can use any milk for your latte. But the best milk of the lot is definitely whole milk. The main reason for this is that whole milk has a very high fat content. Higher milk fat means your latte will have a richer and creamier texture.
If you are vegan, you can also opt for one of the many plant – based milk alternatives. The best of these vegan milk alternatives is oat milk. Oat milk tastes delicious, has a great texture, and froths extremely well (at least when compared to other plant – based milk).
Whatever milk you choose, just make sure to always use the freshest milk possible!
Steps To Make The Perfect Latte
Step 1: Making Your Espresso
To make your latte, the first step would be to brew a cup of espresso. There are several methods for brewing espresso including using an espresso machine, French Press, Moka Pot, AeroPress, etc.
We also recommend you always use high quality Arabica coffee to create the best and richest espresso.
Step 2: Steaming Or Frothing Your Milk
The next step would be to steam your milk. The best way to steam milk is by using a steam wand on an espresso machine, which can be done by following these steps:
- Pour your milk into the pitcher
- Insert the wand into the pitcher until the milk doubles in size
- Hold the wand at an angle near the side of the pitcher. This is done to form a spiral vortex, which in turn, creates microfoam bubbles.
- Turn on the steamer and steam until it reaches 65 degrees Celsius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have access to an espresso machine or steam wand, you can also choose to froth your milk. You can do this by following these steps:
- Pour milk into a saucepan
- Place the saucepan over the stove and heat until it reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 degrees Celsius.
- Use a handheld milk frother, whisk, or French Press to froth the heated milk
Step 3: Put Everything Together
Once the espresso and milk are done, you can simply put them together. Pour the espresso into a mug or latte glass, before then carefully pouring the steamed / frothed milk on top. Through practice, you can even do latte art and create beautiful drawings during this milk pouring process.