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How to Make a Starbucks Latte: Quick and Easy

Updated on July 22, 2015

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Lattes are absolutely delicious, they are frothy, hot, sweet, and provide an energy boost. However, unfortunately, having a latte every day, or even every other day, can get more than a little expensive. Are you tired of making a mediocre cup of coffee at home, which yes, does save you money, but also makes you feel regretful and yearning for a Pumpkin Spice Latte extra whip?

Many of us have tried to make coffee at home in an attempt to save some money, but often, our homemade coffee and homemade lattes just don't turn out as good. In this hub,, I will impart the tips I have learned to creating a fool-proof latte, a Starbucks-quality latte that will save you money but keep you going.


My homemade delicious latte
My homemade delicious latte

Choose a Milk

First steps first, choose your milk. A full fat milk froths the best and makes the latte milky and smooth in texture. But due to health reasons, it is often not the best choice.

Here are a few other milks you can try.

  • 2% or 1% Milk: These milk-types are extremely popular. The fatty acids in milk are very important for brain development and other important processes in our bodies. This variety of milk provides the same benefits that the fatty acids in whole milk provide for you, but with much less unhealthy fats. A great choice for the first step in giving up whole.

  • Soy Milk: Soy milk is a great way to make foods that have whole milk healthier. Having soy instead of whole can reduce the number of calories in your drink, however fay have a n after-taste that many people may not like.
  • Almond Milk: This milk has a very smooth texture and a slight almondy flavor that can go great in coffee. Despite the fact that Soy milk tends to froth better than Almond milk, this healthy alternative is perfect for daily use in a latte or other beverage.
  • Nonfat: As the name suggests, this milk is nonfat, and if you're trying to reduce calories in you drink, this is the most potent way to do so.

Stuff you'll need...
Stuff you'll need...
  • Milk of choice (I used Almond)
  • Coffee (instant or brewed shot)
  • Frother
  • Optional: creamer, sugar, whipped cream, toppings...etc

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Milk, coffee, sugar, and creamer in cup, mixedFrother in cup frothing the milk and creating the "whirlpool"Frothy latte!Whipped cream on latteHomemade latte
Milk, coffee, sugar, and creamer in cup, mixed
Milk, coffee, sugar, and creamer in cup, mixed
Frother in cup frothing the milk and creating the "whirlpool"
Frother in cup frothing the milk and creating the "whirlpool"
Frothy latte!
Frothy latte!
Whipped cream on latte
Whipped cream on latte
Homemade latte
Homemade latte
Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 1 cup

How to make...

So obviously, the ingredients that you need for a latte aren't that hard to imagine, but the real trick in making a good latte is in the preparation of the drink. It has taken me many tries to perfect this method but I have finally got it down to a science.

  1. First, poor your milk into your favorite mug, leaving half an inch at the top with no milk. This is because we are going to froth later and need some space for the froth so that it won't spill over. If you're brewing a shot instead of using instant coffee, you only need half a cup of milk, to leave room for the shot.
  2. Warm up milk, the hotter the better. Very hot milk let's the ingredients mix better and blend together better, especially if you're using instant coffee.
  3. When you take out the milk, mix in the sugar, if any, creamer, if any, and coffee. I love the Almond Joy creamer that I get at Stop and Shop. It tastes like coconut, chocolaty, sweet, goodness. I also use Truvia or Stevia instead of sugar because I do tend to like a sweeter cup of coffee.
  4. Froth your coffee. I bought a hand-held frother at Ikea for $3 and it works great! You do not need a fancy latte maker or a fancy milk steamer or milk frother, this hand-held frother works super well, is super cheap, and easy to clean. The trick to frothing is to position the metal rod part so that a kind of whirlpool is created in your cup. This happens if your rod is right in the middle of the cup. This creates the best froth on top and only takes about 20 seconds. Keep the end of the frother only about an inch at most submerged into the coffee. If you keep it near the bottom of the cup, you'll have a lot of foam at the bottom of your coffee instead of the top. If you like foam at the bottom, that's fine, but in my opinion, this makes your latte too foamy and too little latte-y, if you catch my drift...
  5. Add whip and toppings. What is a starbucks drink without their delicious whip and toppings? You probably shouldn't do this on the daily because, well, this latte becomes more like a desert than a beverage, but once in a while on special occasions is nice. For this hub, I put some whipped cream, a caramel sauce drizzled on top, and a few chocolate chips on top of that. Again, probably shouldn't do this too often, but it looks so adorable and tastes EVEN BETTER.

Latte on my deck table where I like to have it in the morning
Latte on my deck table where I like to have it in the morning

Making Flavored Lattes

One of the funnest parts about making your own homemade lattes is creating flavor combinations. To make flavored lattes you need an additive that goes in the actual latte, and a topping that usually adds some crunch or added flavor. The table below just has some simple combinations that I like to make, but feel free to get creative and share your combo in the comments. When I write something about a "syrup" or "sauce" it means that I buy that syrup or sauce from the Starbucks Store. I find that the sauces and syrups from the Starbucks Store create the best dupe for Starbucks Lattes, which makes sense.

Some Homemade Latte Ideas...

Add to milk
Cinnamon Dolce
Stir milk with a cinnamon stick or stir in cinnamon dolce syrup
Cinnamon (powder)
White mocha
Two white chocolate truffle or white mocha sauce
White chocolate chips
Coconut cream or coconut creamer
Shredded coconut
Caramel sauce or creamer
Caramel syrup or butterscotch bits
Peppermint White Mocha
White chocolate truffle and candy cane (stir until both melt)
White choclate chips, crushed candy cane for garnish

Some helpful tips for making your latte...

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • If you have a Starbucks Latte addiction, try getting additives for your coffee directly from the Starbucks Store. For example, I used to have Toffee Nut Lattes almost everyday, so I bought the Toffee Nut Syrup at the Starbucks Store and haven't gotten a Toffee Nut Latte at Starbucks in months. It really does taste the same as the one they use at Starbucks and saves you a lot of money. Plus, you can add less or more than they usually do according to your preference.
  • Buying cute mugs can make your latte-making process so much more fun. You can get special holiday mugs, customized mugs, or just mugs that you really like. This is one of the most fun parts of making your latte--choosing your mug!
  • You can make a great cup of latte without an espresso brewer, milk steamer , or frother. All you need is instant coffee, hand-held frother, and microwave. This is great for college students or working people on a budget!


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    • hubsy profile image

      hubsy 3 years ago

      Thanks Peachpurple, glad it helped!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i have never tasted starbucks drinks because they are expensive. Now i can make one at home. Voted up