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?


  1. 1st-it’s easiest to steam cream/milk with an Expresso Machine Wand. Immerse the wand into the center of the cup of cream or milk (turn on the steam-that heats up your liquid.) After a minute or so, the the liquid will be very hot, so you will carefully bob the Expresso Wand near then under the surface of the liquid-intentionally creating as much or as little of a froath or a foam as you’d like. Careful not to splatter yourself. Turn the Steam off. And immediately wipe the wand off, if you don’t it can clog. If it does, usually hot water, can help get it off, or a sterile hatpin used just for that.

    LATTE: You can make chocolate Milk (or rice/almond/soy milk), Strawberry Milk or add a shot of Flavored Italian Syrup(s) to make it whatever Flavor you’d like. Then you’d Steam it, and leave it covered with a nice Froth. It’s drunk hot. (American’s are used to Cafe-Lattes: Which can be any Hot Coffee of the day (Half OR Two Thirds of the Liquid) to Steamed Milk (Half OR One Third)

    CAPPUCCINO: Is ALWAYS one shot of Expresso. to two/thirds cup of Cream (milk OR rice/almond/soy milk) {If you add chocolate/cocoa to any java beverage–it makes it Mocha} Then you’d Steam it, and leave it covered with a nice Foam. It’s drunk hot.

    *I keep my ‘milk/cream’ as cold as possible, because I don’t have an Expresso Machine Steam Wand. Then I use a held immersable blender and it gets my milk/cream foamed up, I add them to which ever Drink I’m serving, the best thing is, it cools it down a smidgen so it’s a drinking temperature.

  2. I think the quantity of milk really depends on the taste of the person who’s going to have the cappuccino, however, too much milk will remove all the characteristics of coffee from you Cappuccino. Rather than just the milk, and coffee, Cappuccinos also differ on the way you mix them and why not, how you decorate your cup…

  3. help i just bought a delonghi coffee/cappuccino/espresso machine the BCO120T and cannot figure out how to use it how much milk and what kind…

  4. Ok…I’m not blonde…but I should be… I have a delonghi machine. Just got it today..does anyone have “Kindergarten” directions on how exactly make a flavored latte? No offense to the blondes..most of you are WAY smarter than me..

  5. me too i’m a bit ignorant about the variety of coffee so thank you guys…. this could help me.

  6. What about these frothers? No steam just froth and heat for hot or no heat for cold drinks. How are they for lattes and cappuccinos?

  7. the way i make cappuccino is to rinse the cup with hot water, froth the milk by creating a vortex with the steamer, make sure its(just below the surface but dont let large bubbles appear)double shot for a large single for a small, sprinkle cocoa powder on the crem before you pour the milk, NEVER FILL THE MILK JUG MORE THAN HALF WAY, 1/3 espresso 1/3 hot milk 1/3 micro foam

  8. Just to clarify, to make a proper cappuccino (named after the hair cut of the cappuccine monks) steam the milk making a whirlpool in center. Milk should double in volume and have a melted ice-cream appearance. Pour immediately, (no need for spoons) into your freshly pulled espresso. Pouring immediately will usually ensure you get the foam and milk together unless you pour too slowly. (practice makes perfect) The result should give you a cup of perfectly blended/swirled espresso & milk–yum!

  9. dramamine is the only one so far that seems to know what they are talking about! The article also instructs one to make a cappuccino incorectly. Simply put the “cappuccino” is in reallity only an extra foamy caffe-latte.

  10. this article was wrong on the type of milk to be used. regular whole milk makes the best foam and a better tasting latte. for laurae95531 you need to make a vortex while steaming the milk, this will create a nicely textured milk while collapsing all the giant bubbles.

  11. I just got the delonghi for christmas, i’m on like my 10th cup trying to master the foaming part. i have a feeling i’ll be up for awhile (lol), anyone wanna explain what i’m doing wrong? i only get a bit of foam, and it’s splattering everywhere making a mess. yummy, but not much foam. thanks!

  12. For a cheap espresso machine, try the DeLonghi Retro B32. I just got one for Christmas and I absolutely LOVE it. My lattes taste just like Caribou’s, but it’s not $4 a cup!

  13. getting ready for tomorrow, I have an interview at the coffee shop on campus. I have my own cappuccino machine at home and I do okay making it. I don’t go to the coffee shops 2 much so I am not up to date on all the new drinks, ect… So I was wonder if you could send me some 411 so that I can get ready to work here if I get hired that is. I am looking up some things tonight so that I can get some idea on the lingo. If you can send me something that I can print out and carry with me tomorrow that would be great. Thanks

  14. Hey guys, thanks for the great tips! I have a problem with my cappuccino maker (steaming apparatus)…it seems to only heat up the milk not froth it. Any ideas of what is going on or how I clean it thoroughly?

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