Most of us know what it’s like to crave our favorite coffee shop vanilla latte on a morning when we haven’t got time to buy it. Ironically it’s usually the mornings we need it the most that we have to drive right on past the local coffee shop to face the day without the help of a quick shot of caffeine.
Maybe it’s the chilly winter dawn, the biting cold makes, an extra 10 minutes in bed just a bit too hard to resist and thoughts of a coffee shop vanilla latte spin endlessly in your head like confetti. Maybe you just stayed up a bit later than you probably should have last night and now you’ve only got a short time to get a couple o’ rowdy kids ready for school. Maybe you got up an hour or two earlier than normal to cram some study in, and there simply isn’t time for a trip into town for a latte.
No matter how your morning is shaping up, this take on a traditional latte is quick enough to slot into any hectic schedule, 100% beginner friendly, and tastes about as good as that vanilla latte you might buy at your local coffee shop (without the price tag). What more could you ask for to help kick off a busy day?
The below recipe will make 1 vanilla latte, so adjust as required. And don’t be afraid to play around with the measurements… after all that’s just another advantage of making it at home instead of heading down to the coffee shop. If you love vanilla, put a drop more extract in. If you enjoy a bit of ground cinnamon, shake a smattering of that on top. Turn it into your own masterpiece!
The Ingredients For Coffee Shop Vanilla Latte
- 2 shots (or 1/3 cup) of espresso or strong brewed coffee
- 2/3 cups of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Grated chocolate to serve (optional)
The “How To”
- The first step to creating a good vanilla latte is getting the vanilla bit right. Start by putting a tablespoon of sugar into a coffee mug, and dissolving it in a splash of boiling water (approximately 3 tablespoons for those who have a slightly more measured approach to life)
- Add in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir it well to form a vanilla syrup
- Now the key step to any brilliant latte – a good espresso shot (or 2). So fire up your espresso machine (see espresso machines with milk frothers here) and smash out 2 espresso shots. If you don’t have a fancy espresso machine and you’re thinking, “oh well, I’m stuck with the coffee shop then”, don’t despair yet! You can set yourself up with an AeroPress or French press for a relatively small amount of money. These contraptions use a plunger to generate pressure and extract a shot of coffee. Whilst they are not typically thought of as espresso makers, if you use a finely, freshly ground dark roast along with a small amount of hot water and a quick plunge, you’ll get a fairly accurate (slightly toned down) replica of a real espresso shot
- Add the shots to the vanilla syrup
- Next comes the milk. Ideally a latte contains approximately 2/3 frothed milk to 1/3 espresso, with a bit of foam on top. The key to a coffee shop style latte is to get the milk to a creamy, even consistency – not too flat, and not too bubbly. This is known to the gurus as “micro-foam” and is often described as having a paint-like texture. Achieving this is easier if you have an espresso machine with a steamer, however if you don’t, a hand-held milk frother (check out handhelds here) is a fantastic alternative (that costs a lot less). Start by simply heating 2/3 cup of whole milk on the stovetop to a temperature of approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit (or use a steamer)
- Now transfer the hot milk to a jug and start frothing. Continue until the milk thickens with small bubbles – make sure you move the frother around in the milk to get it consistent as possible. Once it looks thick and foamy, give the jug a couple hard taps on your kitchen top and swirl the milk around in it briefly to get rid of any bigger unwanted bubbles
- Let the milk sit for 30 seconds or so, then pour it into your vanilla espresso mixture. The thinner milk should come out of the jug first leaving you with some creamy foam to spoon on top of your latte
- Add some grated chocolate to the top to give it that genuine Coffee Shop Vanilla Latte look
- … and get out there and own the day
Vanilla Espresso, Ice cream Recipe
WAIT! There’s more… seasons change. Days and nights roll around. Winter turns to spring, spring turns to summer. You might wonder where I’m going with this, but chances are you live in a part of the world where the weather sometimes becomes a tad too hot to truly enjoy your new favorite hot latte. There’s an easy twist you can make to the coffee shop vanilla latte that will turn it into a treat that can be enjoyed on the hottest of summer days!
Simply create the vanilla syrup and espresso shots following the steps above. Put it into the freezer to chill it briefly. In the meantime put a scoop of ice cream in a jug, pour 1/3 cup of milk over the top and blend well. Remove the vanilla espresso mixture from the freezer, pour in the milk and ice cream and add a few ice cubes. Voila! The perfect coffee shop style iced vanilla latte.
- You may like: Best 20 Bar Espresso Machines under $200
- Try this recipe: Milk Frother Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
- Read: Best Milk Frothers For Cold Froth
- For automated milk frothers try: Best Milk Steamers 2022 (Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Co Coa Drinks)
- An interesting read: History of Cappuccinos and Frothed Milk