I have asked my friends why Starbucks continues to be a popular hangout or meet-up place, and I found that a common denominator is because of the place’s ambiance. The quality of the food and beverage is acceptable, but mostly it is because the coffee shop has become a sort of haven to relax and socialize.
You can definitely emulate this feeling at home, and learning how to make a Starbucks-like beverage is enough to complete the experience. An iced latte or espresso with cold milk is one of the prominent and easiest drinks in the coffee shop’s array.
- Espresso machine – you can manually make an espresso shot using a Moka pot, an Aeropress, a French press, or even drip coffee if you do not have one.
- 12 oz glass
- Milk frother (optional)
- One-ounce espresso shot
- Eight ounces of whole milk or plant-based milk alternative
- One to two ounces of sweeteners (optional)
- Half a teaspoon of flavorings such as cinnamon, chocolate, or vanilla (optional)
- Ice (optional)
Step One: Brew Your Espresso Shot
Choose fine medium to medium-dark coffee. Make sure to clean your espresso machine and preheat it for about 15 minutes before using it. Check out our guide on how to pull an espresso shot.
You can also follow our guide on brewing espresso with different coffee makers but do expect a downgrade in terms of the quality of flavor. Regardless, following these instructions will still give you a strong and robust shot for your iced latte.
Step Two: Prepare Your Milk
I recommend letting your milk cool in the refrigerator for about an hour or two, as this is crucial in chilling your iced latte, especially if you prefer a drink with just liquid and no ice. If you are going to add frothed milk just for texture, this is the time to do so.
In a separate glass, pour about one-eighth of a cup or about one ounce of milk and froth it for ten to 40 seconds or until you get the desired consistency. If you don’t have a frother, you can opt to whisk it for about 30 seconds to one minute or until it gets thick enough.
Step Three: Pour The Espresso
Your espresso shot should be done by now. Carefully pour it into your tall size glass. If you prefer your iced latte with ice, put this in the glass first before adding the espresso.
For the optional sweetener and or flavoring, I recommend mixing this with the espresso shot. Otherwise, you can add all of these consecutively to the glass you will be serving.
I usually mix the ingredients together in a separate glass before adding it to the one I will serve the drink in to avoid quickly melting the ice. Otherwise, it might result in the flavor being slightly diluted before I can enjoy the beverage.
Step Four: Add The Milk
Pour your eight ounces of milk gently into the glass to combine it with the other ingredients. Be careful while pouring to make sure the drink won’t overflow.
Scoop the frothed milk with a spoon and add it on top of the beverage for that extra creamy texture. You can use your leftover powdered flavorings, like cinnamon, as garnish if you prefer.
Step Five: Serve Your Iced Latte
Once all of these steps are done, you now have one tall iced latte! You can upgrade to a grande or venti size by increasing the number of espresso shots (two shots for grande, two to three shots for venti) and milk (add one or two ounces per upgrade in size). It will all depend on your taste and, most importantly, caffeine tolerance!
Looking for the warmer version of this drink? You can also read our how to practice latte art at home.
Other Variations Of An Iced Latte
An iced latte is basically an espresso with cold milk. Don’t be confused with an iced café au lait, as there is a difference.
A latte is two parts milk and one part espresso, while the café au lait has equal portions of these two ingredients.
Additionally, the café au lait is often made with a strong-tasting regular brewed coffee instead of an espresso shot.
Making The Best Espresso Shot
Choosing the best coffee beans to use to make a traditional espresso can be crucial in making an iced latte. I recommend the Illy Classico Medium Roast as its notes of chocolate and caramel add a natural sweetness to the beverage that will make you want to omit the sweeteners and flavorings.
- THE COFFEE YOU DESIRE - illy’s blend of fine Arabica ground coffee with a distinctive flavor, featuring a mild and balanced taste with notes of caramel, orange blossom, and jasmine.
- PREPARE COFFEE WITH EASE - Evoke a classic Italian beverage at any time. Coffee is to be freshly prepared and enjoyed immediately. Create the finest coffee experience in the comfort of your home.
- THE FINEST GROUND COFFEE - We select only the 1% of the finest beans, thanks to a devoted collaboration with growers who place maximum importance on quality and sustainability.
- WE BRING THE TASTE OF ITALY TO YOU - We’ve spent eight decades refining a singular, signature blend celebrated over the world as the pinnacle of what espresso coffee can be.
- SUSTAINABILITY IS OUR VISION - We pride ourselves on the constant focus on our environment and the community. We are part of a global movement with a common goal: to pave the way for a better, more liveable and more enlightened world.
You can choose the Intenso Bold Roast for a stronger flavor and deep notes of dark chocolate that will highlight the creaminess of the dairy. On another note, you can also make an espresso shot if you have a Nespresso Machine or a Keurig Coffee Maker. If you have the Nespresso VertuoLine, consider the creamy and full-bodied Altissio capsule as its malty, smokey, and chocolate-like flavor profile complements superbly with the milk or even oat milk.
For the OriginalLine, the light roast fans will rejoice, as I would recommend something sweeter like the Volluto. Its interesting notes of biscuit and citrus fruits attributed to South American coffee beans give a bright acidity and malty flavor to your iced latte.
Keurig machine owners won’t be disappointed, as there are Illy K-cups available as well! While I will still recommend the Classico, you might want to try out the Forte Extra Bold Roast. It boasts an intense yet subtle bitterness that blends with the deep dark chocolate and caramel notes to give your iced latte several layers of flavor.
- EXTRA DARK ROAST - Dark roast is rich, strong, and full flavored with an intense aroma of toasted bread with a log-lasting aftertaste of dark chocolate. A distinctive and bold taste in the convenience of single serve kpod coffee pods.
- K CUPS COFFEE CONVENIENCE - Remove the capsule from the package. Place the capsule in the chamber and activate the brew cycle. Pop these k pods in your Keurig coffee machine and fill your mug with the right brew.
- FLAVORFUL & SMOOTH ITALIAN COFFEE - K-cups coffee pods hit you with smooth beginnings and lingering finishes, with each sip being full of flavor.
- WE BRING THE TASTE OF ITALY TO YOU - We’ve spent eight decades refining a singular, signature blend celebrated all over the world as the pinnacle of what single-serve coffee can be.
- SUSTAINABILITY IS OUR VISION - We pride ourselves on the constant focus on our environment and the community. We are part of a global movement with a common goal: to pave the way for a better, more liveable, and more enlightened world.