Secrets to Making a Great Latte at Home

You love a good latte. But maybe you’ve never thought of making one at home because you assumed you’d have to buy an expensive espresso maker. News flash: You don’t actually need fancy equipment to make a latte.

We asked the coffee taster who helps assess coffee makers in Consumer Reports’ tests for his secrets to making great lattes without all the extra equipment (he’s an anonymous tester who tastes coffee for boutique and major coffee brands).

Below, you’ll learn everything from the kinds of coffee beans to buy to frothing milk without a milk frother. And if after reading the […]

Make the Perfect Latte at Home

Skip the expensive espresso maker and use an AeroPress ($30) or a moka pot ($30 to $70 for those made by the popular Italian brand Bialetti) to brew espresso. Both use pressure to force water through the coffee grounds, similar to a real espresso machine. They yield brews that taste pretty darn close to the real thing (a regular coffee maker won’t yield as rich a brew).

With the AeroPress, you just put it over a mug, and add fine coffee grounds and hot water. Then stir the water around for 10 seconds and use a plunger to slowly force the brew through the filter and into your mug.

Moka pots consist of three chambers that, when heated on a stove, force water through fine coffee grounds and a filter so you get espresso in the top chamber that you can pour out.

You don’t need a milk frother or an espresso maker’s steam wand to make foamed milk for your lattes. A blender, hand mixer, or French press will do the trick.

With a blender, simply pour warm milk into it and blend until you achieve your desired level of froth. The hand mixer method is similar, just pour warm milk into a bowl and aerate it. For the French-press method, our expert taste tester says to pour your warmed milk into the French press and pump it up and down repeatedly until you get a frothy milk.