Here’s how to make an iced latte at home! This classic coffee drink is perfectly creamy, refreshing and espresso-forward.

Iced Latte

What’s more refreshing than an iced latte? It’s no wonder this espresso drink is massively popular. The combination of bitter coffee balanced by delicate sweetness and creamy, frothed milk is an absolute delight. There’s no need to run to your favorite coffee shop for this one: it’s easy to make homemade! To us, there’s nothing better on summer afternoons (or anytime, really).

What’s an iced latte?

An iced latte is a drink with espresso, milk and optional sweetener. The milk is often frothed to simulate the steamed milk in a standard latte. So what’s the difference vs iced coffee? Iced coffee uses brewed coffee and optional milk. Because an iced latte uses espresso, it has a stronger, darker flavor.

How to make an iced latte: basic steps

Here’s the outline of how to make an iced latte at home:

  • Step 1: Make a double shot of espresso.
  • Step 2: Froth ¼ cup whole milk by shaking it in a covered jar or whisking until frothy.
  • Step 3: Pour the espresso and 1 teaspoon maple syrup over ice. Add milk and serve.

Below are a few notes on the methods for how to make espresso and how to froth the milk.

How to make an iced latte

How to make the espresso

What makes an iced latte an iced latte? The espresso! Strong coffee will not do here. You’ll need the following items to make a double shot of espresso:

  • Espresso roast coffee: The roast is important to get the right dark, bitter flavor. Use a fine grind on the espresso beans.
  • Espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Aeropress: This espresso machine is fantastic: it’s pricey but it makes the best espresso. A manual espresso maker is much cheaper and portable, and makes great espresso. French press espresso also works well: it’s our top choice for decent espresso without a specific tool. Aeropress espresso works in a pinch: the flavor isn’t great, but it’s the cheapest option.

Milk to use for an iced latte

If you’re a latte fan, you’ll know: the best milk for a latte is whole milk. Why? Whole milk froths the best because it has the highest milk fat. With an iced latte, the exact texture of the milk is less important because it’s a cold drink. So you can get away with 2% if you’d like: it just tastes less rich!

The best milk for a vegan iced latte? Oat milk! Oat milk froths the best of any non-dairy milk. Since the cold version of a latte is less touchy than the hot one, you can substitute any other non-dairy milk if you choose: almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc.

Frothing milk

Frothing the milk: a few options!

A good iced latte has lightly frothed milk, though some coffeehouses use straight milk. You can skip this step, but it adds a nice texture (and otherwise the drink strays into iced coffee territory). There are a few tools for the job that are easy to use:

  • Jar: You can simply place the milk in a covered jar and shake until it’s foamy!
  • Handheld milk frother. If you already have a handheld milk frother for lattes, this is the best tool! It makes the thickest, creamiest frothed milk. See the recipe below for instructions.
  • French press. If you have a French press, it’s also great for making foam! It makes a nice frothy foam with bubbles a little larger than the frother.

For the last two methods, it’s easiest to use more milk than the recipe calls for because it froths better with a larger quantity. You can save it to make more iced lattes. And that’s it! Let us know if you make this iced latte in the comments below.

Step it up: add cold foam!

Want to step up your iced latte? Add a dollop of cold foam on top! Cold foam is frothed nonfat milk that makes a frothy topping for cold coffee drinks like iced coffee, cold brew, and more. This Starbucks invention simulates the frothy topping of the steamed milk in a latte, but at a cold temperature so it doesn’t melt when hitting the drink. It’s a great way to take this drink over the top. Go to How to Make Cold Foam.

Iced latte

Variation: iced vanilla latte

Want to shake up your iced latte? Make it an Iced Vanilla Latte! This recipe uses homemade vanilla syrup that takes just 5 minutes to whip up. It’s deliciously refreshing. Simply add 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla syrup to this drink.

More latte recipes

Love a good latte? There are lots more to try: both espresso drinks and tea lattes! Here are some favorite recipes:

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Iced Latte

Perfect Iced Latte


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make an iced latte at home! This classic coffee drink is perfectly creamy, refreshing and espresso-forward.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Make the espresso: Make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Aeropress.
  2. Froth the milk: Use one of the following methods:
    1. Jar method: Place the milk in a covered jar and shake until foamy.
    2. Milk frother: Use a handheld milk frother, which makes the frothiest milk. Place the milk in a tall container. Hold the container at an angle and turn on the frother. Move the frother up and down until foamy bubbles form, about 20 seconds or so. It’s easiest to use at least ½ cup milk (use the remainder for another iced latte).
    3. French press: Add the milk to a French press and pump using quick, short plunges until foamy bubbles form, about 30 seconds. It’s easiest to use ½ cup to 1 cup milk (use the remainder for more iced lattes).
  3. Add the espresso to ice-filled glass. Stir in the maple syrup and top with the frothed milk. Enjoy immediately.*

Notes

*Step it up and add a dollop of cold foam as a topping.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Espresso
  • Cuisine: Latte

Keywords: Iced latte

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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