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How to Make a Caramel Latte

How to Make a Caramel Latte

This Caramel Latte is a delicious dessert drink you can create at home! It’s a quick and simple dish that only takes a few ingredients. The ideal midday or afternoon pick-me-up!

The rich taste of a caramel latte makes it unlike any other coffeehouse beverage. Learning how to make a caramel latte at home can save money and time, but it requires a few skills.

A caramel latte is made by pulling shots of espresso, steaming milk, creating foam, then adding caramel to the drink. For a special touch, caramel lattes are sometimes topped with whipped cream and drizzled with syrup.

Below we will learn how to make a 12-ounce caramel latte.

Caramel Latte

Choosing the type of milk

First, you must decide what type of milk you prefer to use. At most coffee shops, 2% or whole milk is the standard, but you can use any type of milk for a latte, even soy milk. Using soy milk makes a soy caramel latte, skim milk makes a skinny caramel latte, and half-and-half makes a breve caramel latte.

Can I make this recipe using non-dairy milk?

Absolutely. Make the same recipe, but substitute almond or coconut milk for dairy milk.

Steaming the milk

Once you have chosen the kind of milk, you want t use, pour about 10 ounces into a stainless steel steaming pitcher, and insert a food thermometer into the milk. Next, place the steaming wand tip just under the surface of the milk. Turn the dial counterclockwise as far as it can go to begin heating the milk.

To create foam, gently begin raising the steaming wand tip until it rests just above the surface of the milk to create foam. Continue raising the wand tip as the foam rises. A light hissing sound is a key to making the perfect foam, and the foam ideally should have the consistency of shaving cream.

person preparing latte with art

For a caramel latte, only a small amount of foam is necessary, just a spoonful or two, so once enough froth is made (usually a few seconds of the hissing noise), you can lower the wand deeper into the milk until the milk reaches 150-160 degrees.

Turning the dial off (clockwise) between these temperatures allows the milk enough room to rise to 170 degrees or drop to 140 degrees, both acceptable temperatures for a latte. Always wipe the steaming wand with a clean, damp cloth immediately after steaming milk. Allow the milk to settle from the froth while adding flavor and pulling espresso shots.

Adding desired flavors

Next, add about one to two ounces of caramel sauce (richer) or syrup to your favorite coffee mug or tumbler. A great flavoring brand is Torani, which many coffeehouses use, and most specialty food stores sell these in a smaller size.

Before pulling the espresso shots, pour the steamed milk into the cup with the caramel syrup, using a spoon to hold back the foam, saving about two inches of space for the shots and froth.

Pulling the shots of espresso

Pull a Shot of Espresso

To achieve the best-tasting shots, grind the espresso beans before pulling them. Load fresh grinds into the portafilter handle until heaping, and tamp level before inserting into the espresso machine. Time the shots to be sure to pull shots between 16-26, preferably between 18-23.

Immediately after pulling good shot(s), pour one (weaker) or two (stronger) into the cup filled with steamed milk to save the shots from becoming bitter. The espresso has only ten seconds before it begins losing flavor and increasing in bitterness.

Finishing touches and tips

Stir thoroughly after putting the espresso into the mug or cup to melt and distribute the caramel sauce properly. Add one or two spoonfuls of froth or, if desired, top with whipped cream. Enjoy your delicious caramel latte.

Can I make a caramel latte in the microwave?

You certainly can! Microwave the milk until it is hot, then whisk in the caramel and sugar until they are dissolved.

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