How To Make Cappuccino And Latte At Home

How To Make Cappuccino And Latte At Home
Cappuccino image @bdthomas via

On Your Own: How To Make Cappuccino And Latte In The Comfort Of Your Own Home Without Going To Barista School

Although cappuccino and latte are not the only drinks that coffee lovers crave, they are some of the most simple and mutable. A chocolate flavored latte is essentially a cafe mocha without the whipped cream. But I digress, let’s get to the drinks. We have to assume that you have the proper equipment first: a standard espresso machine capable of foaming milk, espresso beans that have been properly ground, milk (skim foam is best), and the flavoring of your choosing (if any).

Both drinks begin the same.

Fill the portafilter, as I call it, with the proper amount of espresso.

Tamp down with enough pressure (technically it’s about twenty pounds throw your body into it a bit) to make the surface of the ground beans smooth.

Place the filter into the machine.

Place an espresso shot glass or cup underneath the filter to catch the espresso.

Begin to steam the milk to a temperature that is no less than 140 degrees and as hot as you find pleasurable.

THEN, turn the machine on to brew the espresso. The flavor is spoiled when the shots have to sit for more than thirty seconds.

For one drink, you will need two ounces of espresso brewed.

This is where the two recipes differentiate from each other, but not by much.
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You want to create an ample amount of foam in the milk by tipping the pitcher or container that is holding the heated milk and bringing the steaming apparatus along the surface gently bringing the steam wand up as the foam is created. This additional foam is vital for the cappuccino. When the milk is thoroughly heated and you have created enough foam to fill one third of your coffee mug, then turn off the steam wand and pour the espresso shots.

In your coffee cup, put the shot(s) into the cup first

Add enough milk to fill the cup two thirds of the way

In the remaining space, spoon out foam

You have a perfectly blended cappuccino if you like a little flavoring, you can place that into the cup before adding the espresso and stir with the milk and espresso before topping it off with foam.

The same concept applies with a latte but without the additional foam. Only a little extra foam needs to be made for the latte.

Add the shots to your cup, then fill the cup with milk, leaving only a little room for a short layer of foam

Some coffee shops add whipped cream, but this is not the proper definition of a latte

Adding flavoring happens at the beginning, as with the cappuccino.

Now you know how to make authentic cappuccinos and lattes not so hard, huh? Maybe next time I’ll give up the recipe for something else. Any ideas?

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  1. Fee says

    forgive me if anyone has made a comment on this before as i didnt read all the comments. you said spoon the remaining foam in a cappuccino this always annoys me to see in coffee shops you shouldnt need a spoon and we were always trained how to do it without, stamp the foamed up milk on the counter (not to hard or its all over your face) and swirl the jug repeat until a smooth shiney foamey milk is produced, pour into the cup, raise higher to get more milk than foam but shimming the milk into the cup at the end to get the foamey top

  2. Capperfection says

    I have got to take issue with the comment about making the milk ‘as hot as you find pleasurable’. The perfect temperature is between 140 and 160 degrees. Any hotter than that and the chemical structure of the milk is affected and that ruins its flavor and texture.

  3. Betsy says

    I use an easy cheat for foaming milk, since I can’t come to terms with the steam wand (it is a beast to clean, it’s too short to reach far enough into milk, I can’t find a good-size pitcher, etc.)

    Anyway, my cheat: microwave 1/2 Cup milk in a glass measuring cup for 45 seconds, then whip it by spinning a wire whisk between your hands. Pour it into your espresso, and voila! Cappuccino!

  4. kim says

    I purchased a used krups fnd1 expresso w/o a user manual. Can anyone plz tell me the correct way to use it. I need help. LOL

  5. Rosemary says

    Trying to master this foam thing using a Morphy Richards Grande Cafe machine I received as a wedding gift over 10 years ago! Even when I get the milk to expand when steamed, it’s still pretty flat when I pour. Coffee tastes great and I’m cafined-out, won’t sleep tonight!

  6. Mary says

    Hey Guys, can someone please teach me how to make those wonderful foam that covers starbucks coffee? Tried everything but no luck :)

    @Leonel- fantastic work… I wish I knew how to make something like that

    • David says

      You need a good quality Espresso machine with a steaming wand, a stainless steel pitcher for the milk and lots of practice. To get the best results use a milk temperature thermometer. I use the Capperfection froth meter. $9.95 on eBay.

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