How To Make The Perfect Caffe Latte

By: | Updated: April 13, 2021

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Espresso is the quintessential Italian type of coffee appreciated all over the world.

Perhaps the most famous drink that takes advantage of espresso is caffe latte, which is prepared using only coffee and hot milk.

Drinking coffee at the bar or from a coffee chain every day can be expensive, but luckily you can learn how to prepare it at home easily with an espresso machine or using a technique called AeroPress.

Today we look at how to make the perfect caffe latte. Read on below.

how to make the perfect caffe latte

The easiest way to prepare a latte at home is by using an espresso coffee maker equipped with a milk frother.

The downside is these coffee machines are quite expensive. However, if you’re an avid coffee lover (like us!), having an espresso maker at home is a must.

If you are looking for alternative coffee makers that prepare cafe style coffee read on to below where we discuss the option with an Aeropress coffee maker. 

The Steps

1. Grind The Coffee

To prepare an espresso, the coffee must be ground very finely. The grain of the coffee powder must be a similar consistency to that of table salt. When the powder has the right consistency, it is compact and tends to clump.

Pro Tip: Use a grinder instead of a blade grinder for freshness and greater control. The grinder coffee grinders allow you to better adjust the grain and guarantee a more homogeneous result.

2. Prepare The Milk

Use about 180 ml of milk for each cup of caffe latte you want to prepare. As a general rule, use 180 ml of milk for every 30 ml of espresso coffee.

The type of milk used is very important to achieve a tasty latte. As illustrated by our table below:

MilkWhipping DifficultyTaste
Skimmed MilkVery EasyMild Taste
Semi Skimmed MilkMediumSlightly Less Creamy
Whole MilkHardVery Tasty & Creamy
  • To whip the milk (called frothing), pour the desired quantity into a metal jug and dip the steam wand diagonally and place it just below the milk surface. 
  • By incorporating air into the milk, with the steam wand you will be able to create the amount of foam necessary to prepare a good latte. 
  • Wrap a kitchen towel around the base of the metal jug to avoid getting burnt when the milk becomes hot. 
  • Open the valve that regulates the escape of the steam. Generally, it is a knob that must be turned. 
  • Measure the temperature of the milk with a thermometer and bring it to about 66-68 ° C. Be careful not to exceed 76 ° C. 

Try to obtain a light but at the same time full-bodied foam made up of micro-bubbles instead of large bubbles.

3. Measure The Coffee Quantity

Each espresso must be prepared with a specific dose of ground coffee. Generally, a double espresso is used for the latte, so the quantity of coffee must be doubled.

Use about 18-21 g of ground coffee for each espresso, depending on how strong you like your coffee. Place the filter holder on the kitchen scale to measure it exactly.

Reset the scale after placing the empty filter holder on it and carefully add 18-21 g of coffee for each espresso.

4. Press The Coffee Grounds

To obtain a good espresso, it is important to press the coffee into the filter holder with the special press. The tamper is a small weight with the knob handle.

Grab the knob to press the coffee. Place your hand directly above the filter holder and press the coffee down.

Press the coffee making an even twisting movement.  Pressing it will make the coffee smooth and compact like a “hockey puck”. It is important that it is evenly leveled and pressed for homogeneous extraction.

5. Prepare The Espresso

Attach the filter holder to the coffee machine assembly, then press the power button to start the extraction.

A perfect espresso has a medium dark brown tinge, a minimum of body and a small amount of foam (crema) on the surface.

The extraction time of an espresso is about 30 seconds, but the time required may vary slightly depending on the grind of the coffee and the type of coffee machine you’re using. 

If the brewing time is too long, the coffee may be too bitter. On the other hand, if the extraction lasts too little, it could have a less intense aroma. We suggest testing out different extraction times to achieve an espresso to your liking.

6. Pour The Milk Over The Espresso

The foam will flow slowly mixing with that of the espresso.

Use a spoon to adjust the flow of foam into the cup. Wait for the liquid level in the cup to be a few millimeters from the broth, then remove the spoon.

The latte will be of a nice brown color and will have a velvety, almost creamy consistency. The perfect latte should be covered with a layer of thin white foam.

Preparing a Caffe Latte Without Using an Espresso Machine

If you don’t have an espresso coffee machine at home, then using the AeroPress technique will achieve similar results.

The AeroPress technique uses a similar process to the French Press but more professional. The AeroPress allows you to prepare a filtered coffee with a strong and delicious taste. 

Here the steps to prepare a latte using an AeroPress:

  1. Boil 250-500 ml of water.
  2. When the water boils, let it cool for about 60 seconds.
  3. Ideally the water should be at a temperature between 176 and 194 °F instead of boiling.
  4. Measure 2 doses of coffee with the measuring spoon supplied with the AeroPress, then grind it with an electric coffee grinder.
  5. To prepare a drink such as caffe latte, the coffee must be ground very finely.
  6. Keep in mind that when the coffee powder is of the right consistency it is compact and tends to clump.
  7. Assemble and moisten the AeroPress filter to prepare it for extraction and prevent the coffee from absorbing the flavor of the paper.
  8. Place the AeroPress on top of the cup.
  9. Make the coffee. You will need to add coffee and water to the AeroPress.
  10. Pour the ground coffee into the press using the funnel. Add boiling water until it reaches the indicated level.
  11. Stir using the appropriate scoop or spoon.
  12. Insert the filter into the AeroPress and push it down until you hear a long hiss.Try the coffee. If it is too strong, you can add boiling water to lessen the taste.

What Is The Difference Between a Cappuccino and Caffe Latte?

When we talk about cappuccino or caffe latte, we usually think it is more or less the same drink, with some slight differences.

In reality there are distinct differences between cappuccino and caffe latte, in fact, they are totally different things. These require different preparations, of course.

The main characteristics that distinguish cappuccino from the other are the percentage of coffee and milk rations present and the foam.

CappucinoCaffe Latte
Espresso Shots1-21-2
Steamed MilkLess MilkMore Milk
FoamMore FoamLess Foam

A cappuccino is going to have a significantly stronger espresso flavor since it has more defined layers since it’s both less mixed and less diluted by the steamed milk. The layers of a cappuccino give it a crisp taste, also thanks to the higher quantity of foam.

On the other hand, a caffe latte will be much creamer thanks to the denser foam and the higher ratio of steamed milk. Thus, the espresso flavor will be more subtle.

How To Make an Iced Latte 

One of the best ways to enjoy a latte is cold. The added creaminess of this drink makes for a perfect cold coffee. Here’s how to prepare an iced latte:

What you’ll need

  • 75 g Espresso or Americano Coffee
  • 500 ml Water
  • 700 ml Milk
  • Ice Cubes
  • Syrup (Optional)

How to make it:

  1. Make 2 cups of espresso.
  2. If you don’t have the classic coffee machine or the AeroPress, you can use the classic American coffee machine.
  3. If you use the American coffee machine, you will need to prepare a stronger than normal coffee using half a liter of cold water and 75 g of ground coffee.
  4. Mix the hot coffee with 700 ml of milk. Mix well or pour the ingredients into a jar, then shake it to mix milk and coffee perfectly.
  5. Distribute the ice cubes in the glasses and pour them over the latte.
  6. If desired, you can add a syrup to flavor the cold latte.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, you don’t have to be an expert barista to brew a nice cup of caffe latte at home.

Thanks to this guide, you will prepare a tasty, creamy latte with ease.

If you liked our guide on how to create the perfect caffe latte and it came in handy, share it on social media and leave us a comment. See you soon!

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by Brett