Coffee in the morning is a worldwide tradition. Nothing beats the feeling of nice, crisp morning air followed by a hot cup of the world’s most popular beverage. To some, the enjoyment is specifically because the coffee is hot — it’s what wakes them up, invigorates them. During the heat of the summer, the boiling temperature of this morning beverage can be a deterrent, however. Fortunately, at some point in history, coffee lovers thought to make their coffee cold. The world was forever changed that day, and coffee shops have profited from cold coffee goodness ever since. But what if you want one of those drinks at home? We’re here to help! By following this step-by-step guide, you can make a wonderfully delicious drink without having to leave your kitchen.
Before we jump into making a delicious iced latte, let’s learn a little bit about the drink itself. Having decent foundational knowledge will help you tinker with the recipe and make lattes that are absolutely perfect.
A latte is simply coffee and milk. Known as a cafe latte in Italy, where it was originally made, it directly translates to milk coffee. Big companies have shortened the name to simply latte. While most shops you go to will make a latte with espresso, the name suggests that you can use any type of coffee or coffee extraction. Lattes are also typically prepared with steamed milk for a couple of reasons. One is for what is called mouthfeel. The steamed milk adds a creamy texture to the drink when properly steamed. It also stretches the milk, releasing sugar enzymes and effectively sweetening the drink. For an iced drink, we won’t be steaming the milk because the iced latte has a feel all its own. It’s also a bit of a health risk, as steamed milk could grow dangerous bacteria when introduced to the ice.
Now that we know all this, we can see that the iced latte is a pretty simple drink. The most important part is the coffee itself, as everything else is added after the coffee is brewed. So, let’s make an iced latte!
This is a fairly easy project, so we’ll only need:
Whether you want to use strong coffee or espresso is up to you. We prefer espresso, as the notes really shine through when added with milk. We recommend not using flavored coffee. If you want to make a flavored drink, you can add syrup at the end.
If you need to heat up water because you are brewing your coffee manually, don’t boil it. The water should be between 195 and 205 degrees. Boiling water will burn the coffee, taking away the delicacy of the drink.
Whatever extraction or brew method you choose, you should brew the coffee in a receptacle that has been preheated as close to the temperature of the coffee as possible. This is to avoid shocking the coffee, which causes a bit of a stale flavor.
It is time to start constructing! Pour your espresso into the bottom of the cup you’re using for your drink.
Are you the type who wants ice all the way to the top, or do you prefer just a few cubes? This step is totally up to you!
We recommend eight to 10 ounces of milk, but you can put in as much or as little as you’d like. The reason we prefer this specific amount is because we think that it is the perfect ratio of coffee to milk. If you want to make a larger drink and maintain the ratio of coffee to milk, you can always add more coffee!
Some coffee shops have taken to making a deconstructed iced latte, which in our opinion, is just an aesthetic choice, albeit a good one. Instead of pouring the coffee into the drink first, you do it last and enjoy the espresso letting gravity take over, cascading through the milk.
See also: our guide on making Piccolo coffee at home.