Hot coffee is a worldwide tradition. Nothing beats the feeling of crisp morning air in fall and winter, followed by a hot cup of the world’s most popular beverage. But what about summer? Enter the iced latte. All the bold espresso and smooth milk you love chilled to a refreshing temperature.
Even better, you don’t have to wait in line or pay coffee shop prices to get one! This step-by-step guide lets you make a wonderfully delicious drink without leaving your kitchen.
A Little Lesson on Lattes
Before we jump into the instructions on making an iced latte, let’s learn a little about the drink itself. Having decent foundational knowledge will help you tinker with the recipe and make perfect lattes.
A latte is simply coffee and milk. Known as a cafe latte in Italy, where it was initially made, it directly translates to milk coffee. Big companies have shortened the name to simply latte. While most shops you visit will make a latte with espresso, the name suggests you can use any coffee or coffee extraction. Lattes are also typically prepared with steamed milk for a couple of reasons: mouthfeel and flavor. The steamed milk adds a creamy texture to the drink when adequately steamed. It also stretches the milk, releasing sugar enzymes and effectively sweetening the drink.
We won’t be steaming the milk for an iced drink because the iced latte has a feel all its own. It could also be a bit of a health risk, as there’s a slight risk that steamed milk could grow unhealthy bacteria when introduced to the ice.
Now that we know all this, we can see that the iced latte is a simple drink. The most important part is the coffee, as everything else is added after brewing. So, let’s make an iced latte!
How to Make an Iced Latte at Home:
1. Prepare your coffee to be brewed.
Whether you want to use strong coffee or espresso is up to you. We prefer espresso, as the notes shine through when combined with milk. We recommend not using flavored coffee. If you want to make a flavored drink, you can add syrup at the end.
If you need to heat water because you are brewing your coffee manually, heat it to just below boiling or let it sit for a minute after boiling. The water should be between 195 and 205 degrees. Boiling water will burn the coffee, taking away the delicacy of the drink.
2. Brew your coffee.
Whatever extraction or brew method you choose, you should brew the coffee in a receptacle that has been preheated as close to the temperature of the coffee as possible. This is to avoid shocking the coffee, which causes a bit of a stale flavor.
3. Transfer your coffee to your cup.
It is time to start constructing! Pour your espresso into the bottom of the cup you’re using for your drink.
4. Put in the desired amount of ice.
Of course, to make an iced latte, you will need ice! Do you want ice to the top, or do you prefer just a few cubes? This step is totally up to you!
5. Pour your milk.
We recommend eight to 10 ounces of milk, but you can put in as much or as little as you’d like. We prefer this specific amount because we think it is the perfect ratio of coffee to milk. If you want to make a larger drink and maintain the balance of coffee and milk, you can always add more!
What’s a Deconstructed Iced Latte?
Some coffee shops have made a deconstructed iced latte, which in our opinion, is just an aesthetic choice, albeit a good one. Instead of pouring the coffee into the drink first, you do it last and enjoy the espresso letting gravity take over, cascading through the milk.
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