I’m the type of person who keeps bookmarking “dupe recipes” for assorted Starbucks items, but never actually ends up making them. (Can any of you relate?) Even worse, when I do actually try to make one of those coffee recipes, I find it requires an espresso machine! (Who honestly owns one of those?)
Over the years, however, I’ve found a couple of fancy coffeehouse drinks I can actually make at home, without any ultra-fancy equipment. Today, I’m sharing those recipes with you.
Here they are, in order from from easiest to hardest:
1. “Abuelita” Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican-style hot chocolate often includes cinnamon and other flavors. This Nestle brand tablet can be bought in disks in the US and either disks or breakable tablets in Mexico. (I checked for it when I did an exchange program there!)
I have seen other brands, however I haven’t tried them myself — if you do test them out, definitely let me know how they work!
Recipe makes: 1 Grande Size Hot Chocolate (16 ounces)
What you need:
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 disk Nestle Abuelita (can often be found in the “ethnic” or “hispanic” aisle of grocery stores)
Add the disk and the milk to a pot and heat until hot. This is pretty much left up to whatever temperature you want your hot chocolate to be. You’ll also be able to see the milk turning a lot more brown from the chocolate dissolving into it, although it’s not required for the recipe.
Put the milk and the softened half disk in a blender, and blend until milk is frothy and well-mixed (light brown). (See also: How to blend hot liquids safely – don’t cause an explosion!)
Pour into a large mug and drink up!
Not a recipe, but will be needed from this point on: Frothed Milk
The most difficult part of the following recipes is frothing the milk. My personal preference is to use a milk frother.
However, if you’re not ready to commit to buying one just yet, you can also froth milk in a mason jar using the following method:
- Pour whatever amount of milk you want to use into a mason jar, and close the lid tightly.
- Shake the jar vigorously until it has a layer of bubbles/froth on the top.
- Uncap the jar and microwave to maintain the froth layer and heat up your milk (probably 1:00-1:30 min).
If you use a milk frother, simply heat the milk to your desired temperature and turn the frother on, while moving it up and down the center of the milk to mix it all up. Easy enough!
2. Green Tea Latte
What you need:
- Heated/frothed milk
- Green tea mix ($23 for a pack of 6)
Heat and froth whatever amount of milk you want to put into the latte (one half of the total latte size you want) in a mug. Make sure not to fill it too high!
Add the green tea mix in the same amount.
If the green tea mix cooled down your drink too much, heat it in the microwave (or however else)
3. London Fog (or Earl Grey Tea Latte)
With the same creaminess found in the green tea latte, a London Fog is the perfect combination of relaxed tea and soft foam.
What you need:
- Earl Grey Tea Bags (I prefer decaffeinated!)
- Heated and frothed milk (see earlier instructions)
Brew one half cup of earl grey tea (approximately four minutes or so).
Add one half cup frothed milk.
Sweeten to taste!*
*Unlike the hot chocolate and green tea latte mixes, this one isn’t pre-sweetened. Some suggestions are vanilla syrup, lavender, or regular sugar/simple syrup. I personally use an artificial sweetener when I make it, but it’s up to you.
4. Moka pot espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, etc.
A moka pot is also sometimes known as a stovetop espresso maker. It’s the simplest and cheapest way I know to make espresso at home, which you can then use for lattes, cappuccinos, and more!
Here’s how to use a moka pot to make espresso.
What you need:
1. Grind your beans.
Use the coffee grinder to grind your beans into espresso-level. (The directions on how to do this will be with your coffee grinder, but as a general rule it’s usually a little longer than you would grind for regular coffee, like 12-15 seconds).
2. Fill the Moka Pot with water.
Fill the bottom pot of the moka pot with water until just below the safety valve (or if there is a line included).
3. Fill the Moka Pot with espresso.
Fill the flat cylinder on top of the funnel completely with the ground espresso. Don’t pack it down, but try to fill it up completely.
4. Assemble your moka pot, and put on the stove to heat. (Just like a teakettle!)
5. Get ready to enjoy!
When the top part of the pot is full of coffee, remove from the heat and pat yourself on the back for making espresso!
Afterwards, you can combine with hot/frothed milk to make a latte, combine with hot water to make an americano, etc. Here is a detailed guide to common cafe drinks for more ideas!
It’s probably not good form, but I usually refrigerate the espresso I didn’t need so I can use it next time I want to make a drink without repeating this whole process.
You did it! Fancy coffee at home!
You can substitute milk with another type of nut milk for a vegan or lactose-free alternative! I made a latte with Simply Balanced Almond Milk and it frothed pretty easily and made an excellent drink.
Would you try any of these recipes?
Do you have any tricks for making your own comfort drinks at home?