Last updated on December 1st, 2023

Easy Homemade Iced Latte Recipe: How To Make This Delicious Drink

If you ever listen to orders at your local coffee shop, you know how popular an iced latte drink is. Compared to regular coffee, iced lattes have a delightful balance of bold coffee flavor and sweet milk, all with the refreshing coolness of ice. However, learning how to make an iced latte can seem intimidating, so I’m giving you an easy homemade iced latte recipe that I hope anyone can make, even with an espresso machine!

An article on how to make an iced latte at home

Whether you enjoy a classic iced latte or want a sweeter flavored variation, this easy recipe has you covered.

So, get ready to cut down on your trips to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or another coffee shop, once you know how to make this delicious and refreshing drink at home!

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Iced Latte Recipe: The Basics

Feel free to skip directly to the recipe if you want. But first, I wanted to cover some basic information about latte drinks and how they work.

What is a Latte?

A latte refers to a popular drink comprised of espresso and steamed milk. The creamy texture and balanced flavor are the main draws of this drink. While there are no set rules, you use the most milk for a latte, usually an espresso-to-milk ratio of 1:4. You can read more about latte coffee for the full details, including how it differs from other espresso-based drinks.

Iced Latte Ingredients: Hot vs Cold

While a hot latte is the standard, iced lattes become particularly popular during the warm summer. The ingredients are the same, but the preparation differs. You do not steam or foam the milk for an iced latte but pour cold milk directly into the espresso.

The primary ingredients of an iced latte include:

  • 1-2 shots of espresso or 4 ounces of strong-brewed coffee
  • Cold milk of your choice (regular, almond, soy, oat, etc.)
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, flavored syrups (vanilla, caramel, etc.), whipped cream, caramel sauce for garnish

You also have to chill the espresso over ice before adding milk. While I love the natural sweetness of whole milk, many prefer plant-based options like coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.

Are Iced Lattes the Same as Iced Coffees?

While you can more broadly consider an iced latte a type of iced coffee recipe, there are differences between iced latte and iced coffee. Coffee language can be confusing. But iced coffee as a drink type usually refers to a cold version of regular coffee.

Yes, they are both cold coffee drinks. But as a specialty coffee geek, I love geeking out about the small details!

Iced Latte Nutrition Facts

The specific nutrition facts depend on the size, type of milk you use, and whether you add sugar or something else sweet. Without sweeteners, the approximate calorie content at standard sizes with whole milk is:

  • 12 fl oz: 100 calories
  • 16 fl oz: 130 calories
  • 24 fl oz: 180 calories

You can also enjoy the fact that milk can be a healthy source of calcium and protein!

How Do You Froth Milk for an Iced Latte Recipe?

The foam and art you see on a standard hot latte come from steaming the milk. However, hot milk can ruin the refreshing aspect of an iced latte. So while there is no rule against it, most coffee shops do not froth milk for an iced latte. But, there are milk foamers that create cold froth without steaming the milk.

Zulay Powerful Milk Frother Handheld Foam Maker
  • Rich, creamy milk froth
  • Perfect for lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or hot chocolate
  • Easy cleaning and storage (metal stand included)
  • Lifetime guarantee

You may see cold foam added to an iced cappuccino, which is one of the distinctions between that and iced lattes.

Iced Latte Ratio

Since the amounts can vary depending on drink size, it is best to understand an iced latte in terms of the ratio of espresso to milk. The standard ratio is one part espresso to four parts milk. Usually, this relationship is one or two shots of espresso and 4-8 ounces of milk.

If you love a bolder espresso flavor, use an extra shot or pour slightly less milk.

How To Make a Cold Latte

homemade iced latte recipe

The standard method for making a cold latte involves pouring the espresso shot over ice to cool. Also, hot coffee tastes best when it cools instantly, so you can even brew the espresso directly into a cup with ice to better lock in the taste.

Without access to legitimate espresso, you can also use cold brew coffee concentrate.

