How To Make A Latte Without An Espresso Machine (Quick Guide)

Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by John Moretti

Almost every article about how to save money advises making your coffee at home rather than going to your favorite coffee shop. Creamy and frothy with a mild coffee flavor, I love a good latte. But I spend way too much on lattes every week. I decided that I was going to make my own lattes at home, despite having without an espresso machine.

Start by pouring milk into a jar and shake vigorously to create a foam. Then place the jar in the microwave to heat. Brew a strong portion of espresso in a plunger. Pour the espresso into a cup, then add the warm milk, being careful not to allow the foam to tumble in. Lastly, top with milky foam. 

You can enjoy a latte every day. Lattes are really easy to make even if you don’t have a fancy espresso machine or want to cut down on trips to the coffee shop. 

Step By Step Guide On Making A Latte Without An Espresso Machine

A good beverage begins with good quality ingredients. A latte is no different. It is made by combining one-third of espresso with two-thirds of steamed milk and topping with foam. The coffee beans that you use will play a major role in the quality of the latte, so pick beans that have the right amount of acidity and robustness. 

The milk you choose to use is a matter of preference.

Whole milk ranks highest when it comes to creating a foam, so is the milk of choice to use in lattes (in my opinion). When frothed, whole milk creates a thick and creamy foam, giving more body to your latte. Many baristas use skim milk or low-fat milk to make coffee drinks. These varieties of milk are much lighter, so when frothed, the quantity of foam is higher and the bubbles are bigger. When added to a latte, it creates a more delicate, less creamy drink. 

Here’s how make your latte wihout an espresso machine:

french press
  1. Start by brewing your espresso. To do this grind your coffee beans, or use pre-ground coffee beans, and then place in a plunger or French press. Pour in boiling water and allow to brew. Depending on your preferences, you could also brew a strong cup of coffee instead of espresso to make your latte. You will just need about one-third of a cup – it is important that the coffee is strong and not diluted.
  2. While the coffee is brewing, make the foam. Pour some milk in a jar, close the lid so that the jar is tightly sealed. Give the jar a good shake, until the milk is frothy and has doubled in volume. It should take about a minute.  If you have a milk frother, even better. It is best to froth milk that is cold because it absorbs air more effectively than warm or hot milk.
  3. Once the milk is nice and frothy, remove the lid and place the jar of milk in the microwave to heat. As the milk heats up, the foam will rise to the top of the jar.
  4. By this stage your espresso or coffee would have been brewing for long enough. Pour it into a cup. 
  5. Pour the warm milk into the cup with the coffee. To avoid the froth slipping in with the steamed milk, use a spoon to keep the froth in the jar.
  6. Lastly, use a spoon to top your latte with the foam – you can add as much as you like!
  7. To take your latte to fancy coffee shop level, sprinkle with a dusting of cocoa powder or nutmeg.
  8. It is mandatory to sit down and savor each sip!

How Do You Make An Iced Latte Without An Espresso Machine?

iced latte

My favorite thing about summer is swopping my latte for an iced latte! 

It is so easy to make. Follow the steps above. Then, after adding the warm milk, throw in some ice cubes before topping with froth.

Ideas On How To Add Different Flavors To Your Latte

coffee mocha

I don’t know about you, but what keeps me going back to coffee shops to get my caffeine fix is the yummy flavors on offer. A latte is great, a butterscotch latte is an indulgent treat! You can add almost any flavor you would like to your own homemade lattes.

The easiest way to add different flavors to your latte is with coffee syrups. From hazelnut to marshmallow, coconut to caramel, there is a huge selection of delicious coffee syrups that you can buy from your local supermarket or from specialty coffee shops. 

You could also use essence to add additional flavor to your latte. Vanilla essence and almond tend to be the most popular. 

Mixing chocolate into your latte would technically turn it into a Café Mocha. But you’re making it at home, for yourself, so what’s in a name. You could try white chocolate for a sweet treat or dark chocolate for a deep and richer tasting latte. Top with a generous sprinkling of finely grated chocolate.

Combine syrups, essence, and toppings to discover your favorite flavor. Disclaimer – you will need to sample many cups of latte! My current fave is vanilla essence, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Can You Make A Latte With Instant Coffee? 

instant coffee

The milk to the coffee ratio in a latte is two to one. For this reason, a good latte has to be made with strong coffee, otherwise, it can taste weak and insipid. 

If you are using instant coffee, ensure that it is of good quality. You may also need to add more coffee granules to the boiling water. 


You may be trying to reign in your expenditure, but there is no need to give up your lattes. You can make your own delicious lattes at home, with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, even if you don’t have an espresso machine or milk frother. 

Buy a few coffee syrups to take your latte from basic to bougie and you can whip up flavored lattes whenever you like.