Vanilla is my favorite latte flavor. I almost always order it, the exception being the seasonal peppermint mocha or pumpkin spice latte. Making lattes at home is easier than I ever thought it could be, but that doesn't mean I won't go to the coffee shop for a treat from time to time. It's just nice to stay home and save money sometimes. With this technique, you can have homemade vanilla syrup in less than 5 minutes!
Vanilla Latte Recipe
A latte is a drink that is half espresso, half steamed milk. We are going to add to this recipe by creating homemade, vanilla syrup.
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, moist
- small sauce pan
- air-tight container for storage
Split the vanilla bean in half and scrap out the seeds with a sharp knife. If you need to see a demonstration, view this vanilla bean splitting tutorial on YouTube.
Alternatively, you can cut the whole bean into segments, split the segments, and leave the seeds in the pod. Both methods will provide a great vanilla flavor.
Combine the sugar, water, and vanilla beans (or pod segments) in the small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and watch how the sugar melts into the water.
Let it boil for a couple of minutes to really let the vanilla flavor out of the beans. You will be left with a clear mixture with seeds and/or pods floating in it.
This makes two cups of syrup; the extra syrup that you don't use today can be kept in an air-tight container such as a jar, tupperware, bottle, or even a clean soap pump if you want to store it like Starbucks does!
For one latte, make 2 ounces of espresso with an espresso machine, or use 2 ounces of very bold blend coffee if you don't have an espresso machine. Steam 2 cups of milk on the stove or with a milk steamer nozzle on the espresso machine.
CoffeeGeek.com has a great tutorial on steaming milk on the stove and with a steaming wand.
Here is another guide to frothing on Coffee Geek.
Blend espresso, milk, and vanilla syrup together, using an ounce or two of syrup to your own liking. If there is any foam from the steam milk, you can spoon it out and put it on top of the drink.
This is a very basic, simplified guide to making your own lattes. There are a lot of great resources out there if you want to learn more about the world of self-brewed coffee.
Other recipe variants
Cappuchino: 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 milk foam (from steaming process)
Espresso Americano: espresso mixed with hot water; add ice cubes for a summer version
Mocha latte: same recipe as above, with chocolate syrup
Macchiotto: espresso topped with milk foam