Lisa is a barista with over 15 years of experience in many different venues, including Som’s Cafe. Below are her step by step instructions on how you can make your favorite coffee shop latte at home.
First, we need to talk about the different components of a latte and what you will need to craft your beverage. Believe it or not, you can still brew an espresso at home even if you don’t own a fancy espresso machine. There are some excellent and inexpensive methods out there for brewing your own espresso right in your own kitchen.
The one I am going to be focusing on today is the brewing method using a Bialetti Mokka Pot. The reason I prefer this method is that I feel it most effectively replicates the extraction method used with an actual espresso machine with the convenience of using it on your own stovetop. Bialetti makes different sizes of the Mokka pot, ranging from 3-8 cup sizes. Because Bialetti is an Italian company, the cup sizes they are referring to are actually 1oz espresso per cup, the size of an Italian style shot of espresso.
This works well for your home latte preparation because you can buy whatever size Mokka pot you want based on how many lattes you are making at once. My husband and I have a 6 cup Mokka pot and we usually split the contents between the two of us when we use it, making two lattes with 3 shots of espresso each. The average price for a Bialetti Mokka Pot is around $30-$50, depending on what size pot you want and you can find them online or at most stores that sell kitchen supplies. Here is a link to the Bialetti website where you can shop all their coffee brewing products: https://www.bialetti.com/it_en/
Most coffee shops use an espresso roast to make their lattes and other coffee beverages, so that’s what I would recommend using for your latte. Som’s Café sells their own signature espresso roast that is smooth and sweet and you can choose to have it pre ground for brewing espresso https://somscafe.com/product-category/coffee/. If you have a coffee grinder at home, it should have a setting that says espresso or extra fine, and that’s the setting you should be using.
The grind is very important because it effects the extraction level of the coffee. If you want your espresso to taste strong enough, then you want to use the correct grind.
The method I recommend for heating and frothing your milk is to heat the milk in a pan on your stove and then use an emersion hand blender to aerate the milk, creating a froth that’s comparable to the foam you get on your coffee shop latte. If you don’t have a hand blender you can use a french press, standard blender, or whisk to froth the milk.
You can leave this part out if you prefer your latte unsweetened. If you are trying to replicate your favorite coffee shop drink at home, you can find different flavored coffee syrups in grocery stores, online, or at World Market (my preferred place to look for syrups). You can also use Hershey Syrup to make a Café Mocha. Be creative and use whatever flavors and toppings you like and have available. We will be sharing our seasonal latte recipes coming soon through our monthly subscription service.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Fill the bottom of the Mokka Pot up with filtered water to the fill line.
2. Fill the filter to the top with ground espresso. Gently press the espresso down with a spoon. It should be packed down but not packed too tightly.
3. Insert the filter into the bottom of the Mokka pot. Then screw on the top part of the pot.
4. Set the Mokka pot on the stovetop burner and turn the heat up to boil. It will take about 5 minutes for the water to start boiling and then the brewing process will begin.
5. While you are waiting for the water to boil, add milk to a small saucepan and put it on the stove on medium heat. You want to heat the milk to 140°. The milk should be warm by the time you froth it but not boiling.
6. Once the water in the Mokka pot is boiling, the espresso will start to brew. If you open the lid to the top part of the pot you will see the brewed espresso start pouring out of the spout that’s inside the top part of the pot. The coffee will quickly pour out and fill the top part of the pot. Once the espresso is done brewing, you can take the pot off the heat and set it aside while you froth the milk.
7. By now your milk should be warm. Take your emersion blender, put it into the warm milk and blend the milk until a thick foam is created about 30 seconds.
8. Now is the time to add sweetener or syrup to your latte if you are adding any. You want to put it in the bottom of your cup so you can pour the hot espresso onto the sweetener to melt it.
9. You should have about 6oz of brewed espresso in your Mokka pot. One shot glass of espresso is about 1oz. If you have shot glasses you can use them to measure your espresso, or you can use any measuring cup with ounces marked on it. For a 16oz mug you want 2-3oz of brewed espresso, depending on how strong you want your latte to be. If you have some espresso left over in the Mokka pot, you can save it for a second latte or make a latte for someone else.
10. Pour the 2-3 shots of espresso into your cup. If you added a sweetener or syrup, stir the espresso after you pour it in the cup to incorporate the sweetener and get it melted into the espresso.
11. Add your steamed milk. You might find it easier to pour some of the frothed milk from the saucepan into a small liquid measuring pitcher and then pour it from that pitcher into your cup. For a latte, you want to hold back the foam with a spoon and pour the milk on top of the espresso, then add a dollop of foam at the top. If you want to try making a cappuccino, you can pour a mixture of the foam and milk straight into the cup without holding back the foam.
Try these steps out at home and post about your experience tagging us @SomsCafe to win some of our Som’s Café signature Espresso Roast.