How to Make an Iced Latte at Home Even Better
July 14, 2020
There isn’t much better in the summer than waking up to a cool, refreshing iced latte. But since I started working from home, I haven’t really been going out to grab one from my favorite coffee shop. Instead, I’ve been experimenting with different techniques to make my morning drink more delicious and refreshing. Here are my best tips on how to make an iced latte at home even better!
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An iced latte is pretty basic: espresso, milk, and ice. However, the details can take it from good to incredible. I’ll break down each piece of building your dream drink, taking you from basic prep to that perfect first sip. Let’s get started.
Good Espresso Makes a Good Latte
This is what really makes a latte. If your espresso is not good, then your latte probably won’t be either. Don’t skimp here when selecting what kind of coffee to use. Stick with real, dark-roast espresso, and prepare it using an actual espresso machine. The extremely high pressure and very finely ground coffee work together to produce that thick and rich concentrated variety of coffee.
Speaking of the grounds, espresso tastes best when you grind the beans fresh. When choosing a grinder for your home coffee bar, look for one that allows you to adjust the coarseness of the grind. You will also want a burr grinder, as opposed to one that uses blades.
My favorite grinder is affordable, and doesn’t take up valuable outlet space. You can also splurge on a high-quality grinder. It may take some experimentation to find the perfect settings for espresso, but the texture should be similar to granulated sugar to start.
I don’t suggest making an iced latte with drip coffee or instant espresso. In both cases, you will be sacrificing flavor and texture. If you only have a standard coffee maker, you can still make a tasty drink, but it won’t have the same smoothness of a latte.
Add Milk for That Creamy Texture
It’s not a latte without milk, right? Here is where you can start to get creative, and experiment with the iced latte to make it your own. No matter what kind of milk you are using, you’ll want to shake it up. Add the milk to a mason jar and seal, then shake vigorously for about 1 minute until it’s frothy.
If you are using cow’s milk, I suggest a high fat content like 2% or whole milk. You can also bring in some extra richness by adding a splash of heavy cream before shaking up your milk.
If you’re not into dairy, or want to try something new, experiment with plant-based milks. Coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk can all work well. You will find that some brands and varieties froth better than others. My favorite to use in an iced latte is coconut milk.
Want to get real crazy? Try using flavored milk, like chocolate or strawberry. It can add a fun additional flavor to your latte.
An iced latte is the best way to start any summer morning. Here are the five ways to make yours at home even better!
Sweeten it Up With Syrups
One of the best parts of a coffee shop iced latte is the variety of flavors and syrups you can add to your drink. The good news is that you can easily do this at home as well! Either make your own infused simple syrups, or buy pre-made syrup, such as Torani. They make vanilla, caramel, hazelnut and plenty more flavors
To infuse your own simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely, and the liquid is clear. Then add in your flavors, like a tablespoon of vanilla extract, a handful of mint leaves, or 1/4 cup of toasted hazelnuts. Let it cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
When you make your own you can experiment with some fun flavor combinations. Or you can add pumps of multiple pre-made flavors. Try combining coconut and vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut, or raspberry and almond for some fun starting points. Then go wild!
Top It All Off
You’ve pretty much got your iced latte put together now, but don’t forget a few extra details to top it off.
First, there is no better addition to your favorite morning drink than some fresh, homemade whipped cream! I love whipping it up real in a jar using a hand-mixer. You don’t need to add anything to to. Of course, you can also buy whipped cream already made.
On top of that add a little decoration for some fun. Caramel or chocolate sauce make a gorgeous drizzle, and add a little extra sweetness. For precision drizzling, try using these squeeze bottles.
Or if you are looking for some more texture, sprinkle on some dry toppings. Finely chopped nuts or small candies are great choices. You can also make it super festive and colorful with a variety of sparkling sugars.
The Essential Accessories
There are a few places where you can have a little extra fun with serving your iced latte. First, what kind of glass will you use? My favorites are either a tall and skinny highball glass or a fancy glass mug. You could also try some colorful tumblers.
Next, think about what kind of ice you’ll use. I like to keep it simple, and use the ice machine from my fridge. However, you can also mold your own ice using fun silicone trays. Or to keep your drink from getting watered down, try reusable ice cubes.
Last, no one wants the ice hitting their teeth, so be sure to add a fun straw! Save the environment by using these colorful reusable straws. I like to match them to my outfits each day! You can also use flexible silicone or metal ones.
Let’s Make an Iced Latte
Start with your whole bean espresso, and grind it to the appropriate texture. Then, use your espresso machine to brew one or two shots. Fill a glass 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with ice, and add in any flavored syrups.
When the espresso is brewed, pour it on top of the ice. Add your favorite milk to a mason jar and seal it. Then shake it vigorously until frothy, and pour on top of the coffee.
Top it all off with a squirt of whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel or some finely chopped nuts, and a fun straw. You are totally ready to face any summer day!