While mocha is a popular latte flavor, to me, nothing can beat fresh vanilla beans with coffee and milk. When I started making my own lattes from scratch, vanilla was the first flavor I tried, and it has continued to be my favorite. The recipe is quick, and only requires five simple ingredients!
- ground espresso beans
for the syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, moist
- small sauce pan
- air-tight container for storage
Making the vanilla syrup takes longer, so I like to start this recipe with that.
Split the vanilla bean in half and scrap out the seeds with a sharp knife. If you need to see a demonstration, view this vanilla bean splitting tutorial on YouTube.
Alternatively, you can cut the whole bean into segments, split the segments, and leave the seeds in the pod. Both methods will provide a great vanilla flavor.
Combine the sugar, water, and vanilla beans (or pod segments) in the small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and watch how the sugar melts into the water.
Let it boil for a couple of minutes to really let the vanilla flavor out of the beans. You will be left with a clear mixture with seeds and/or pods floating in it.
This makes two cups of syrup; the extra syrup that you don't use today can be kept in an air-tight container such as a jar, bottle, or even a clean soap pump if you want to store it like Starbucks does!
Making the Espresso
For one latte, make 2 ounces of espresso with an espresso machine, or use 2 ounces of very bold blend coffee if you don't have an espresso machine. Steam 2 cups of milk on the stove or with a milk steamer nozzle on the espresso machine.
Coffee Geek has a great tutorial on steaming milk both on a stove top and with a steaming wand.
Blend espresso, milk, and vanilla syrup together, using an ounce or two of syrup to your own liking. If there is any foam from the steamed milk, hold it back with a spoon while pouring the milk into the coffee, and then spoon it on top as a finishing touch!
Ashley has been coffee-crazy since college when her husband bought her an espresso machine for Christmas. Armed with a pot of dark roast, she spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her self-titled Etsy shop.