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 4-cup Espresso Maker: $37 (Walmart or anywhere)
12 oz. Stainless Steel Cup: $2 to 4 (Walmart camping section or anywhere)
16 oz. Stainless Steel Cup: $5 to $9 (Walmart camping section or anywhere)
16 oz. Starbucks coffee cup, or an latte cup: $5 to $10 (Sold at Starbucks sometimes for half off. Can use any mug though.)
Coffee bean grinder $12 to $26 (A less expensive grind does the same work for less money.)
This is the Soy milk I buy from Costco, but you can use whatever you like.
The espresso beans at Costco come from Starbucks, but are sold as a Kirkland brand at a huge discount compared to anywhere else.
Torani syrup can be found anywhere. The quality of the syrup can affect the taste, which is why I use Torani.
A Pyrex glass container seals in flavor and maintains potency. Should come with its own lid to seal it. (Walmart or anywhere)
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.
You’ll need distilled white vinegar to clean your latte machine twice a year.