I’ll admit that I’m spoiled when it comes to coffee. Greg usually wakes up before me and makes us both a cup every Saturday morning. Plus, Kansas City has a thriving coffee scene and our kitchen is usually stocked with a bag of beans from one of our favorite local roasters including Thou Mayest, Oddly Correct, or City Market Coffee House. Mornings are not my favorite time of day, but a cup of locally roasted, freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee make 8am a little more tolerable. Today I’m happy to share with you all step-by-step how EASY, QUICK, and COST-EFFECTIVE it is to make your own lattes at home using a whisk and a basic percolator!
Let’s get the cost part covered first: an almond milk latte can cost upwards of four dollars. Times that by seven days and you’ve got yourself an expensive morning routine at almost $30 per week. That money could be gas in your car, a new pair of shoes, or a bag full of groceries at the farmers market. Heck, save it and you’ll have an extra $180/month! So go out and buy yourself a pound of espresso beans (or coffee beans) at around $8-$15 dollars which will likely last you for the month or maybe more if you only drink a few cups a week.
If you typically use a Keurig or an automatic coffee machine, I recommend you borrow your Mom’s old percolator that is probably collecting dust in the depths of her cupboard since 1975. I guarantee you won’t want to give it back once you taste the rich flavor and smoothness of stovetop brewed espresso. You can also buy a percolator pretty affordably on Amazon or find deeper discounts at HomeGoods when they have them in stock. I’m pretty partial to the trusty Bialetti brand.
Not sure what a percolator is or how it works? It’s a coffee maker that brews by way of continually boiling over stovetop heat. Water sits in the bottom compartment over heat and boils up into the middle chamber, through the coffee or espresso grounds, and into the upper chamber where it boils out as coffee or espresso.
Let’s make a latte, shall we? Thanks to G for being my photo assistant/model.
STEP 1: Grind beans to a medium-coarse ground.
I always recommend grinding beans yourself, rather than buying them already ground. This preserves the natural oils and flavor until use. Store extra grounds in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
2. Assemble percolator and place over heat.
Fill the water chamber with 8-10oz of water – there should be a small line etched into the inside of the bottom chamber. Then fill the middle chamber 3/4 full with grounds, the extra room allows for expansion as the water boils through. Secure the top chamber and place over medium heat. Listen for the spurting sound the percolator will make when the coffee has successfully brewed up into the top chamber, that’s when you can remove it from heat.
3. Whisk almond milk and sugar over heat.
As the percolator is doing it’s thing, heat 8oz of almond milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar (more to taste) in a small saucepan on medium-high. Whisk continuously until heated and frothy, about 2-3 minutes. Sugar is optional, but I like a little bit in my latte since I use unsweetened almond milk. And remember, the more energy you use to whisk, the frothier it will be! I love a good froth on top of my lattes, but maybe that’s just me…
The image below shows percolation in action! The water is boiling up through the middle chamber and brewing into the top as espresso (or coffee).
4. Pour espresso and frothed almond milk into mugs.
And now you’ve created your very own almond milk latte at home! We like to finish ours off with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a touch of flavor and antioxidants.
I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful! By no means am I an expert at making coffee nor have I ever been a barista, but I’ve found this to be a fool-proof method for making flavorful and affordable lattes at home without any fancy equipment. It literally takes about 5 minutes total, maybe ten maximum if you’re grinding beans by hand and using cool water. Have fun adding your own touch with spices, flavors, or changing up the nut milk. And if you’re looking for more recipes using coffe, how about my Morning Buzz Smoothie?