Hot coffee is a worldwide tradition. In fall and winter, nothing beats the feeling of nice, crisp morning air followed by a hot cup of the world’s most popular beverage. But what about summer? Enter: the iced latte. All the bold espresso and smooth milk you love chilled to a refreshing temperature.
Even better, you don’t have to wait in line or pay coffee shop prices to get one! By following this step-by-step guide, you can make a wonderfully delicious drink without having to leave your kitchen.
RELATED READ: What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
A Little Lesson on Lattes
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 perfect lattes.
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 Known as a cafe latte in Italy, where it was originally made, it directly translates to milk coffee.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: mouthfeel and flavor. 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 could also be a bit of a health risk, as there’s a small risk that steamed milk could grow unhealthy 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!
What You Need
This is a fairly easy project, so we’ll only need:
- Something to brew our strong coffee/espresso
- Milk of your choosing
- Ice cubes
- A cup
1. Prepare your coffee to be brewed.
Whether you want to use strong coffee or espresso is up to you. We prefer espresso, as the notes shine through when combined 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 water because you are brewing your coffee manually, heat it to just below boiling or let it sit for a minute after boiling. The water should be between 195 and 205 degrees. Boiling water will burn the coffee, taking away the delicacy of the drink.
2. Brew your coffee.
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.
3. Transfer your coffee to your cup.
It is time to start constructing! Pour your espresso into the bottom of the cup you’re using for your drink.
4. Put in the desired amount of ice.
Are you the type who wants ice to the top, or do you prefer just a few cubes? This step is totally up to you!
5. Pour your milk.
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!
The Deconstructed Iced Latte
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.
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