Starbucks Iced Latte Recipe

Since Starbucks is such a ubiquitous experience, I figured I would give you their basic recipe so you can recreate the details at home.

Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  • 1 bag (18 oz) Espresso Roast
  • 100% Arabica beans brewed in their cafés
  • Tasting notes: rich molasses & caramel
  • Whole-bean coffee

Besides buying Starbucks coffee beans for your home setup, you can recreate a Starbucks iced latte with the following ratios:

  • 2 espresso shots
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • Optional: Something sweet like vanilla syrup.

Homemade Iced Latte: Step-by-Step Recipe

Now that you have a basic idea of what an iced latte is, let’s go through the specific steps for making one, including without access to an espresso machine.

How To Make Iced Lattes with an Espresso Machine

If you own an espresso machine, I’ll assume you understand the basics of preparing a shot. And, iced lattes are even easier since you won’t be steaming the milk!

Here’s the step-by-step recipe!

1. Brew Espresso

Pull 1-2 shots of espresso the way you normally would. If your cup fits, you can drip the espresso directly over the ice. I recommend 1/2 cup of ice, but you can also fill your glass with ice cubes.

2. Pour Espresso Over Ice

If you did not brew directly onto ice, pour the hot espresso slowly over the ice. Pouring evenly will instantly chill the espresso, helping to preserve flavors.

3. Add Cold Milk

Pour cold milk into the glass and leave some space at the top if you want additional toppings or garnishes. I recommend 1/3 cup of milk for two shots, but you can alter this ratio to your taste.

4. Stir and Add Extras

The last step is gently stirring to mix the flavors evenly. The key to a delicious latte is the blend of intense espresso with sweet milk. Extras are optional, but many enjoy whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

How To Make an Iced Latte without a Machine

Even if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still get close to the taste of a delicious iced latte. Let’s check out some options!

AeroPress Espresso

The AeroPress Brewer is a fantastic and versatile coffee brewing device. It has many varied brewing methods. But for an iced latte, try this AeroPress espresso recipe. Otherwise, follow the same steps as above.

While not a legit espresso, I use this strong coffee recipe all the time at home. It doesn’t have the texture or crema of espresso, but it is darn close!

Iced Latte with Instant Coffee

Instant coffee brews quickly because brewed coffee is freeze-dried and cut into granules. And, making an iced latte with instant coffee is simple since you can easily convert the regular coffee ratio into an espresso ratio—read about the difference between coffee and espresso for more.

The standard ratio for instant coffee is 1-2 teaspoons per 8 ounces of hot water. For a bolder espresso flavor, dissolve two tablespoons of instant coffee in a smaller amount of water (2-3 ounces.) Or you can use an instant espresso powder and follow the instructions.

With Cold Brew Iced Coffee

While cold brew coffee is a form of iced coffee in the general sense, it has crucial differences. Besides the fact that you brew it with cold water, the relevant thing here is you usually make a concentrate. Following this cold brew recipe, the resulting beverage is bold and intense like espresso.

To make an iced latte beverage with cold brew, pour around 4 ounces of the concentrate over ice and follow the instructions above.

How Do You Sweeten Iced Latte Drinks?

Adding sweeteners like mocha, maple syrup, brown sugar, or vanilla syrup is extremely common. Also, you can use sweeter plant-based milk like oat or soy. Some people even make syrup at home!

Syrup for an Iced Vanilla Latte Recipe

Torani Vanilla Syrup for an iced vanilla latte recipe

Feel free to experiment with different variations and amounts. But keep in mind that the calorie count goes way up as you add more sugar.

If you want just a touch of sweetness, consider adding toppings or spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or caramel swirl. Or, to keep it simple, enjoy your iced latte with some cookies on the side!

