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How to Make a Vanilla Latte at Home

Many of us have a bit of a sweet tooth. Why not mix that sweet tooth with your love of coffee? We happen to love vanilla lattes, especially making them at home, and we love helping others do the same! Making a vanilla latte is simple. All you need are a few common kitchen items and the desire for sweet, sweet coffee.

Keep reading for our step-by-step guide to making a vanilla latte. You’ll be enjoying your sweet, creamy drink before you know it!

Things We’ll Need

vanilla things needed

For this project, we will need:

  • Something to heat up our water
  • Something to make our espresso or strong coffee (Moka pot, espresso maker, or pour-over)
  • A small saucepan or microwave-safe jar
  • 20-22 grams of coffee beans of your choice (for espresso, we recommend a dark roast, or even something labeled an espresso roast; we highly recommend steering clear of flavored coffees for this drink)
  • Milk (about 10 ounces)
  • Vanilla syrup
  • A whisk

Now that we have everything we need, it’s time to put the whole thing together. We are going to walk you through the process, step by step, with instructions on how to change the recipe or process as needed. Let’s get started!

Steps for Making a Vanilla Latte

1. Grind the coffee.

The first thing we must do is grind our coffee. Since we are going to use a shot of espresso, we need to grind it as fine as possible because we prefer our shot extra strong. Because of the finer grind, the water will really have to work to get the coffee through and in the process, extract more of the bean.

If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can substitute strong coffee. You can use any brewing method, but try using more coffee and less water to produce a concentrated, espresso-like cup.

2. Start heating the milk.

To “steam” our milk, we will start by putting it in a small saucepan and heating it on low to medium heat so as not to burn the milk. This will also allow us to prepare our coffee and have the two be ready at the same time, making for the freshest drink possible.

Alternatively, put half the amount of milk you wish to “froth” in a microwavable jar with a lid, and shake it up. It should double in volume. Once you’ve done this, microwave your milk for 30-45 seconds, and you’ll have fresh frothed milk!

vanilla milk

3. Prepare your espresso or strong coffee.

Set up your Moka pot, espresso maker, or pour-over. You’ll want to brew 1.5 to 2 ounces of coffee per latte.

vanilla espresso

4. Prepare your vanilla syrup.

Pour the desired amount of vanilla syrup into the receptacle that will also hold your shot of espresso. We recommend using between ½ ounce to 1 ounce, depending on how sweet you want your drink to be.

vanilla syrup

5. Whisk the milk.

Once your milk is hot (for a latte, we recommend between 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit, as milk burns at 180 degrees), whisk it to produce froth. You can either do this with a traditional whisking motion or by placing it between your hands and rolling it back and forth. Whisk until your milk doubles in size.

vanilla frothed milk

6. Pour your shot over the vanilla.

Feel free to marvel at how beautiful the espresso looks as it mixes with the syrups!

vanilla frothed milk

7. Put it all together.

Pour the milk over the shot and voilà!

You now have yourself a lovely and delicious vanilla latte right in the comfort of your own home. You also have the fundamental knowledge of how to make this coffee drink any time you want. Think of how many other wonderful drinks you could make! Speaking of which …

Let’s say that it’s really hot out …

You want a latte, but it’s over 100 degrees outside, so you don’t feel like drinking something that is also hot. You’re in luck, because vanilla lattes are equally good iced, and they’re even easier to make. Here’s how to do it:

The first step is the easiest. Just fill a glass of your choosing with ice. Add a shot of espresso or a couple of ounces of strong coffee.

iced vanilla shots

Then pour in the vanilla syrup and stir.

iced vanilla finished

Finally, add (unheated) milk and enjoy your refreshing coffee drink!

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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