Especially if you love a mild-flavored and airy espresso-based drink, no better way to start a day than with a warming cup of latte. Topped with frothed milk, latte is a great combination of foam plus milk to espresso. It’s an aromatic but smoothly tasting coffee to start the day. Now, you might be thinking how to make a latte with an espresso machine. Here’s the guide for you.
It can be expensive to visit the coffee shop and buy your daily dose of latte. So, if you want a practical solution to that, learn how to make your Instagram-worthy latte at home. The process is quite easy! Don’t worry whether you have a barista experience or none. Here are what you need –
- Espresso machine: Having a machine is better than making a latte without it because it makes the process much easier. Get one with a steam wand that works to steam milk to the correct temperature. You can also brew strong coffee. However, you cannot expect to get the same flavor. If you don’t have one yet, you can refer here for espresso makers recommended by baristas and latte lovers.
- Coffee beans: They are the main ingredients of a latte. Without it, your latte will just be milk. Either you can buy a pre-ground coffee or grind your beans if you have a grinder. Alternatively, you can also visit a local coffee store that roasts coffee beans, which are fresher and better than pre-ground beans are. For the roasting level, medium-roasted coffee beans can add a unique flavor to your latte, while enriching the coffee with crema. But then, you might also want dark-roasted beans that are also excellent lattes.
- Milk: For it, you also have different choices. Whether soy milk, semi-skimmed milk or skimmed milk, they’re fine. But then, you might want to opt for whole milk that can boost the flavor and make the espresso-based drink creamier and richer.
- Cup: Use a latte glass typically measuring 8 ounces or 24 ml. This size is ideal to measure the milk amount for pouring.
*Optional syrups and toppings: Some people want flavored syrups, chocolate, and cinnamon for their coffee. It is up to you!
Grind the beans (Skip this step if you’re using pre-ground coffee beans)
The very first step in creating a latte at home is to grind your coffee beans so that you can make a great espresso shot. However, you must ensure the quality of the beans. Some people refer to the size of the table salt. It is the size that they use to grind the coffee beans to the ideal espresso size.
If you’ve just began with coffee grinding, you can start with the regular grinding method. And as you progress, you can try various coffee grinds to achieve what you’re expecting.
- Stop the grinding process once you noticed that the grounds are clustering together.
- Use a burr grinder if you could for a fresher espresso shot. It will give you better control of the espresso texture – whether coarse or fine.
Steam the milk
For a cup of latte, you need six ounces of milk for an ounce of expresso. Keep this ratio also when making a bigger serving. One of the easiest ways to make a latte foam is using nonfat milk. It applies especially for beginners. But then, go for whole milk with fat for a smoother and richer latte flavor. While it can be hard to make a foam with whole milk, it’s the best to use for a latte.
- Achieve the right temperature for milk. It shouldn’t be higher than 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher than this will burn the milk.
- Let the steam wand do its work of making circular movements. You can adjust the pitcher’s angle, allowing the steam wand to rotate the pitcher and make a smooth cream.
- Check that the wand’s tip is below the milk’s topmost surface. Notice the micro-foam bubbles forming. When done, set the milk aside and let the foam go up. It is an important step to layer your latte later.
Measure the coffee and prepare the shot
The espresso has a precise coffee amount, and it can be based on your preference. In coffee shops, however, they use two shots of espresso.
A shot of espresso usually contains between 18 and 21 grams of coffee. Get your portafilter and then use a kitchen scale to measure the coffee.
Once tamping is done, you can secure your portafilter. Start pressing the button of the machine for brewing. Typically, a shot brews in less than a minute, but it also depends on the type of machined used.
- Preheat the cup first to keep the espresso shot from getting cold while you’re steaming and frothing milk. Quality machines are with a cup warmer. For some without it on their machine, they just fill their cup with hot water and allow it to sit while they’re making their shot of espresso.
Start pouring the froth
You can control the foam with a spoon. You need to do it to prevent the foam from going into your drink. For this reason, you should wait until you are about 1/4 in. Be careful and do it slowly.
Pro tip for a latte art
- Start pouring in the center of the espresso so that you can push your design down towards the cup’s edge. Do not start too close to the sides. It will break the crema with milk shooting around the edges.
If you simply cannot start your day without latte or any other espresso-based drink, you’ll find it useful to learn how to create your favorite drinks at home. It does not just give you the most aromatic coffee drinks anytime but also moneysaving in the end. It also lets you explore your creative side to make latte arts for that matter.
There you have the information you need on making a latte with an espresso machine. Do you think we missed something here?
We’re hoping this guide helps you create that perfect cup of latte anytime at home. Stay tuned with us for more coffee tips and guides!