How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Machine: Best Methods

Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
Reviewed By
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: August 21, 2023
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Everyone has their favorite coffee shop that knows how to make every coffee look like something from a commercial. Many people let the professionals do all the work and will pay a premium just to get a unique coffee. But what if you could do it yourself? Thanks to the relative ease of making and enjoying a latte at home, you can be on your way to a home-made drink in no time.

Knowing how to make a late at home without an espresso machine is much easier than the fancy baristas would have you believe. Let’s look at what exactly makes a latte so special and how you can go about making one at home. Additionally, we will also take a look at how you can spice up the recipe for some added flavor and style points.

What is Latte?

How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Machine: Best Methods

Before we even pick out a cup, we first need to understand what exactly a latte is before we go and make one. There are many different types of coffees, so let’s see what makes a latte unique. The general guidelines for what makes a latte is an espresso with steamed milk and a layer of foam that sits on the top. This may sound like a cappuccino or macchiato, but it’s actually quite different.

A latte consists of an espresso base with the rest of it being mostly steamed milk. The steamed milk and espresso are what make the latte, but a layer of foam on top is the icing on the cake. On the other hand, a cappuccino uses espresso and primarily foamed milk instead of steamed milk. The macchiato has no steamed milk and only contains some foam on top.

Ingredients and tools needed

Now that we know what a latte is let’s see what you will need to make it. The first thing you will need is espresso. Espresso is essentially a very rich and strong form of coffee that is prepared using steam, which we will look at making later. Once you have your espresso made, all you will need is milk, a cup, and something to scoop with.

You will want to take your milk and shake it up so that it gets full of air. Once your milk is frothy, you will microwave it for about 30 seconds so that it steams up and makes some foam. This milk will then get poured into the espresso and make the latte. You can use a spoon to get the foam off the milk and place it on the latte with better accuracy.

How to make an Espresso

The espresso is the foundation of the latte, so making sure that you get this part right is crucial. Making a latte with regular coffee that lacks the strength of espresso makes it lack character and taste. If you have an espresso machine, then all you have to do is make your favorite one and get to making the milk. But, if you don’t have this device, you can either be interested in our selection of the best espresso machines under 200 dollars which won’t cost a fortune, or in making coffee without it. Fortunately, there is a way to get your latte at home anyway!

How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Machine: Best Methods

Depending on how you make your coffee, you may need to try different methods. If you have an AeroPress, you can see that to make a strong and small amount of coffee that will be good for your latte. If you want to know how to make a latte without an espresso machine or aero, then you will most likely have to buy a French Press to make the required rich coffee.

How to prepare milk

The milk portion of the latte can be somewhat confusing at first, but it is what makes the latte so nice. All that you are really doing to your milk is heating it up so that it becomes steamed and able to make foam. When you heat up the milk, you can heat it up in a saucepan or microwave until it is producing some steam and is beginning to form a layer of foam on top.

To make your milk frothy, you can simply put it in a jar and shake it up until there are plenty of bubbles and air. This gives the milk more foam to make and is what you need for the latte. If you used the French press to make the coffee, you could also use its plunger design to pump up your milk so that it becomes foamy and looks like a professional coffee.

How to mix all ingredients properly

Now that you have your espresso made and your milk is heated and ready to go, all you have to do now is put all the pieces together. This may sound like the easy part, but making sure you are careful and do it right will make the best cup possible. To start making your latte, take the espresso and put it in the cup first. This is the base of the coffee and will be complimented as other ingredients are added.

With the espresso in the cup, it is now time to add your milk. Take your steamed milk and carefully add it to the espresso, so it begins to turn lighter and fills up the cup. You can then scoop the foam top off of the milk and place it on your latte as the final tough. Your latte is now complete ad you didn’t even have to wait in a line to get it!

How to make vanilla or caramel lattes

How to Make a Latte without an Espresso Machine: Best Methods

If you are feeling extra fancy and want to add some more flavor to your latte, there are many options to help make your latte a little sweeter. Many people like to add some syrup or product to their latte to give it an extra hit of flavor. Two of the most popular additions you can have with your latte are vanilla or caramel additions.

If you are looking to make a flavored latte, it is very easy. When you are adding your warmed milk to the espresso, just stir in your desired flavoring so that it evenly mixes with the rest of the latte. Make sure to do this before adding the top foam as it would take away from the look of the drink.


With so many people going to fancy coffee shops and spending lots of money on coffee, there is no reason that you can’t make your own cup at home. We looked at what it takes to make a real latte and how you can do it yourself to create the fun of a coffee shop at home.

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