I’m craving some latte but I don’t feel like going out. But then I don’t have an espresso machine either. I need to know how to make a latte with instant coffee —because that’s all I have!
A latte is all about coffee, milk, and foam. You can whip up a latte with even just instant coffee by preparing it according to package instructions. Make your foam by frothing up steamed milk with a whisk or handheld blender.
What do we need for a homemade latte?
Making a latte at home is possible as long as you have coffee, milk, and froth.
Latte means milk in Italian. Yup, you can’t make a latte without milk.
This means you need to be careful when ordering it in European countries. Especially in Italy, if you just order a latte, they could end up just serving you a glass of milk!🥛
On the other hand, in America and some other places in the world, the word “Latte” is easily understood as the shorthand for Caffe Latte.
The one we usually order in a coffee shop should technically be referred to as Caffe Latte.
A latte is one of the more popular coffee beverages. It is essentially made with one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk, and a thin layer of milk foam.
Latte vs Macchiato
You might confuse a latte with a macchiato since both have milk. The main distinction between these caffeinated drinks is the milk-to-espresso ratio.
Yes, both the latte and macchiato are made with espresso and steamed milk. But with a slight difference, espresso, steamed milk —and foamed milk make up a latte.
When skillfully prepared, the milk foam can make some exciting art! Some baristas have become quite good at making various images via latte art on the coffee they make.
Hearts and ferns are the usual figures for what we call “latte art.” but some can even pull off animals now!
Some argue if it’s art at all but it has become an insanely popular global trend and art form for a reason. Take a look at some baristas' best work below:
Latte vs Cappuccino
While a macchiato is made with 50% espresso and the other 50% percent steamed milk, a traditional cappuccino is made with an even mix of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk.
As we know a latte is made with more steamed milk and a thin layer of foam. Also, a latte combines espresso and steamed milk. On the other hand, a cappuccino will have distinct layers.
A cappuccino is made with one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foamed milk. A latte is made with 1/3 espresso and the rest milk at the bottom.
The rest of the coffee is made up of steamed milk and a layer of foamed milk.
Making foam without a frother
But how can we top off my latte with foam without an espresso machine? Good thing I found a way to make foamy milk at home with the help of a few things.
There are several substitutes for a milk frother if you do not have one.
You may manually whisk heated or steamed milk, shake the milk in a jar, or use a blender until you imitate the usual milk froth you can find in coffee shop beverages.
- Using an immersion blender
You can make froth with your milk using an immersion blender.
First, you need to heat your milk in a large, deep pot. It has to be deep enough since milk tends to bubble up and spill over.
When it’s hot enough, you need to immerse your hand blender in the milk. Make sure the blades are completely submerged —or else you’ll spray your entire counter with milk.
Turn the blender on low, and blend until frothy. This method produces nice foam, but a word of caution: it can be pretty messy!
- Using a whisk
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can consider using your trusty whisk.
Start by whisking your milk in circular motions for 15-20 seconds. Next, raise your whisk to just below the froth when the milk begins to thicken.
When the milk has doubled in volume, it is finished frothing. Now, if you are using an electric whisk, you need to turn it off before removing it from the milk.
- Shake the milk with a good old jar
When all else fails, you can rely on a bit of elbow grease and shake milk to make foam.
First, you should pour the milk into a large jar with a lid to froth it without a frother. Make sure you don’t fill more than one-third of the jar.
Screw the lid on tightly and vigorously shake the jar until the milk is frothy. It should also roughly double in volume.
This should take between 30 and 60 seconds of vigorous shaking.
Now, I may not be able to draw a cat, but I think the little bubbles on top of my coffee will be enough to make it seem fancy.
Your best bet would be to use whole milk since it produces a creamy, dense, and stable froth with only a little airiness and small-sized bubbles. When you froth it, full cream milk produces a thicker, creamier foam.
This gives your coffee drink more body.
Low-fat and skim milk are much lighter, producing more foam with larger air bubbles for a more delicate latte or cappuccino.
We’ve talked about how we make it froth, but how do we pick which milk would easily froth in the first place?
Making instant coffee espresso
Normally for Caffe Latte, coffee shops would prepare espresso by brewing coffee beans using a machine. Then, they would prepare milk foam with a milk frother.
But not everyone has a budget for an espresso machine.
There are a lot of alternatives to use for your Cafe Latte and still give it the same quality as if ordered from a coffee shop.
So the idea here is to recreate the intensity of an espresso. When using instant coffee, you’d just have to increase the amount of powdered instant coffee to achieve espresso strength.
You can pick out any brand you’ve tried and tested. For some, this would be Nescafe. Probably because it’s the biggest coffee brand out there.
But you could always experiment with other brands you haven’t tried before. Who knows, you might discover a new twist or your very own recipe for a cafe latte.
The idea is to make the coffee pretty strong. You could make a single shot of espresso in a 240 ml small cup. You can mix up 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with 30 ml of hot water.
And that is your instant espresso latte recipe.
How to make a latte at home with instant coffee
To make your very own homemade caffe latte, all you need is essentially two ingredients: powdered instant coffee and milk.
Using instant powdered coffee, you wouldn’t have to worry about not having an espresso machine. There are even restrictions as to which brand you should use.
Good thing though, you need not worry if you don’t have this equipment or if you don’t have fancy tools at home.
For milk, it’s best to use one that would easily froth. I recommend picking dairy options that have high milk fat. Although, if you have a frother, good for you because you don’t need to especially be too conscious about it.
