Everything You Need To Know About Starbucks Lattes

By on April 27, 2017

Starbucks is one of the leading coffee chains there are around the entire planet. In 1971 Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle and ever since has been building an empire every single day.  It has over 16,000 stores open worldwide, has around 254,000 employees and grosses well over 10 billion every year. How cool is that?

Not only is Starbucks taking over the world’s coffee drinkers, it’s really, really, REALLY delicious.

From their delicious bakery items to their unique drinks that never stop interchanging, they are one of the best places to go for specialty coffee. Hands down.

But what really sets Starbucks apart from other coffee chains? What makes their specialty coffee so dang special? Why does the average Starbucks drinker visit the store at least six times monthly? Why do 20% of them go 15+ times a month? Those are all great questions. It’s because Starbucks never fails to deliver on the composition of the drinks they serve. Especially when it comes to their lattes.

A latte is technically described as espresso in steamed milk with foam placed on top. Breaking down a latte seems easy, but Starbucks baristas have their own way of assembling the classic espresso drink.

Why do they use steamed milk?

Steamed milk helps aerate the milk and creates a much sweeter, creamier taste.

So how do they make their amazing lattes?

Starbucks claims that they start by taking the finest coffee beans from Latin America and Indonesia. They blend them and roast them until they get their Starbucks Espresso Roast. Which is what they use for the lattes we drink on the regular. They usually use about 14 grams of the beans and grind them in an espresso machine. They say you have to be careful about how you grind your beans. If you do it too fine, you will end up with a thick and bitter outcome. If it is ground too coarsely, it will turn out weak and very watery. Neither of those are good options for the perfect latte! You will want to grind your beans somewhere right in between.

After you grind the beans to the perfect texture, you will need to use filtered hot water and pressure to create an espresso extracted between eighteen to twenty three seconds. This is done at Starbucks in their espresso machine.

This will create a smooth, sweet and caramel like espresso. You should use it right away so that you don’t lose any of the flavor. This means you should grab your steamed milk as soon as your hands are free!

Starbucks uses 2% whole milk unless a request is made by the customer to use something else. So, it is up to you which milk you’d like to stream and use for your latte.

Types of milk Starbucks offers for their lattes:

  • Nonfat/skim.
  • 1% milk.
  • 2% milk.
  • Whole milk.
  • Breve (½ and ½).
  • Heavy cream.
  • Vanilla soy.
  • Eggnog (seasonal only.)

Once your milk is steamed it will create the foam that you will use, too. Not everyone likes the foam! But, most latte lovers do. If you don’t, they do give customers the option of going without the foam or just doing light foam. After you decide on that, you will pour your steamed milk into your freshly made espresso. The two liquids will mix together and at the end the foam will naturally appear at the top.

To achieve an iced latte is not that much more difficult.

You will need to skip steaming the milk and instead let the milk remain cold. You will pour your cold milk into your espresso and then add a scoop of ice. The lines on the cups they use for iced lattes help the baristas measure how much milk to put into your drink. They will usually fill it up to the top line. Then they will add ice in the rest of the way. You can always ask for less amounts of ice. If you do that, they will add more milk in place of the ice. Iced lattes don’t really do the idea of a latte justice, but they sure are good on a hot summer day!

That is how Starbucks does their lattes and how you can do yours, too.

Now that you know how they make a classic Starbucks latte, you are probably wondering what the right measurements are that make each latte perfect.

We don’t blame you for being curious! It can be tricky to know just how much of this and that to use in their amazing drinks.

Amount Of Espresso Shots By Size:

  • Short- Hot Only (8oz): 1 shot of espresso.
  • Tall- Hot or Iced (12oz): 1 shot of espresso.
  • Grande- Hot or Iced (16oz): 2 shots of espresso.
  • Venti- Hot Only (20oz): 2 shots of espresso.
  • Venti- Iced Only (24oz): 3 shots of espresso.

That’s all you need to know if you want a simple, plain latte from Starbucks. However, sometimes you just need a little more flavor in your life! That’s why Starbucks has so different options for you. You’ll never get bored with their menu.

What’s on their menu for lattes?

  • Caffe Latte: It’s a very simple and plain latte.
  • Cinnamon Dolce Latte: They add cinnamon dolce syrup to their delicious steamed milk and espresso to create this yummy drink. They also add whipped cream and the dolce sprinkles to this one, if you want them.
  • Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte: Sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup, steamed skim milk and espresso. Whipped cream and toppings still optional.
  • Flavored Latte: A basic latte, espresso and steamed milk, but with a flavored syrup added in.
  • Skinny Flavored Latte: Basic latte, sugar-free flavored syrup and steamed skim milk.
  • Vanilla Latte: Steamed milk, espresso and vanilla syrup.

What a great selection, right? And the best part is that if you aren’t feeling any of their regular lattes, you can swing for the flavored latte and make the drink into whatever you are truly craving. Starbucks offers several different types of syrups that you can add to their drinks!

Different syrup flavors offered at Starbucks:

  • Caramel.
  • Hazelnut.
  • Vanilla.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Toffee Nut.
  • Peppermint.
  • Raspberry.
  • Classic.

Now that you have a flavor in mind, it’s time to put a little something extra on top of your drink to make it really special! When we go to Starbucks, we expect a treat and that is exactly what they tend to give us. Their toppings options are amazing!

Toppings offered at Starbucks:

  • Flavored whipped cream: This is more a seasonal thing. They don’t always offered flavored whipped cream at all times. But at certain times you can catch them with chocolate whipped cream or even gingerbread flavors during the holidays.
  • Whipped cream: Normal whipped cream, but definitely still delicious.
  • Mocha drizzle: It’s literally the same syrup they use to flavor a mocha drink.
  • Molasses drizzle.
  • Italian roast drizzle.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Caramel drizzle: Caramel sauce that’s used to make macchiatos.
  • Nutmeg: The grand spice itself.
  • Chocolate powder.
  • Vanilla powder.
  • Caramel brulee topping: Caramel candy that has been broken up for a topping.
  • Pumpkin spice: The wonderful spice itself, commonly used in their famous pumpkin spice lattes.
  • Caramel crunchies: They are exactly what they sound like.
  • Chocolate curls: Dark chocolate shavings only around certain times of the year.
  • Dolce sprinkles: Cinnamon and sugar sprinkles.
  • Sea salt.

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