Caffè Latte is a popular espresso-based beverage that originated in Italy. It consists of a shot of espresso combined with steamed milk, creating a creamy and smooth texture. The term “latte” itself means milk in Italian, so the drink is aptly named for its milkiness. Typically, a caffè latte is served in a large cup or glass, allowing for a generous portion of milk to accompany the espresso. Sometimes, a small amount of foam is added on top for an extra touch. Caffè Latte is cherished for its balanced flavor profile, combining the richness of espresso with the velvety texture of steamed milk, making it a favorite choice for coffee enthusiasts worldwide.
Espresso: 1 shot (about 1 ounce or 30 milliliters)
Milk: 8 ounces (about 240 milliliters)
Optional: Syrup or sweetener of your choice (vanilla, caramel, simple syrup, etc.)
Steam wand or milk frother
Coffee mug or latte glass
- Prepare the Espresso:
- Grind fresh coffee beans to a fine consistency.
- Tamp the coffee grounds in the portafilter firmly and evenly.
- Lock the portafilter into the espresso machine.
- Start the espresso machine and brew a single shot of espresso directly into your coffee mug or latte glass.
- Steam the Milk:
- Pour cold milk into a steaming pitcher, ideally filling it to just below the spout.
- Place the steam wand tip just below the milk surface and start frothing.
- As the milk begins to froth, lower the pitcher to keep the steam wand tip just below the milk surface. This creates a swirling vortex in the milk.
- Continue steaming until the milk has nearly doubled in volume and has reached a temperature between 150°F to 155°F (65°C to 68°C). The milk should appear glossy with a creamy texture (microfoam), not large bubbles.
- Combine and Serve:
- If using syrup or sweetener, add it to the espresso before adding the milk.
- Pour the steamed milk into the mug with the espresso, holding back the foam with a spoon. Begin by pouring slowly and then increase the pour to allow the foam to top the drink.
- If desired, spoon the remaining foam on top of the latte.
- Serve immediately and enjoy your fresh Caffè Latte!
- Create latte art by carefully pouring the steamed milk into the espresso in a way that designs are formed on the latte’s surface.
- Top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon for an extra touch, if you like.
Enjoy your homemade Caffè Latte!