How to Make a Latte like a Professional Barista

Lattes are the ‘comfort food’ of the beverage world. They are warm, silky, aromatic, and help anyone feel recharged and ready to take on their daily tasks. In the wintertime especially, our energy levels plummet, and we need a coffee fix to make it the day. Learning to make a good latte can make a huge difference in keeping you comforted and revitalized.

Lattes are light and airy espresso-based drinks with froth milk on top. With a mix of milk and foam to the espresso, lattes are relatively mild in flavor and smoother in comparison to black coffee drinks.

The Golden Latte Ratio

One of the key aspects of a perfect latte is keeping the mix ratio on point. A traditional latte has about 2/3 milk and 1/3 espresso. To achieve the ideal ratio,  measure the correct weight of coffee grinds. A good starting point is at least 30 gms of coffee grind with a speed flow of 30 seconds.

Remember that the finer you grind your beans, the slower the espresso shot will pour. The thicker you grind your beans, the faster the espresso shot will pour. The espresso shot will be the core flavour of the coffee.

Use Excellent Coffee Quality

If you are a beginner in the coffee world, each coffee bean variety has its own flavour and mouthfeel. You can mix coffee beans to craft a blend that utilises the best of different aspects of each bean. You can also keep them separate to create a single origin that showcases the true and pure flavour of a specific variety.

A local roaster can recommend a good grind size for your espresso. Depending on the type of bean and the roasting method, they may have a specific suggestion. If possible, use just-ground coffee as pre-ground coffee tends to lose its flavour and aroma over time.

While the quality and freshness of your beans are important, it is also vital you grind the beans just prior to making your latte. Once the coffee is ground, it will oxidise and begin to lose its flavour.

If you want to really get into the world of coffee tasting, master the art of choosing beans. Your coffee source matters, and it will make or break a good latte.

Froth but Do Not Over Froth

Coffee and milk go together like bread and butter. The notion of mixing these two has been around for many years.

With most of your latte being milk, the type of milk you use will have a significant effect on the overall flavour. Although whole milk gives the richest taste, you can also use alternative types. Use skimmed, semi-skimmed, long-life milk, soy milk – all of these work with coffee.

However, if you’ve made a plant-based latte before, you will agree that it is much harder than whole fat milk.

Our personal recommendation is to use organic whole milk to make it easy to froth + delicious to drink. The frothing process is made easy if you have a frothing machine.

If that’s unavailable, you can be more old school about it. First, you will need a metal milk-frothing pitcher and a normal whisk or a handheld electric milk frother. It is a metal stick with a tiny whisk at the end that wiggles back and forth. If you are using a normal whisk, it has to be small enough to fit inside the metal pitcher. Do not foam the milk too much. There should be a nice thin layer of foam on top, about a centimetre or so, depending on one’s preference.

How to Make the Best Latte

Everything you need to make the perfect latte you can find below. Just make sure to read through the list of tools and ingredients before starting to ensure that you have everything on hand.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 to 4 teaspoon of granulated sugar or other sweetener depending on your preference
  • 2 double-espresso-style capsules, or 4 espresso-style capsules, or 2/3 cup espresso

TOOLS

  • Espresso machine (if available)
  • Frothing machine with a normal whisk, or hand-held electric milk frother
  • Metal milk-frothing pitcher (only if you are using a whisk or hand-held manual frother)
  • Food + heat-safe thermometer (only with a whisk or hand-held frother)

INSTRUCTIONS

Below are a classic latte recipe and instructions to teach you h