How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

kirkland starbucks espresso beans coffee How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

Starbucks is a necessity for a lot of people, but it’s also quite expensive, and very fattening. A grande sized latte runs $4.12, and at two lattes per day that comes out to $41.20 for a 5 day work week, $164.80 per month, and $1,977.60 per year. I’m going to show you how to make the same latte for about $0.10 to $0.20 per grande sized cup at home, or in your office in about 5 minutes or less. At 2 lattes per day it would cost $96 per year, so you could save 1,881.60 per year by making your own lattes. Here’s how.

Here’s a list of the items you’ll need to make your lattes:

  • 12 oz. Stainless Steel Blue Cup, which is found in the camping equipment section: $2 to 4
  • 16 oz. Stainless Steel Cup, which is found in the camping equipment section: $5 to $9
  • Mr. Coffee 4-cup Espresso Maker: $37
  • 16 oz. Starbucks coffee cup, or an latte cup: $5 to $10
  • Coffee bean grinder $12 to $26
  • Pyrex (glass) container with lid, size should be 8 oz or greater
  • Acrylic round cylinder clamp top storage container
  • Starbucks Espresso Coffee beans: price varies. Note: Lattes are made with espresso beans, not regular coffee beans.
  • Torani flavored latte syrup: $5
  • Soy Milk, or other cow’s milk.
  • Distilled white vinegar

Pictures of the items you’ll need appear after the article. These are the items I use.

The total equipment cost comes to around $100, but the equipment should last 10 – 15 years, or longer, which has been my experience. The equipment can be purchased at Walmart, Target, or most any store, but you’ll get the best deal on the milk and Starbucks espresso beans (marketed as Kirkland brand) from Costco.

First open your bag of Starbucks espresso coffee beans, and pour them into your acrylic round cylinder clamp top storage container, which will create an air-tight seal to store the beans.

Grind your Starbucks espresso beans in your grinder until they are ground similar to coffee, although they may grind even finer than regular coffee.

Pour your espresso bean coffee grounds into the Pyrex container that should have an air tight lid that comes with it to seal in the grounds so they don’t lose their potency, and flavor. Don’t grind more than one grinder full at a time, or the grounds will become stale.

Replace the glass carafe on the Mr. Coffee 4-cup Espresso Maker with the 16 oz (ounce) stainless steel cup. The carafe always breaks eventually, but the stainless steel replacement will never break.

Fill the 12 oz stainless steel blue cup half-full with water, then pour it into the Mr. Coffee 4-cup Espresso Maker. One note about water, the better quality water, the better the latte. Don’t use bottled waters, because they can add elements to the water that can damage an espresso maker, but filtered tap water from Culligan would work great.

Put about 1 level teaspoon to 1 heaping teaspoon of espresso grounds into the Espresso machine metal filter. This filter does not require a paper insert, which is why it has such small holes. To clean out the grains after brewing, let the filter cool, then remove and knock against the filter holder until the grains pop out into a garbage can. Whipe out the remaining grains with a clean paper towel.

Turn on the espresso machine.

If this is a brand new machine, brew some water, without the espresso grains, through the machine at least twice to clean it.

Once the espresso has brewed, and you cannot hear hissing from the machine any longer, pour the espresso into the 16 oz coffee cup. Turn off the espresso machine. Note: Turning off the espresso machine while it is still hissing can trap steam in the machine, and damage it. The espresso coffee cup must say it is microwavable and dishwasher safe. If the cup heats up in the microwave a lot, replace it with a better cup. Poor quality cups may contain lead, which causes them to get much hotter than the liquid in the cup.

Now that the espresso is in the cup we add about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Torani flavored syrup. I used Torani syrup with Splenda so it is sugar free to keep the latte less fattening.

Now fill the remainder of the cup with Soy milk, or cow’s milk of your choice. I found that soy milk, particularly the Kirkland vanilla soy milk from Costco makes the latte smoother and creamier, plus soy has a whole bunch of healthy fats, and other good stuff.

Now put the cup in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, assuming you have at least a 1,000 watt microwave.

Remove the cup from the microwave and stir. Let it cool a little, then enjoy. I leave off the whipped cream because the sugar is fattening, but you can make it however you like.

You may have noticed I didn’t steam the milk. Small espresso machines, like the one in this example, will become damaged if steam remains trapped, and is not released fully. It’s impossible to know exactly how much extra water to add to steam the milk, and the microwave does the same thing quicker, and without any concern of damaging the espresso machine. Plus you’d have to stand there and switch the machine over to steam once you’ve estimated you have enough espresso to make your coffee. Steaming will add a level of difficulty that simply isn’t necessary.

Be sure to brush your teeth after your coffee. The PH of coffee is 2, so it is very acidic, and will damage the enamel on your teeth.

I still grab a grande sugar free hazelnut soy latte from Starbucks on occasion, but not often, because they aren’t as smooth and delicious as the lattes I make at home. The huge savings per cup also helps make homemade lattes a much less guilty pleasure.

I’d like to hear if you like your homemade lattes more or less than the one from Starbucks using my recipe.

