Ah, the comforting mystery of the creamy, foamy latte. Some folks find the prospect of making one at home intimidating, but you don’t need a fancy cappuccino maker to make a lovely latte. All you need is milk, strongly-brewed coffee, tea, or even tisane, and your favorite sweetener.
While dairy produces the best foamy result, you can sometimes also get a nice foam with oat, soy, or hemp milk. Some nut milks are also good foam producers, like almond, cashew, or hazelnut, but homemade nut milks seem to work best, because many brands are really mostly water. Experiment with your favorite milks to see which you like best.
Once you’ve got your ingredients, you’re ready to brew:
- Brew your tea, coffee, or tisane stronger than usual. Since there are two of us, if I’m using bag tea, I use two bags for one 8 oz cup of water, since I’ll divide the tea in half and then fill the rest of the glass with milk.
- The trick is a 2-1 of warm, foamy milk to your concentrated brew. At the same time that your tea is steeping, you should heat your milk. You can microwave, but I recommend using the stove top. Heat for about 5 minutes or to just boiling. My mom prefers to let the milk scald and get the little skin on top, and I admit it does taste yummy that way.
- Once the milk is warm, if you don’t have a steamer or frother, you can hand whisk or use an immersion blender until it is nice and bubbly. You can sweeten your tea, your froth, or both.
- That’s pretty much it. Pour the froth over the tea, and enjoy!
Rose Earl Grey Latte
My first recommendation is one of my favorite lattes lately and one that I modified slightly from a recipe by Todd at HonestlyYum. This one is somewhat of a splurge unless you have the ingredients on hand. I happened to have a small, unopened envelope of dried rose petals from World Market that I bought for a cake I never made, and I keep rose water on hand for rose lassis.
I used fewer rose petals in the syrup than the 1/2 cup Todd recommends, opting for only about a tablespoon, because I didn’t have very much to begin with. I compensated by adding a teaspoon of rose water to the syrup as well as swishing some around in my mug as well. It tastes divine (and better, probably than the brief petal infusion would have got me anyway).
For a first time tea latte-er, I don’t think you can go wrong with Earl Grey. It pairs really well with floral flavours, so you could try lavender or jasmine instead if you’re feeling experimental.
Rooibos Masala Latte
If you’re going for something a bit tamer and less intensive, my second latte of the week is a Rooibos Masala Latte. I used Numi’s Rooibos Masala Chai tea bags and added sweetened condensed milk to the milk before I frothed. That’s a neat trick that makes it even creamier. You don’t have to add any other sweetener if you use it. Since this late is caffeine-free, it’s the perfect after dinner dessert, especially on a weeknight ;).