Ideally, you should use whole milk.
If you need to avoid dairy options, almond milk is a great plant-based option as its frothing ability is as good as the other top options such as 2% milk and skim milk.
Using coconut creamer for coffee is also a great idea. Coconut creamer for coffee is high in fat, which helps to create a wonderful froth in your coffee cup.
We’ve talked about the ingredients, and we’ve already talked about the techniques, let’s go ahead and jump to the procedure of how to make a latte with instant coffee!
What you need to make a homemade latte recipe in 6 steps
The good trying thing is that a latte recipe with instant coffee can be done in just six steps. I know, I know, you might be worried you need exquisite coffee beans and an espresso machine.
It is possible to achieve coffee shop quality with just your usual instant coffee at home.
Ever been so busy and tight on a budget, yet you still crave a fancy serving of cafe latte? Or maybe bored with your usual morning cup of joe?
Spice it up a little bit with these six easy steps for a special homemade caffe latte.
What do you need for a homemade latte recipe?
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup instant coffee powder
- ¼ cup sugar (optional)
- 500ml whole milk (you can use alternative creamers/milk)
Step 1 Prepare boiling coffee
First, you need to bring water to a boil in a pot and add the coffee powder.
To make sure that the coffee is dissolved well, you need to dissolve it in hot water. Some instant coffee could take time to dissolve.
For the best flavor from our flavored instant coffees, we usually use 2g of coffee or roughly one heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules. But since we are trying to achieve an espresso taste add 1 or 2 more teaspoons.
When this is done, you can keep the mixture boiling for 30 to 40 seconds.
Step 2 Sweeten it
After we’re done with the instant coffee espresso, you can add sugar to the pot and mix well.
You are free to use any other sweetener especially if you are cutting back. There are also lots of healthy sweeteners for coffee that you can use instead.
Or you may also skip this step completely.
Step 3 Warm the milk
It won’t be a latte without the milk, that’s why the next thing to do is warm the milk.
There are two ways you can do this.
- You may microwave the milk in a microwave-safe mug.
- Or you can heat it in a pot for 30-45 seconds.
Don’t put the stove on high or the milk will overflow.
Step 4 Ready the vessel
Now that our two ingredients are ready, the next step is to assemble everything.
First, you need to get a warm mug or glass for the caffe latte. Then, you pour in 2 parts of the hot coffee mixture.
When the coffee is in, it’s time to add the milk. Add 2 parts of the warm milk to the glass.
Don’t forget to leave a space for the foam!
Step 5 Prepare the foam
Now your drink is starting to come together, it’s time to create your milk foam.
You can make some milk foam with the remaining warm milk. You can achieve this by doing any of the techniques I mentioned in the previous section.
You can froth using a whisk, a blender, or by shaking your milk in a jar.
These other options might take longer than just using a frother, but the important thing is to get the foam!
Step 6 Top it off with foam
The final step in making a latte is pouring a thin layer of milk foam on top.
You may try your hand at making latte art. Here’s how you can pour a heart shape. ⬇️
You can finish up by adding a little bit of flavor by drizzling white chocolate syrup or sprinkling cinnamon, for example. This could make your homemade cafe latte even fancier.
There you have it, your homemade cafe latte is done.
How to make an iced latte with instant coffee
But what if you’re craving a hot drink? Well, you can always make a cold version of your latte.
What you need to make an iced latte with instant coffee
You will need:
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup instant coffee powder
- ¼ cup sugar (optional)
- 500ml whole milk
Step 1 Prepare boiling coffee
Just like the hot latte, start by bringing water to a boil in a pot.
Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the coffee powder. Make sure that the coffee is dissolved well. Since you are making iced coffee, any undissolved coffee could clump.
That’s not the kind of surprise in a sip that I appreciate.
Step 2 Sweeten and ice
When your coffee mixture is ready, it’s time to sweeten it.
When your instant coffee espresso is done, you may now add sugar to the mixture. However, I recommend that you use syrup to sweeten your coffee instead. Even simple syrup for coffee will do and will help make sure you don’t end up with sugar granules.
When your coffee is already sweetened, you can leave the coffee to cool.
After a few minutes, you can start filling a tall glass with ice.
Next, pour the cool coffee mixture into about half of the glass. Adding the ice first will allow the coffee to cool down faster.
Step 3 Prepare the foam
The next step is making foamy milk.
Just like the previous recipe, you can use an immersion blender, a whisk, or a simple jar to make your foam.
If you only have your trusty jar, you simply need to fill ¾ of it with milk, seal the jar tightly and shake it vigorously to the tune of 🎶Bamboleo.🎵
Okay, not really. But why miss the fun?
Step 4 Pour in the foam and milk
For the last step, simply pour the milk with foam slowly into the glass with the ice and coffee mixture.
Ideally, the foam would stay a the top of your glass.
You may sprinkle the top with cinnamon and other toppings as you like. With this, your iced caffe latte is complete.
It’s easy to whip up an amazing latte using instant coffee
With these simple homemade cafe latte recipes, you can enjoy a fancy coffee drink anytime at home.
You can experiment with more advanced flavors and add-ons. For one, you can make a delectable cup of coffee with just salted caramel syrup for coffee. Or maybe you’d rather relax and sip on some lavender latte.
You can even try your hand at latte art. If you’re confident enough, a latte using instant coffee can be a great option to serve your guests and make it seem pretty fancy!