From cinnamon to chocolate there is nothing more refreshing than an iced latte on a hot summer’s day. Our guide will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to make iced latte at home.
Iced lattes are so easy to make that the possibilities are endless. Forget all the fancy equipment at your local coffee shop or Starbucks, we will show you how to make it in your own home!
Here’s what you need to know about making one of these tasty coffee drinks for yourself, including:
- What’s in an iced latte?
- How to make an iced latte at home
- Are latte and iced coffee the same thing?
- Do you need to froth milk for an iced latte?
- What kind of milk should I use?
- The best sweeteners for iced lattes
- How to make an iced latte without espresso
- How caffeine is in an iced latte
What’s in an iced latte?
Simply put, an iced latte is a hot latte but iced. Instead of steamed milk, cold milk is added along with some ice cubes. Generally, there is a 1:8 ratio of coffee to milk but there is no set iced latte recipe.
How to make iced latte
- Espresso machine
- Burr grinder
- Coffee mug
- 20 grams espresso per shot of espresso pulled
- 8 oz whole milk or non-dairy alternative
- 2 oz sweetener
- Step 1: Grind your beans. Grind your coffee beans and place them in your portafilter. Tamp down evenly and clean the edges. Place in your espresso machine group head.
- Step 2: Pull your espresso. Pull your espresso shot. After pulling your shot, fill a 12oz tall glass with ice. Fill it 4/5 full with milk.
- Step 3: Pour your shot. Pour your espresso shot into the glass and mix. You can pour the espresso first then the milk if you like. But, as a professional barista, I like watching the espresso seep down the milk from the top! You can use 1 or 2 shots of espresso, depending on how strong you like your coffee.
- Step 4: Serve or drink your homemade iced latte! If you're looking for a cute alternative, pour your iced latte into a mason jar and serve it with a colorful paper straw!
There is no one way to make an iced latte so customize our recipe to your liking! If you want a stronger tasting latte, use 2 or even 3 shots of espresso. You can also add more or less sweetener depending on your taste.
Are latte and iced coffee the same thing?
No. A latte and iced coffee aren’t the same. A latte uses espresso, which is then mixed with chilled milk and ice.
Iced coffee is brewed drip coffee that’s been cooled and poured over ice.
A latte has a 1:8 coffee to milk ratio and is usually flavored with a sweetener so it tastes more like coffee-flavored milk. Iced coffee can have milk and sugar in it but no way near the amount a latte has.
How about cold brew coffee?
Another iced coffee misconception is the difference between an iced latte and cold brew.
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for several hours or overnight. It is a strong brewed coffee that has an earthier, chocolate-like taste. Cold brew coffee is served in a glass with ice and often mixed with milk to balance the strong-bodied flavor. It can be made into a big batch and kept in the fridge for 7 to 10 days!
Do you need to froth milk for an iced latte?
Usually, for a hot latte, the barista will steam and froth your milk. With an iced latte, there’s no need! The warm milk will melt your ice and your latte will become watery. The great thing about iced lattes is that they are quicker to make and require less washing up!
What kind of milk should I use?
Baristas like me will always recommend using whole milk. We love the creaminess and richness it offers and it pairs perfectly with espresso. However, in summer, you might be looking for a lighter texture. In this case, we would recommend 2% or reduced-fat milk. It is lighter than whole milk and still has some creaminess.
If you are searching for non-dairy milk, then one of our go-to is oat milk. Almond milk is our second favorite. Pair oat milk with vanilla syrup and you have a delicious combination for a vegan iced latte.
Baristas typically avoid using full-fat cream or half-and-half for lattes as the high-fat content would make the drink too rich. But if you added half-and-half to your iced latte you have an iced breve latte.
The best sweeteners for iced lattes
The most common sweetener for iced lattes is a simple syrup made from water and sugar. Coffee shops usually add sugar syrups to their iced coffee drinks too. However, there are plenty of other sugar alternatives available, which will add more flavor than just pure sweetness.
Honey is a barista favorite. Although it has more calories than refined white sugar, it contains more vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels much and there are so many types of honey available! With tastes ranging from floral to spicy, honey is a great sweetener for your iced latte.
Similar to honey, maple syrup is another delicious option to sweeten your iced latte. Although a more unusual choice, it’s also one with a great variety. There are many grades of maple syrup–lighter maple syrups are subtly sweet whereas darker ones have more of a caramel flavor to them.
Vanilla syrup is a fantastic way to add another boost of flavor to your latte. The aroma and floral sweetness of an iced vanilla latte on a hot summer’s day are delicious beyond compare.
There are plenty of other toppings, which you can add to your iced latte. Cinnamon and nutmeg can add natural sweetness and a spice kick. They have no added calories and a little goes a long way.
Cocoa powder and chocolate shavings are also fantastic toppings for iced latte lovers with a sweet tooth. An iced caramel latte topped with whipped cream is another favorite option.
How to make iced latte without espresso
Don’t have an espresso machine? Don’t sweat it! Strongly brewed drip coffee can mimic the taste of espresso.
Avid readers and coffee enthusiasts will know how much we love Moka pots. They’re a fantastic alternative to espresso machines. Using finely ground coffee, you can produce intense, strong-bodied coffee, which can be used to make an iced latte.
Similar to the Moka Pot, an Aeropress is a pressure-operated manual coffee pot that can brew strong coffee. It is easy to carry around and because it doesn’t need batteries or electricity to run it’s perfect to use while you’re traveling, camping, or on a road trip.
French press and drip coffee
You can also use a french press! Use half the amount of water you would normally use so you get a strongly brewed coffee.
Add your milk and ice and stir.
You can also add it to a cocktail shaker and mix to get a little bit of froth if you like. We also like to use cold brew as it is strongly concentrated coffee and makes for a great alternative to espresso!
In a pinch, you can use instant coffee to make a quick and refreshing iced latte. Just add a tablespoon of instant coffee granules (we love Illy’s Instant Coffee) to a glass, fill 1/2 way with cold water, add your ice and then top with whole milk. Voila! Instant iced latte.
How much caffeine is in an iced latte?
The amount of caffeine depends on how many shots you use for your latte. One shot of espresso has around 40mg of caffeine. If you’re watching your caffeine intake, consider using decaf beans. Sometimes decaf doesn’t have the same punch as caffeinated coffee. If you make a decaf iced latte consider adding a double or triple espresso shot!
Takeaways on how to make iced latte
Enjoy coffee as a summer pick-me-up. It’s quick and easy to make iced lattes at home so start experimenting with recipes that stand out to you and you can say goodbye to Starbucks and save a ton of money and time! Iced coffee and cold brew have had their day. This summer its iced lattes turn to shine! Comment down below on your favorite iced latte recipe!