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The iced latte is a delicious and refreshing summertime treat. This simple recipe only requires a couple of ingredients and can be made in just a few minutes. It’s the perfect way to start your day or to get that much needed afternoon pick-me-up.
What is it?
A latte is a coffee drink that is made with espresso and steamed milk. They typically have more milk than a cappuccino and therefore it provides a strong, caffeine-packed base, while the milk content adds creaminess and body. Thanks to their well-balanced flavour and energizing properties, lattes have become one of the most popular coffees around the world.
Iced lattes are a popular alternative, perfect for sweltering heat, or for cooling down after a heated workout. Many people think they are more difficult to make at home. But if you can make an espresso, you can make a fantastic iced latte.
What’s the difference between an iced latte and an iced coffee?
Iced coffee is simply coffee that has been brewed strong and then cooled with ice. The result is a refreshing, slightly bitter beverage that is perfect for hot summer days. Iced lattes, on the other hand, are made with espresso and milk, served over ice. The result is a smooth, creamy drink.
Iced coffee is typically made either entirely from cooled coffee or with a small amount of milk, typically around 10%. Whereas an iced latte is around 25% strong espresso and 75% milk. I actually make mine around 80% milk, but you can play around with the proportions to find the balance you prefer.
What type of milk is best?
Making a great iced latte starts with choosing the right milk. Whole milk will give your iced latte a creamy texture, while semi-skimmed milk will make it lighter and less rich. Soya milk is a good non-dairy alternative, and almond milk will add a nutty flavour to your drink.
The beauty of an iced latte is that because it is cold, you don’t necessarily need to steam the milk (see more info below). Not only does this make it easier to prepare, but as whole milk is best for steaming, you can make an iced latte without having to worry about using low-fat milk if you prefer.
Do I need to use steamed milk?
While steamed milk may be crucial for a hot latte, it doesn’t work so well in an iced one. The hot milk will cool as soon as meets the ice in the drink and lose a lot of the body. While usually when you order an iced latte you will get straight-up milk, there are some people who do prefer to use steamed milk as it gives a sweeter taste to the drink.
Frothy milk, however, is a popular choice for iced coffee. Giving the milk a froth first will give you a lovely top to the drink and a bit more texture in the glass.
If you want to try the drink with frothed milk, then add the milk to a jar with a lid and give it a vigorous shake to froth it up. Or you can use one of those handy milk frothers.
How can I make espresso at home?
These days there are a plethora of different home coffee machines. Pretty much all of these will have some option to make espresso. I personally have a Dolce Gusto machine and used some of these Starbucks espresso pods.
Don’t have a fancy coffee machine? Worry not – there are a lot of ways you can make espresso at home without spending a lot of money. You can use an Aeropress which is pretty inexpensive. Or you can even use a French press. Grind around 40g / 3oz of espresso roast coffee beans. Then combine with 220ml hot water (around 2 tbsps less than 1 cup).
If you are a regular drinker of espresso, then you could also consider getting one of these classic espresso kettles. They are portable and can be used directly on the hob/stove whenever you need a fix.
When it comes to choosing the best espresso for your iced latte, go for a dark roast. The bolder flavour of a dark roast will stand up well to the ice and milk in your drink.
Can I use instant coffee?
If you want to get technical about it, a latte should be made with espresso. However, If you’re short on time (or you don’t want to run out and buy extra equipment), instant iced lattes are the way to go.
To make your latte with instant coffee, mix 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with 60ml (4tbsp) of hot water to combine. Then follow the directions below.
How can I sweeten an iced latte?
Iced coffee on a hot day is a dream, but if you typically take sugar in your coffee, you may find it a little bitter. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to sweeten your drink.
Adding sugar to the espresso while it is still hot is the easiest option. You can also opt for sweeteners to reduce calories.
If you would prefer to add a sweetener to the finished drink, so you can add it ‘to taste’ and gauge the amount you need more easily, then try using maple syrup or honey. Or you can use some simple syrup which is very easy to make at home. Simply add equal parts of sugar and water to a pan and lightly simmer down until it turns syrupy. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can even use powdered sweetener instead of sugar if you prefer!
Can I make it in advance?
If, like me, you are always looking for extra ways to shave minutes off your morning routine, then you’ll be delighted to learn that you can make espresso in advance! It is best to make it no longer than 12 hours ahead as it will lose its aroma and turn stale over time. However, since we are making iced coffee, preparing it in advance has the added benefit of requiring less ice to cool down.
If you want to make the espresso the night before, then brew it as you normally would. Once it reaches a lukewarm temperature transfer it to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. Don’t be tempted to leave it in there uncovered as the exposure to air will cause it to go stale faster and lose even more of its great aroma.
What flavours can I add?
The best thing about iced lattes? They’re refreshing, flavourful, and can be made to suit your own personal preferences. If you want something a little different, try making an iced mocha latte by adding chocolate syrup or powder to the coffee before adding the milk. Or, for an alternative sweet twist, add a shot of vanilla or caramel syrup. These Monin syrups are heavenly and come in a variety of flavours, from salted caramel to hazelnut.
You can even get creative and add some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. For an extra special treat, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
For a full list of ingredients with measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Prepared espresso
- Optional: sugar, sweetener, honey, maple syrup or simple syrup
How to make it
For more detailed instructions with tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Fill a glass with a lot of ice.
- Pour the espresso over the ice.
- Pour the milk over the espresso.
- Stir to combine and enjoy!
Looking for more great iced drink recipes? Try:
Products that work well for this recipe:
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Mini-Me
Zulay Original Milk Frother
Non-spillable Ice Cube Tray With Ice Bucket
The iced latte is a delicious and refreshing summertime treat. This simple recipe only requires a couple of ingredients & can be made in just a few minutes.
The default recipe makes one medium iced latte.
Nutritional information is based on using whole milk.
- 60ml prepared espresso (see note 1,2)
- 250ml cold milk (see note 3)
- optional, to taste: sugar, sweetener, honey, maple syrup or simple syrup (see note 4)
- Fill a large glass with ice – you want to use quite a lot to make sure that it doesn’t melt away when you add the hot coffee.
- Pour the espresso over the top of the ice. You can even brew it straight into the glass with the ice.
- Pour over the milk. (see note 5)
- Add any extra sweeteners or flavours that you want to add.
- Stir well to combine and enjoy!
- Any kind of espresso will work. If you don’t have a coffee machine then you can use an Aeropress, an espresso kettle or even a French press.
- While many might throw up their hands and exclaim that only espresso will do, you can use instant coffee. Use 2 teaspoons of coffee mixed with 60ml hot water.
- Any kind of milk will work for this latte. Feel free to use whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. Or use a plant-based alternative such as almond or soy milk.
- If you are using sugar or sweetener then add it to the hot espresso to allow it to dissolve. If you prefer to add a sweetener to the finished drink then opt for something in liquid form. Simple syrup is great for adding to cold drinks and is made by simply combining 1 part sugar with 1 part water. Simmer gently in a saucepan until it reaches a syrupy consistency and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- You can froth the milk first if you prefer, which will add extra texture and body to the drink. Use a handheld milk frother or pour the milk into a sealed jar and shake it vigorously.
- You can make the espresso up to 12 hours in advance. It may lose a little of its flavour and aroma but can be worth the time-saving! Once the prepared espresso has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
- You can flavour your latte in a variety of ways. Chocolate syrup works well, as do these Monin syrups. You can also add whipped cream on top and a sprinkling of nutmeg or cocoa powder.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Drink
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 12g
- Protein: 8g
Keywords: coffee, iced, drink, refreshing, breakfast, cold, milk