Whether you're on a first-name basis with your barista or you've mastered the art of crafting the perfect pumpkin spice latte at home, National Latte Day (February 11) is the perfect excuse to revel in everyone's favorite coffee drink. To celebrate this special day, we’ve collaborated with the coffee experts at Yampa Valley Kitchen in Colorado to share all sorts of latte secrets — from helpful tips to creating lattes at home to revealing two recipes sure to capture your heart.
Since its inception in 2019, National Latte Day has given us all a legitimate reason to dive into the creamy, dreamy world of espresso and steamed milk. Whether you’re at your favorite coffee shop or in your own kitchen, everyone can partake in the enjoyment and channel their inner barista, even without an espresso machine.
You also have the freedom to personalize your latte however you please — whether with plant-based milk or sweeteners — ensuring that even those with dietary restrictions can savor the experience. And for those who prefer tea, you can always whip up tea lattes such as chai, matcha, or London Fog.
According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), lattes are becoming increasingly popular each year. In 2020, the NCA found that coffee drinkers, especially those aged 25 to 39, are increasingly gravitating towards espresso-based beverages, with consumption of cappuccinos, lattes, and flat whites increasing by a staggering 50 percent during the same period.
Hannah Hopkins, chef and owner of the Yampa Valley Kitchen, says that lattes' popularity is due to their customizability. She explains, "Lattes are highly versatile and customizable for most coffee and tea lovers, those with specialty diets, and some even have health benefits like matcha lattes and turmeric lattes. Lattes also help cut the bitter taste of espresso, allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits of caffeine."
To create a high-quality latte at home, Hopkins emphasizes getting the espresso just right. Whether you opt for a traditional espresso machine or get creative with an espresso pod in a Keurig, the choice is yours. However, the crucial element is a milk frother, as Hopkins says it is responsible for creating milk foam and giving your latte its smooth, creamy texture. And you don't have to break the bank for a good frother. "You can get a portable milk frother for super cheap, under $10," says Hopkins.
Once you've got everything you need to make a latte at home, Hopkins recommends following this simple routine each time you make a cup: "Put syrup at the bottom of your cup, top with espresso, then top with your frothed milk," she says.
Recipes courtesy of Yampa Valley Kitchen
This espresso-based latte is not just delicious with rich and warm spices, but it’s also dairy-free and made with oat milk.
With matcha powder, crushed pistachios, and a touch of coconut milk, this latte will make you go nuts in the best way possible.
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