How to Make a Cafe Latte

How to Make a Cafe Latte

Wanting to make your own barista-quality coffee at home? We’re putting together the ultimate guide to making great coffee at home. Follow this step-by-step process to learn how to make a great homemade Cafe Latte.   

This article includes what a Cafe Latte consists of, the history of Cafe Latte, plus what you will need to make a Latte at home. Our barista tips will take you through how to make it and answers to some frequently asked questions too.  

I – The History of the Cafe Latte 

II – What You Will Need to Make a Cafe Latte 

III- Step-By-Step Guide to Making a Caffe Latte 

IV- FAQ’s 

V – How to Make an Iced Latte 

 The History of the Cafe Latte 

The latte is thought to have originated after World War II, when American’s first imported espresso machines from Italy. However, American’s often found the Cappuccino too strong, so they began adding extra milk to the drink to create a milder taste. This then developed into the Café Latte.  

The Café Latte directly translates to ‘coffee with milk’ and is now the most popular coffee drink in the UK! With Latte drinkers often adding flavoured syrup or enjoying it cold, as an Iced Latte. 

What You Will Need to Make a Cafe Latte 

Here is everything you need for our Cafe Latte recipe:  


-Darker roasted coffee beans. We recommend Stokes Flirt Coffee Beans

-Milk or a milk alternative 

Flirt Coffee Beans spilling out of Stokes Espresso Cup


-A coffee grinder  

-Espresso machine with a steam arm 

-9oz latte glass 

-Milk jug 

-A thermometer for the milk jug 

If you don’t have all of the things you need, you can shop for coffee equipment on our online shop.   

Step-By-Step Guide to Making a Cafe Latte 

There are two techniques you can make a Café Latte; you can put the espresso in first then add the milk or you can add the milk to the glass first, then add the espresso. At Stokes Tea & Coffee, we prefer the Macchiato style, which is adding the shot of espresso to the cup. We use this method because we’ve found it’s easier to be consistent with the quality of the drink.  

Step 1 – Warm up your latte glass, by pouring hot water in it from your espresso machine. 

Step 2- Purge your steam arm (turn it on to let out some steam) on your espresso machine  

Step 3 – Heat up your milk, with your thermometer inside the milk jug to track the temperature. Milk frothing can sometimes take some practice to get the milk texture right. We have YouTube video on how to make a Cafe Latte if you’d like more guidance.  

Step 4 – Next, brew your coffee. Making sure to clean your basket before adding the espresso. Then level and tamp the ground espresso, before locking the handle back into the machine.  

Step 5 – While your coffee is brewing, pour the milk into the glass, ensuring to tip the hot water out first. Carefully pour the milk into the glass, so that the foam remains in the jug. Then, agitate the foam in the jug by swirling it around the until it looks nice and glossy. Pour the foam on top of the milk in the glass.  

Step 6 – Finally, drop the espresso swiftly into the centre of the milk. You can even make some latte art by dipping the end of the thermometer in the left-over espresso and drawing on-top of the foam.  


How should I be heating my milk for a Café Latte? 

To aerate the milk, lower your jug gently, bringing the tip of the steam arm just to the surface of the milk to introduce air. You should hear a chirping sound. Once the temperature gets to around 100 Degrees Fahrenheit, raise your jug and then at 120 degrees, turn off the steam arm. This should ensure your milk reaches about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  

What’s the difference between a Café Latte and a Flat White? 

When comparing the different types of espresso-based coffee, it’s all to do with the different strengths and ratio of coffee to milk. Therefore, a Flat White is stronger than a Café Latte. Generally, the Latte will be the weakest espresso-based coffee on the menu. The Flat White on the other hand, is a similar strength to a Cappuccino, just without the foam. To summarise, a Café Latte is milkier coffee than a Flat White.  

How do I make an Iced Latte? 

Fancy a cold variation of a Latte? Making an Iced Latte is very simple. Grab the glass of your choosing and fill it with some ice. Next, add cold milk into the glass, on top of the ice. Then, similar to how we have described above, brew your espresso and swiftly drop the shot of espresso into the milk. Often with cold coffee, we add a syrup or sugar to sweeten it up, as they can be more bitter. 


We hope you found this guide to making a Café Latte helpful. If you’d like to learn more about making great coffee at home, we offer a range of experiences including Home Barista and Home Brewing. 

Want to learn more?

How to make a flat white

How to make a macchiato