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8 Cool Ways to Make a Cafe Latte When You Do Not Have A Machine

A frothy latte with its perfect pairing of rich espresso and sweet steamed milk, is a wonderful start to the day. It’s America’s favorite coffee shop order. But they can be expensive, whether you’re buying them at your local coffee shop or investing in a home espresso machine.

Luckily, you can still enjoy delicious lattes without paying the big bucks for either of these options. Keep reading for eight handy tips on DIY latte making.

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1. By making espresso with a Moka pot

A Moka pot is perhaps the most authentic way to make espresso without a high-pressure machine. Not only does it come to us from Italy, the homeland of espresso, but it is even known as a stovetop espresso maker (1).

All you need to do is fill the bottom chamber with water and the filter with your favorite ground espresso beans. Then place it over a heat source and let steam pressure do its job. Still, for those of you who like to experiment, there are two simple methods you can try:

We also have a step-by-step guide on how to make a latte with an espresso machine. If you wish to delve deeper into milky espresso drinks, you can learn from cappuccino vs. latte vs. macchiato comparisons.

2. By making espresso with an Aeropress

If a Moka pot is the traditional way to make espresso without a machine, then Aeropress is its modern equivalent. First released in 2005, this handheld coffee maker has garnered a global following for the strong and rich espresso-like coffee it produces.

You can brew a standard Aeropress, as per manufacturer’s recommendations. But to get an even bolder brew for your latte, try the inverted method, which increases the extraction time.

3. Using instant coffee

Instant coffee hasn’t always had the best reputation for great flavor, but these days there are plenty of delicious, high-quality instant coffees on the market. Instant coffee is in the midst of a renaissance, so this is a great time to give it a try!

Brewing an extra-strong instant coffee is the quickest and easiest way to get a rich espresso-style brew to serve as the basis for your latte.

4. By steaming milk in a saucepan

Frothing milk is no more complicated than warming it while incorporating air, which makes it foamy. So the most obvious way to do this at home is to use your stovetop and a whisk.

Place a saucepan of milk over the heat, and whisk it continuously for up to 5 minutes, until it’s as warm and frothy as you want. Using an electric whisk will spare your arms, but it’s not mandatory.

5. By frothing milk with a French press

Using the same principle, you can also froth milk with a French press. In this case, rather than using a whisk, you’ll be moving the plunger rapidly up and down to froth the milk.

The easiest method to heat the milk is to use your microwave. Just be sure you’ve removed any metal framework from your French press before you zap it.

6. By frothing milk with a wand and pitcher

Of course, the easiest way to froth milk is with the tools specifically designed for the task, a steam wand, and a frothing pitcher. This combination can give you barista-level frothed milk without the expense of a complete espresso machine.

This is the best milk frothing option if you’re interested in mastering latte art, because it will yield the necessary microfoam, and the pitcher is the perfect pouring vessel.

7. By frothing milk with a glass jar

Even if you don’t want to buy any new tools for your kitchen, there’s a way to froth milk for your latte. All you need is a glass jar.

Add the milk to the jar, put the lid on, and give it a good shake for 30 seconds until it has that perfect frothy texture. Once you’re done, remove the top, and microwave the milk for 1 minute, which both warms it and stabilizes the foam.

8. Adding flavored syrups

If your favorite part of the latte is that shot of syrup, the barista adds, be it rich chocolate, a sweet caramel, or fragrant vanilla, have no fear. You can quickly reproduce this at home. Just swirl the syrup into your frothed milk before adding the espresso.

In fact, this is better done at home, because you can customize to your heart’s content. You can even make homemade syrup in your favorite flavors! While you’re here, check out our list of alternative ways to flavor coffee.

Give it a try at home!

Did you enjoy this list? Did it inspire you to make a latte at home for the first time? Let us know how you fared in the comments below.

And if you loved your homemade latte, be sure to share this list with your friends.

  1. Nosowitz D. (2018, December 7). The Humble Brilliance of Italy’s Moka Coffee Pot. Retrieved from https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/make-coffee-moka-pot
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I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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