Hot summer days often mean looking for ways to cope with the intense heat. As much as we all love our morning coffee, having a hot drink to start off an already hot morning is not always appealing. Instead, it may be time to switch to cold brew coffee or an iced coffee drink, like iced lattes.
Iced lattes allow you to beat the heat while also getting in your energizing morning cup of joe. Thankfully, many coffee shops offer a variety of iced latte options. The only downside is that going out for your coffee fix each morning can get expensive. It is even estimated that the average American spends over $14 a week on coffee.
The obvious solution is to make coffee at home, but how can you make delicious iced lattes at home without all those fancy tools that baristas use? What is even in a latte?
Below we will discuss what lattes are and how you can make tasty iced lattes at home.
Brewed Espresso: The Base
There are many cold summer coffee options out there, including regular iced coffee and cold brew. Though these drinks are both cold, they are very different from an iced latte.
Iced coffee is regular coffee you can make in a normal drip pot. You let the coffee cool for a little bit and then pour it over ice.
Cold brew, however, does not touch heat. Instead, coarsely ground coffee grinds are steeped in cool water for up to 20 hours to make this smooth beverage.
Iced lattes, on the other hand, are made using espresso, which is a stronger, more concentrated form of coffee.
The Italian Flair
Espresso is an Italian creation which is incorporated into millions of people’s morning coffee every day.
In Italian, latte means milk. This special beverage is basically a combination of steamed milk and coffee.
Depending on the size of the drink, lattes usually have one to three ounces of espresso with six to 10 ounces of milk. Lattes are known for having a very balanced taste. They contain all the richness of the espresso with the smooth, creamy, and subtle sweetness of the milk.
How To Make Espresso
The term espresso came about because of the process of forcing or “expressing” the water through the coffee.
Espresso is made by pressing hot water through a condensed puck of finely ground coffee. The pressure, the heat of the water, and the finely ground coffee result in an extremely condensed cup of coffee. A single shot of espresso typically is one to two ounces, and it’s very strong.
The ingredients for espresso shots are the same as regular drip coffee. However, the ratio of water to coffee is a lot less when making espresso.
Espresso is also made using special espresso machines that pressurize the coffee and heat the water past its boiling point. The machine then forces the water through the grounds.
What Does Espresso Taste Like?
Like regular coffee, espresso has different natural flavors depending on how it is prepared and where the coffee beans originated. Espresso’s flavor is typically on the more acidic or bitter side.
When drinking a single shot of espresso in Italy, it is common practice to add a little sugar to take away the bitter edge. However, a bit of sugar is not necessarily enough to make espresso sweet or balanced enough for all of us, which is why there are so many espresso drink options available.
Is an Espresso Machine Really Necessary?
Even though espresso in its original form is pressed through a special machine, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy an expensive, fancy machine to make lattes and other espresso drinks at home.
Coffee concentrate is an excellent substitute for espresso in drinks like cappuccinos and ice lattes. Javy’s Coffee Concentrates are strong and highly condensed like espresso while lacking its strong, bitter taste.
Coffee concentrates are much less expensive and more convenient with a shorter prep time than coffee from a big, bulky espresso machine.
Got Frothy Milk?
In addition to your coffee beans, the second half of a good latte is the frothed milk. The most popular milk to use is still cow milk; however, there are numerous milk alternatives for those who don’t like or can’t drink cow milk.
Almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk are just a few of the non-dairy options easily acquired today. While they may not contain all the same quantities of vitamins and minerals as cow’s milk, they each contain various proteins, vitamins, and other long-term health benefits that make the switch worthwhile.
If you want to make your own frothy milk at home, a small handheld milk frother can be an ideal solution.
3 Delicious Summer Coffee Recipes
Finding the best latte recipe to be the drink of the summer can be overwhelming due to the number of options n from your local coffee shop as well as your friendly neighborhood Starbucks. However, making coffee does not have to be that scary.
One of the wonderful things about coffee is the fact it can have so many different flavor additions, and it still tastes amazing.
1. The Baklava Special
Summer drinks are fun because they help you sip your way into vacation mode. Pistachio has a smoky, nutty flavor that, when combined with rich coffee and sweet milk, results in a luxuriously balanced coffee beverage.
For this latte, you will need the following:
- Pistachio Coffee Concentrate
- Cold milk
- Vanilla syrup or extract
- Ice cubes
Add one to two tablespoons of the coffee concentrate, one cup of milk, two teaspoons of honey, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract into your coffee cup of choice (mason jars are great for a relaxed summer vibe).
Top it off with some ice, and you’re ready to go. Take a sip, close your eyes, and you’re halfway to your dream European escape.
2. Caramel Coconut Dream
Right before summer comes, the Girl Scout Cookie season hits the nation. Many of us can’t wait to get our hands on those delicious cookie flavors, especially the decadent caramel coconutty Samoas cookies.
But then the cookie season ends, and we are left with our cookie cravings unfulfilled — until now. Below, we have an iced latte recipe that will give you what you crave until cookie season comes again next year.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Caramel Coffee Concentrate
- Coconut Extract
- Simple Syrup (a sweetener made of equal parts sugar and hot water)
- Milk (whole, oat, or almond are best for this recipe)
- Ice cubes
The directions for this latte are almost identical to the last one. However, one difference is that this recipe uses simple syrup.
Simple syrup is one part sugar to one part hot water, which is then mixed together to make a sweet sugar syrup. Simple syrup is easier to mix in with iced beverages because it dissolves better in cold liquids.
The second difference is that coconut extract is used instead of vanilla. Otherwise, you can use the same ratios and measurements as before.
3. Maple Cafe Latte
For some people, summer is just a reminder that fall is coming. Fall drinks give all the warm and fuzzy feelings that come from pumpkin patches, hayrides, and sweater weather that are so loved during the crisp fall months.
One of the best (and somewhat underappreciated) fall flavors is maple. Sweet and rich, maple makes any coffee drink remind you of chilly autumn mornings with big stacks of fluffy pancakes slathered in butter and maple syrup.
What is needed for this latte is as follows:
- Maple Coffee Concentrate
- Simple Syrup
- Ice cubes
The last iced latte of the summer coffee recipes is the simplest of them all. Measure out one to two tablespoons of the coffee concentrate and add it to eight to 10 ounces of your desired milk. Pour in one to two teaspoons of simple syrup, top it all with some ice, and bam — your iced latte is complete.
Iced Latte Cool for the Summer
Iced lattes are a great coffee beverage, especially on hot days. Adding flavors to fit the summer days is fun and exciting. Coffee shops are always coming up with new flavor combinations, but now it is time to do it on your own.
Coffee concentrates are an easy and convenient alternative to the new machines that keep popping up in your Amazon feed.
Sweet and Simple
Keeping your coffee routine simple can free up so much more time in your daily routine to finally start that hobby you’ve been pushing off for years. Good tasting, strong coffee should not be so hard to attain. Neither should it be something to keep to oneself once it is found.
Javy coffee wants to hear from you! If you try one of these summer recipes, be sure to share your experience and tag us on Instagram @javy.coffee. Trying new things may be nerve-wracking, but coffee is a fun way to expand horizons without being detrimental to one’s health.