January 27, 2009

Homemade latte

Since I began touting the wonders of my new moka pot, I have been receiving many questions about various coffee drinks and how to make great espresso drinks at home.

So I thought I'd post a few articles on making coffee drinks at home, and today's will be how to make a basic caffè latte.

Using the French Press to froth milk
Prior to frothing on the left; same milk after frothing on the right

Caffè Latte

Approximate Italian proportions

Pouring the espresso from the moka pot

One part espresso to four parts steamed milk, with no foam on top

  1. What is called a caffè latte in America is essentially a monster-sized cappuccino in Italy.
  2. Steam the milk first and set it aside. Pour the freshly brewed, hot espresso directly into the cup.
  3. Pour the preferred proportion of steamed milk over the espresso.
  4. Add sugar, Splenda®, or even a biscotti, if desired.

I typically heat the milk in our microwave and then froth it using a French press (churning it in the manner of the old fashioned butter churn while I wait for the espresso to brew). I add the heated milk to the espresso in the coffee mug, holding back the froth with a spoon.

Final result

Then I spoon some frothed milk on top of the coffee and milk mixture. I stir the result slightly to give some color texture to the frothed milk. If I'm feeling particularly fancy, I sprinkle a small amount of nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

I typically use 2% milk, which froths quite easily and contributes some flavor to the latte. Skim milk froths more easily but doesn't impart as much flavor to the final drink.


  1. Woah, excellent post, Rich. Pictures and everything. I hope to be able to enjoy it sometime. We'll see what happens.

  2. I can't wait for you to try it. You know, having pictures of my hands in this post makes me realize that I have old man hands. Yikes!! I'm getting so old. I think I need more coffee.


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