Learn how to make a classic Caffe Latte with my Starbucks Latte Recipe. I also have instructions for how make a vanilla latte and an iced latte.
Ah, the Starbucks latte – it’s such an iconic drink that’s loved around the world. There’s just something about that blend of coffee and milk that resonates with so many.
But it’s actually pretty easy to make at home (no special equipment required!), and it can be a significant savings as well!
I’ll break down the necessary ingredients, provide detailed, step-by-step instructions, and share some helpful tips and tricks for getting the flavors right.
Okay, let’s begin!
Here’s a quick video tutorial in case you learn better that way. The written tutorial and recipe are below!
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The standard Starbucks Caffè Latte actually only contains 2 simple ingredients: milk and coffee. From there you can customize to your heart’s content (more on that in the Customization section).
But these are the 3 ingredients I always like to include:
- Vanilla Syrup or Sweetener of Choice: The sweetener is optional, but I personally prefer my latte with a bit of sweetness. Vanilla syrup is a classic pairing, but you could substitute maple syrup, honey, simple syrup, brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc. If you want that vanilla flavor but don’t have any vanilla syrup on hand, you could add a bit of vanilla extract.
- Milk: Starbucks uses 2% milk for their standard latte, but I personally like to use whole milk, or even whole milk plus a little cream (I prefer a creamy latte). But you can substitute your favorite milk, or even a plant-based milk such as oat milk (check out my Oat Milk Latte for detailed instructions). I have not tested this recipe with soy milk, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, or any other non dairy milk. Skim milk will make for a foamier latte, but of course it will be less creamy.
- Espresso or Strongly Brewed Coffee: There are so many option when it comes to coffee. You can use espresso roast coffee beans, ground coffee, instant coffee, etc. The method you use to brew or extract the coffee will of course affect the type of coffee you use. Starbucks uses blonde espresso for their vanilla latte, so keep that in mind.
What is the Ratio for Starbucks Latte?
Here are the approximate rations that Starbucks uses for the different sizes of their Caffè Lattes:
- Short: 1 shot espresso, 6 ounces of milk
- Tall: 1 shot espresso, 10 ounces of milk
- Grande: 2 espresso shots, 12 ounces of milk
- Venti: 2 shots of espresso, 16 ounces of milk
As far as syrup goes, a Short vanilla latte contains 2 pumps of vanilla, a Rall has 3 pumps, a Grande has 4 pumps, and a Venti contains a whopping 5 pumps of syrup.
Also, 1/2 tablespoons of syrup equals 1 pump.
Step 1: Make the Coffee
Now, if you happen to own an espresso machine, you can simply pull a shot or two of espresso for this drink.
But if you don’t own an espresso maker, no worries!
How to Make Espresso without a Machine:
It’s actually pretty easy to make espresso strength coffee without a machine.
Make sure to check out my video tutorial for detailed instructions on how to make espresso with a French Press, Moka Pot, Aeropress, and even instant coffee!
You could even use a cold brew concentrate. Use around 2 ounces for each shot of espresso.
Now, it won’t be true espresso since these techniques use a different method for extracting the coffee. But it still makes for a delicious homemade latte!
Whichever method you use, you’ll want to place the hot coffee in a mug.
Then add your sweetener of choice.
I personally like about 1.5 teaspoons of syrup for a 12 ounce latte, but if you like a sweet drink you may want to use up to 1.5 tablespoons.
Step 2: Froth the Milk:
Again, if you own an espresso machine, you can simply make frothed or steamed milk with the build-in steam wand.
But if you don’t own a machine with a frother, there are several other ways to get your milk frothy!
You’ll first need to heat your milk of choice separately. I like to warm my milk in a small saucepan over medium heat to about 155 F (68 C).
You should make sure to check out my video tutorial about How to Froth Milk without a Machine, but here are a few methods:
- A handheld stick milk frother is pretty low profile and fairly affordable. This is the one I use.
- Another option is to use a French press to froth your milk.
- Or you can even just shake the milk in a heat proof glass jar (hold the jar with a towel to avoid spills and burns).
Step 3: Putting it All Together:
Now for the best part!
Pour the frothed milk over the espresso or coffee in the mug.
You can practice your latte art, or simply dump the frothy milk on top.
Starbucks currently has 6 variations of their Caffè Latte (AKA coffee latte) on their official menu:
- Caffè Latte: As mentioned above, this is simply coffee and milk.
- Oleato™ Caffé Latte with Oatmilk: This is simply blonde espresso, oat milk, and olive oil.
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte: This is made by sweetening a latte with cinnamon dolce syrup, and topping with whipped cream and cinnamon dolce topping.
- Starbucks Reserve® Latte: This is simply a Caffè Latte, but made with Reserve® espresso and whole milk.
- Starbucks Reserve® Hazelnut Bianco Latte: The Reserve® latte, but made with hazelnut-praline-infused milk.
- Blonde Vanilla Latte: This is simply the Caffè Latte, but made with blonde espresso and added vanilla syrup.
And you can customize your latte order by switching out the syrup flavor, adding whipped cream, etc.
Iced Caffe Latte:
It’s really easy to make this into an iced latte.
Simply place 3/4 to 1 cup of ice cubes (I use these ice cube trays) in a 12 ounce glass or mason jar. Pour a shot of espresso or strongly brewed coffee over the ice, and top with milk of choice.
To make the Starbucks iced vanilla latte, you’ll simply add 2 to 5 teaspoons of vanilla syrup to the recipe.
A tall Starbucks vanilla latte with typically set you back around $4.75, depending on where you live. But if you add on tax and tips, it’s usually more like $5 to $6.
My homemade version will only cost about 68 cents if you use conventional ingredients.
And if you use all organic ingredients, it will cost around $1.68
So as you can see, making this at home is just a fraction of the cost of going to your local Starbucks.
So there’s my Starbucks copycat recipe! Check out my other drink recipes below:
More Homemade Lattes:
- Starbucks Chai Tea Latte
- Starbucks Hot Matcha Latte
- Homemade London Fog Latte
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Spiced Apple Tea Latte
More Starbucks Copycat Recipes:
- Iced Matcha Latte Recipe
- Starbucks Matcha Frappuccino Recipe
- Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Recipe
- Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino Recipe
- Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea Recipe
- Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe
- How to Make Pumpkin Cold Foam
- 1 shot espresso, or 2 ounces strongly brewed coffee (see note)
- 10 ounces milk (I like whole milk)
- 2 to 5 teaspoons vanilla syrup or sweetener of choice (optional)
- Place the espresso or strongly brewed coffee in a 12 ounce mug. Add sweetener to taste.
- Warm the milk to 155 F (68 C) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Froth.
- Pour the frothed milk over the coffee and sweetener in the mug. Serve immediately.
- If you don't own an espresso machine, make sure to check out my video tutorial for how to make espresso strength coffee without one!
- Instructions are for a 12 ounce latte, or a Starbucks Tall. To make a Grande, use 2 shots of espresso and 12 ounces of milk. And to make a Venti, use 2 shots of espresso and 16 ounces of milk.
- To make an iced latte, simply place 3/4 to 1 cup of ice cubes (I use these ice cube trays) in a 12 ounce glass or mason jar. Pour a shot of espresso or strongly brewed coffee over the ice, and top with milk of choice.
- To make the Starbucks iced vanilla latte, you'll simply add 2 to 5 teaspoons of vanilla syrup to thee recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 0gSugar: 38gProtein: 10g