Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

Every coffee shop owner is going to have the familiar hum of an espresso machine and the pouring of milk to signal that the creation of a latte is happening. Lattes are a blend of espresso, steamed milk, and foam; this beloved beverage has a rich history. Have you ever wondered, "What is in a latte?" or "Does lattes have coffee?" or how this coffee favorite has captured people over the years? Take a sip into this article to uncover the journey of the latte and discover the historic beverage that has been in people's hearts worldwide.

What is a Latte? - What are Lattes Made of?

Latte Art, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

Latte Art, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

A common question many people ask is, "Do all lattes have coffee?" The answer is that traditional lattes are espresso-based, meaning they indeed contain coffee. At its core, a latte comprises espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. Over the years, lattes have evolved beyond just coffee and milk. Flavorings like vanilla and cinnamon have become popular additions, and there's a growing trend of using alternative milks such as soy, almond, and oats. Furthermore, iced lattes have emerged as a favored variation, where instead of steaming the milk, it's simply added to chilled espresso and ice. No matter how it's customized, the foundational elements of a latte remain the same: espresso and milk.

The History of the Latte - How are Lattes Made?

When coffee was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, people almost immediately started adding milk to their coffee. William Dean Howells called this "caffe e latte" in his 1867 essay entitled "Italian Journeys." By this point, coffee had become a sensation around the globe. Every place you could get coffee was obsessed with it.

Coffee, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

Coffee, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes - What Is In A Latte?

Before espresso machines, all coffee was made primitively. In 1884, the first espresso machine was created. This machine didn't make espresso as we know it; the water pressure wasn't high enough to make real espresso. It wasn't until the 1940s that espresso as we know it was made. Achille Gaggia, a cafe owner in Milan, created the first real espresso machine by adding a spring-piston lever. This is why it's called "pulling a shot" because the baristas would have to pull a lever to make a shot of espresso.

With espresso finally perfected, the latte was near its time to shine. Espresso machines had steam wands starting in the early 1900s, but they weren't used to create what we'd consider milk foam until much later.

The latte as we know it was popularized by Lino Meiorin, an early owner of The Caffe Mediterraneum. It's claimed that he made the latte a standard drink in his cafe in the 1950s. Fast forward to the 1980s when lattes really came to popularity. This was especially true in Seattle, Washington. The people could not get enough lattes. By the 1990s, lattes spread much more widely, and it was more common than not to find lattes in your favorite coffee shop.

How to Make the Perfect Latte

Latte, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes - What Is In A Latte?

Latte, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

A latte, at its core, is really only two ingredients: milk and espresso. Since the advent of the latte, people have begun making specialty and flavored lattes. Here's our foolproof way to make a latte:

What You'll Need:

How to Make it:

1. The Espresso

Brew your two shots of espresso and pour them into the bottom of your hot paper cup. If you're adding flavoring, pump it into your espresso now. Swirl your cup to combine the espresso and flavor.

2. The Milk

Add your milk to the steaming pitcher. Put the steam wand in at an angle. Keep the tip about two inches under the surface. Turn on your steam wand. The milk should be swirling in a circle. Steam it until the milk is between 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll feel it get hot as you hold the pitcher. The milk should be creamy and silky, not overly bubbly.

3. The Mixture

Gently tap your steam pitcher on the counter to eliminate big bubbles. Swirl the pitcher to keep the milk mixed nicely. Pour it into your espresso in circles. As you continue to pour the milk, you'll see it make marks on the top, and this is where you can add latte art if you want.


Why is it so Popular? 

Barista and Customer, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes - What are Lattes Made of?

Barista and Customer, Everything You Need to Know About Lattes

Espresso is like drip coffee's more potent sibling. Depending on the roast of the beans and then the water pressure, espresso can be acidic or over-bitter. Adding milk cools down the espresso and mellows the espresso flavor. This makes it more palatable for a wider audience. People love lattes because the silky milk and foam mix with the espresso to make the perfect, understated drink.

Lattes are one of the biggest staple items for coffee shops. They can be simple or specialty. However you choose to make them, lattes are the perfect drink for your coffee shop and Read this blog post about How to Make Latte Bombs.


Many often wonder, "what do lattes have in them?" At its essence, a latte is a mixture of the highest quality of espresso combined with your preferred type of milk. Achieving the right ratio of espresso to milk and maintaining the optimal temperature are crucial elements that allow for the perfect sip.

Many wonder, "how are lattes made?" Achieving the perfect latte requires meticulous attention during the steaming process. When milk is steamed, air is introduced, creating those delicate microfoam bubbles that define a great latte. The type of milk used can significantly influence this process; options like oat or cashew milk can offer unique textures and flavors to the drink.