Traditionally, a latte is a mixture of two things: espresso and hot milk. A caramel latte, which adds caramel syrup, can be a delicious treat. You can buy these decadent drinks at your local coffee shop, but if you’d rather skip the line, you can easily make them at home.
So, how do we make a caramel latte? Follow this easy five-step guide and you’ll find yourself with a wonderful drink that you won’t need to leave home for.
As a latte is a simple drink, we don’t need much. Some of the things on this list are interchangeable for other items, and we’ll let you know about proper substitutes. For this project, we will need:
Once you have gathered your ingredients, we can begin the process. The excitement is brewing (yes, that’s a coffee pun)!
First, we will need to prepare the coffee. If you are grinding for espresso, you will want to grind your coffee very finely. We want to have as strong of a coffee drink as possible to help counteract the sweetness of the caramel. We recommend 20-22 grams of coffee beans, preferably of an espresso roast.
If you are using a brewing method other than espresso, we recommend adding more coffee than usual to your brew and a bit less water. This will mimic the concentrated flavor of espresso and still make a wonderful drink.
We want to have the water ready when it is time to make the espresso, so we will start heating it up now. How much you use is up to you, but for the strongest cup possible, we recommend using a smaller amount of water.
If you are using a different form of brew, such as an espresso machine or a drip coffee maker, you can ignore this step.
Heat your milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or on the stovetop until just below boiling. You want the milk to be between 150 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
To produce that wonderfully frothed milk that you get at a coffee shop, you can use a milk frother, whisk, or jar. Froth your milk until the volume doubles and you have a good amount of fine foam.
RELATED READ: Nine Ways to Froth Milk at Home
Pour the desired amount of caramel syrup into your latte glass. As for the amount of syrup, we recommend a ½ to 1 ounce.
Pull a shot of espresso into the cup or add two ounces of strong coffee. We used a Wacaco Minipresso (read the full review here), but you can use any espresso maker or coffee brewing method.
Now we will meld the two fruits of our labor into one. Pour the milk into your cup, holding the foam back so it stays on top. Your coffee should look bubbly with a caramel outer ring and a white monk’s head in the middle. Try your hand at latte art or top with whipped cream, caramel sauce, or espresso powder.
To make this drink cold instead of hot, repeat all the steps above, but don’t heat up the milk. Pour your coffee and syrup mixture over ice, and top with cool foamed milk. You now have your favorite winter drink adapted for summer. Enjoy!
If you don’t feel like fussing with shots every time you make an iced espresso drink, you can make a concentrated cold brew. This is where you steep coarsely ground beans for up to 24 hours, in big batches. While it isn’t technically espresso (espresso is an extraction method where water is pushed through coffee), it is very strong and tastes a bit like espresso if it were brewed cold.
RELATED READ: What’s our favorite cold brew maker?