How To Make Cappuccinos And Lattes At Home Without Going To Barista School

Although cappuccinos and lattes are not the only drinks that coffee lovers crave, they are some of the most simple and ammenable to adding different flavors. What you know as a chocolate flavored latte is essentially a cafe mocha without the whipped cream.

Assuming that you have the proper equipment: a standard espresso machine capable of foaming milk, espresso beans that have been properly ground, milk (skim milk foams the best), and your choice for the flavoring, if you so desire.

Both a cappuccino and latte have the same beginning.

  • Fill the portafilter with the proper amount of ground espresso beans.
  • Tamp down with enough pressure (technically its about twenty pounds throw your body into it a bit) to make the surface of the ground beans smooth, but make sure that you don’t tamp it too heavily as the hot water must be able to disseminate through the ground coffee.
  • Place the filter into the machine.
  • Place an espresso shot glass or cup underneath the filter to catch the espresso.
  • Begin to steam the milk to a temperature that is no less than 140 degrees.
  • NOW… turn the machine on to brew the espresso. The flavor of the espresso deteriorates when the shots have to sit for more than thirty seconds.
  • For one drink, you will need two ounces of espresso brewed.

Here is where the two recipes differentiate from each other.


  • You want to create an ample amount of foam in the milk by tipping the pitcher or container that is holding the heated milk and bringing the steaming apparatus along the surface gently bringing the steam wand up as the foam is created. This additional foam is vital for the cappuccino. When the milk is thoroughly heated and you have created enough foam to fill one third of your coffee mug, then turn off the steam wand and pour the espresso shots.
  • In your coffee cup, put the shot(s) into the cup first
  • Add enough milk to fill the cup two thirds of the way
  • In the remaining space, spoon out foam
  • You have a perfectly blended cappuccino if you like a little flavoring, you can place that into the cup before adding the espresso and stir with the milk and espresso before topping it off with foam.


  • The same concept applies with a latter but without the additional foam. Only a little extra foam needs to be made for the latte.
  • Add the shots to your cup, then fill the cup with milk, leaving only a little room for a short layer of foam
  • Some coffee shops add whipped cream, which is great eye candy and tastes great, but is not the proper definition of a latte
  • Adding flavoring happens at the beginning, as with the cappuccino.

Now you know how to make authentic cappuccinos and lattes.

[tags]how to make a cappuccino at home, how to make a latte at home, cappuccino recipe, latte recipe, espresso, espresso recipe, how to use an espresso machine[/tags]