How To Make Iced Lattes with Nespresso Machines

If you already own a Nespresso machine at home, a successful Nespresso iced latte recipe should be extra easy. You can use the standard Nespresso espresso capsules and brew them over ice. But you can also get the Nespresso Iced Coffee Variety Pack, specifically designed to be brewed over ice.

Nespresso capsules come in different sizes, so make sure your cup corresponds. But they dose the coffee for the iced leggero pods a bit higher so that it still has a strong flavor as the ice melts.

For milk, you can pour cold milk as you normally would. But if you also have the companion Aeroccino3 Milk Frother that comes with many of their Vertuo models, you can make chilled foam by long-pressing the button.

Nespresso Virtuo

Nespresso iced latte recipe with the Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville

**Spoiler: Learn why Nespresso foam is not the same as espresso crema.**

Iced Latte with a Keurig

For people with a Keurig machine, making an iced latte should take less than three minutes!

The key is to brew on the single-shot mode. And like the Nespresso directions, you can use plain milk or a cold froth setting. Keurig recommends several iced latte pods on its website.

But I tried the Lavazza Espresso Pods once at a friend’s house and I think they work best for an iced latte.

Lavazza Espresso K-Cups

Lavazza Espresso Italiano Single-Serve Coffee K-Cups for making an iced latte with a Keurig machine

Easy Iced Latte Recipes: Variations

Besides the standard ingredients of espresso, ice, and milk, you can customize an iced latte with tons of flavor combinations. Let’s check out some of the best ones!

Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte Recipe

If you want to make an iced vanilla latte that tastes like the one from Starbucks, simply add a few pumps of vanilla syrup or vanilla extract. Don’t believe us? Check out just how simple their recipe is!

With an espresso machine, you can use Starbucks Espresso Roast to truly mimic the flavor. And there are Starbucks Espresso Nespresso Capsules and Starbucks Espresso K-Cups, depending on which machine you have.

Iced Caramel Latte Starbucks: How To Make it at Home

Are you craving an even more decadent iced latte? Then try the classic Starbucks iced caramel latte, where you drizzle caramel sauce into the glass before adding coffee and milk. The visuals are fantastic on this drink.

Torani Puremade Caramel Sauce for a latte recipe iced

And you can top it with whipped cream and maybe even an extra drizzle of caramel on top!

Related Cold Coffee Recipes

Consider bookmarking some of these related recipes and articles in the cold coffee category. I’ll put what exists so far below and add more drink recipes in the future:

Common Questions About Homemade Iced Latte Recipes

Before heading off to try making an iced latte, consider scanning over some of the most common questions to review.

How do you make an iced latte at home?

To make an iced latte at home, you’ll need an espresso or strong brewed coffee. Aside from that, you just pour the espresso over ice cubes and top off with cold milk in a ratio of 1:4. Feel free to add any extra flavorings or toppings you desire!

Is an iced latte just espresso and milk?

The primary ingredients of an iced latte are espresso, ice cubes, and cold milk. Think of an iced latte as the refreshing version of a hot latte that still has a balance of rich espresso and sweet milk.

How much espresso is in an iced latte?

The amount of espresso in an iced latte varies based on the size. Most standard sizes, like 12-16 ounces, use two espresso shots. But larger sizes can use more, and you can always use an extra shot for a bolder coffee flavor!

Do you put ice or espresso first for an iced latte?

To preserve the best coffee flavor, brew the espresso directly into a cup filled with ice to cool it down immediately and lock in its taste. If your cup cannot fit properly, you can brew the espresso first and slowly pour over ice immediately after.

Do you steam milk for an iced latte?

No, you do not steam or foam milk for an iced latte since the hot milk would ruin the refreshing aspect. But some people may enjoy cold foam, which is more like an iced cappuccino.

Final Thoughts

Besides saving you the steep prices at your local coffee shop, making a homemade iced latte is also a fun and rewarding experience. You can customize the drink however you like and continually make adjustments to dial in the perfect taste.

I hope this recipe gave you the knowledge and confidence to try making this delicious coffee drink!

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