How To Make Starbucks Drinks At Home With Tamra Brown

How To Make Starbucks Drinks At Home With Tamra Brown

Whether you go to Starbucks every single morning or just every once in awhile when you need a convenient meeting spot with casual ambiance and pre-packaged artisan paninis, it can get expensive. Especially since they just raised prices on certain beverages. The nerve of them! Why, you might as well make your favorite Starbucks latte at home. Hey, that’s a great idea, just make those fancy coffee drinks yourself. Here’s a recipe for a cafe-quality latte that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen and footie pajamas (Footie pajamas optional).

Music: Kevin McLeod,


Tamra Brown: Hello, I’m Tamra Brown with and I drink coffee.

If you haven’t heard, Starbucks has recently had the audacity to raise their prices again. Price hikes vary from drink to drink and from market to market but in general, Grande and Venti brewed coffees has gone up between 10 cents and 15 cents in most U.S. markets and Tall and Venti lattes and mocha drinks went up 15 to 20 cents in some areas. You can also expect to pay $1 more for Starbucks packaged coffee they sell in supermarkets.

So if you want to save some dough, here are ways to make those Starbucks-calibur coffee drinks at home. But here are some things you’ll need 1). An espresso machine 2). A milk steamer. Do you have those things? Probably not.

So coffeehouses use industrial-grade, professional equipment that is far too expensive and bulky for most non-Kardashian households. So is it possible to make a Starbucks drink at home? Yeah, pretty much.

In a 12 ounce tall latte, Starbucks baristas use one shot of espresso and three pumps of syrup. The rest is steamed milk. In a 16 ounce Grande latte, Starbucks baristas use two shots of espresso and four pumps of syrup. The rest is steamed milk. In a 20 ounce venti latte, Starbucks baristas use two shots of espresso and five pumps of syrup. The rest is steamed milk. So with a hot venti latte, you’re technically only paying for more milk and syrup, no more coffee than a grande.

So we’re going to make a tall vanilla latte. Let’s start with the milk. Starbucks baristas froth the milk with steam, which you can’t duplicate without the heavy equipment. But home alternatives include boiling the milk on the stove or using one of these battery-operated frothers. This one’s called Aerolatte and retails for under $20 at Bed Bath & Beyond or you can find the equivalent on Amazon or even some Coffee Beans sell them.

Step One: Froth your milk. Here’s what’s kooky, a Starbucks “tall” is 12 ounces so minus the one ounce shot of espresso, you’re basically drinking about 11 ounces of milk, give or take based on the froth. Just FYI, that’s a lot of milk, my friends. Regardless, pop it in the microwave, heat it, and froth it.

Next, let’s make the espresso shot. Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It’s more concentrated than coffee and has three layers — the light foamy crema on top, the rich brown body, and the really dark bit at the bottom. Again, without an actual espresso machine, coffee snobs are going to complain that you’re not making real espresso. However, they tend to complain no matter what so we might as well use an Aeropress, which is an extremely convenient and very positively-reviewed alternative. An Aeropress retails for $25.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond but you can also find it on Amazon or wherever.

Step Two: To make one shot of espresso with the Aeropress, we grab a filter, put one scoop of FINELY ground coffee into the Aeropress. It has to be finely ground or it won’t filter to the right concentration. Pour in one ounce of nearly boiling water. Stir it with the weird stirrer thing as it already starts to filter. Then we take this part and press it down slowly, which presses the air through the coffee grounds. In the cup is our shot of espresso and if done correctly, it even has the light crema layer.

Step Three: Once the shot is in the cup, pour in the frothy milk ASAP. There’s some debate amongst espresso drinkers as to whether or not espresso shots expire after 10 to 20 seconds if you don’t connect it with some form of liquid. I don’t know if this is true or not, but Starbucks doesn’t let shots expire and since we’re mimicking Starbucks drinks, we’re not going to let our shot expire so that’s why we prepared the milk before pulling the shot.

Now we have a regular tall latte but since we’re making a vanilla latte, it’s time to put in the syrup. This is the vanilla syrup that Starbucks sells for 9.95. This is the same kind of syrup they use in their drinks but not the same pump so the barista told me two pumps of this is about the same as one pump from theirs. In other words, since Starbucks uses three pumps in a Tall, with this, we’re going to use six. Step Four: Pump in your syrup. And stir.

Now we’ve made a Tall Vanilla Latte that tastes just like a Starbucks latte. Like I said, they also raised the price on their mocha drinks so real quick, mocha is basically a chocolate sauce. Unlike Starbucks’ other flavors like vanilla or hazelnut, the mocha they use in a mocha latte is not a syrup in a pump. It’s made from a powder. They mix hot water with a semi-sweet powder to make it fresh every day.

To do this, you can buy a semi-sweet chocolate powder to be authentic to the way Starbucks makes it or for the sake of convenience, you can use a Bisquick or Swiss Miss cocoa powder and just add a bit of water until you have a fresh chocolate sauce. Then follow the previous steps of how to froth the milk and pull the espresso shot in order to make your mocha latte.

That’s it. Enjoy your inexpensive Starbucks drink. Have fun, good luck, save some money! Bye!


Tamra is a writer/comedian and the only person in L.A. who uses public transportation. She likes dive bars, mid-century Americana, and classic cars. She talks about them on her kitschy travel podcast called Down & Dirty Travel.

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