Every 6 months you’ll need to brew a full 12 oz cup of distilled white vinegar, twice, and then brew water the same way twice to rinse out the vinegar. Espresso machines build up mineral deposits that can damage the machine, and clog it up to the point it slows down the brewing time considerably.

Keep reading to see the pictures of the items you’ll need.

mr coffee espresso maker How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

Mr. Coffee 4-cup Espresso Maker: $37 (Walmart or anywhere)

12 oz stainless steel camping latte cup How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

12 oz. Stainless Steel Cup: $2 to 4 (Walmart camping section or anywhere)

16 oz stainless steel camping latte cup How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

16 oz. Stainless Steel Cup: $5 to $9 (Walmart camping section or anywhere)

16 oz starbucks cup with handle How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

16 oz. Starbucks coffee cup, or an latte cup: $5 to $10 (Sold at Starbucks sometimes for half off. Can use any mug though.)

espresso coffee bean grinder How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

Coffee bean grinder $12 to $26 (A less expensive grind does the same work for less money.)

kirkland organic soymilk vanilla How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

This is the Soy milk I buy from Costco, but you can use whatever you like.

kirkland starbucks espresso beans coffee How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

The espresso beans at Costco come from Starbucks, but are sold as a Kirkland brand at a huge discount compared to anywhere else.

torani sugar free splenda hazelnut syrup 25 ounce How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

Torani syrup can be found anywhere. The quality of the syrup can affect the taste, which is why I use Torani.

pyrex storage set with lid How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

A Pyrex glass container seals in flavor and maintains potency. Should come with its own lid to seal it. (Walmart or anywhere)

acrylic cylinder round clamp top storage container How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

If you buy the Costco Starbucks espresso beans you’ll need two of the acrylic containers.

I’d use glass but I could not find a clamp top container that would seal properly. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

distilled white vinegar 1 How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

You’ll need distilled white vinegar to clean your latte machine twice a year.

Short Link - Posted on October 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm (PST)
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5 comments on “How to Make a Starbucks Latte at Home

  1. Doubleshot Espresso & Cream

    (Coffee Pot) You do NOT need an espresso maker.

    Fill Coffee pot to 4 cup line.
    Use 2 heaping tablespoons Starbucks Espresso Roast.

    (Stove) Double this batch for all four cups.

    Boil 1 1/2 cups Half & Half on medium high.
    Slowly stir in 1 teaspoon hazelnut powdered creamer.
    Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

    Lower the heat to medium and boil until liquified half & half
    portion is almost fully evaporated. (Should be frothy)

    Lower heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

    Pour 2 cups of coffee into a mason jar with a lid that fully
    seals the container.

    Pour the stovetop cooked contents into the mason jar to blend with

    Seal the mason jar… shake really well for a few seconds, set the
    drink down and allow to stand for 2 – 3 minutes.


    Note: This drink does not have a hazelnut flavor. I used hazelnut creamer
    because it has a thicker and more durable texture than other powdered
    creamers. Try any one you prefer.

    This drink has not been tested chilled. From what I can taste.. it tastes
    just like a Doubleshot Espresso & Cream.

  2. Justin on said:

    That is not actually an espresso machine. It will make strong coffee, but it will not make espresso as it uses steam rather than a pump to force the water through the grounds. It makes coffee similar to a moka pot (which you can sometimes get for very cheap and produce much better coffee if you know how to use them.). Hamilton Beach makes a cheap espresso machine which you can get at walmart for about $60-$70 (I have the older model of this so I can’t attest to the quality of the new one.) Also you comment that a cheap grinder will do the same work as an expensive one. This is not at all true. a cheap blade grinder as you show “grinds” the coffee very unevenly which will produce bad tasting coffee. A more expensive burr grinder ($50 for the cheapest, pretty much worthless, ones) will produce an even grind which will result in better tasting coffee.

  3. jillian on said:

    Actually you don’t need to buy a coffee grinder, you can bring your Starbucks coffee beans into a Starbucks and they will grind for free :)

  4. David on said:

    Really great article, there were a lot of helpful tips. I have a few criticisms, though, to add to the ones already here. You said Starbucks is fattening, which it is, but you can specially request a “light” version of the drink you wish to order. You can order light milk, or soy milk, and sugar free syrup, as well. This makes the drink tremendously less fattening. Next, you said to empty the beans into the airtight container. I’m not exactly sure on this, just giving my opinion, but if you buy your coffee or espresso beans from Starbucks (or the Starbucks brand) there is a built in air filter that keeps the coffee beans fresh. You can pour the beans directly into the grinder from the bag and then roll it down tight again to create an airtight seal. Also, you said that putting the espresso in the microwave does the same thing. This is most certainly NOT true. The steam does increase the temperature just like the microwave, but the steam also completely changes the texture of the milk. It makes it lighter and smoother when you drink it. And the best part about steaming your milk is the froth. If you usually order no froth on your drinks from Starbucks, this wouldn’t be much of a benefit, but personally, I LOVE froth on my hot drinks. It adds a personality to it that a flat drink just doesn’t provide. To create froth, you wait until the milk is hot enough with the nozzle down in the milk, then you bring the end slowly up to the top of the milk until a thin foam starts forming (that’s how I do it). Other than that, I loved the article! Thanks for the tips!

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