How to make a latte or a flat white without a coffee machine

19 Mar 2021


Can’t make it to your favourite cafe? Create freshly foamed milk at home for your favourite coffee.

We’re big coffee fans and love combining it with chocolate to create some ultra-creamy treats that really hit the spot. As well as producing our very own coffee range, we offer a stunning Velvetised Espresso Martini Cream Liqueur and several coffee-inspired selector chocolates. We think these are the most delicious way to get your caffeine fix, no matter the occasion.

If you love coffee as much as we do, this year may have made you realise how much you rely on baristas for lattes, flat whites, and other coffee shop favourites. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! It’s perfectly possible to make café-standard lattes and flat whites at home – and we’re going to tell you how.

Read on and prepare to impress any friends who pop over for a cuppa…

Flat white vs Latte vs Cappuccino

They’re all espresso with steamed milk, right? Well, yes, but flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos differ in the ratio of coffee to milk, as well as the amount of foam they include.

Flat white

Sometimes described as the “hipster latte”, the flat white is a relatively new coffee creation. Coffee fanatics in Melbourne, Australia invented it in the 1980s and arrived on the UK café scene in 2005. It swiftly stole the hearts of British coffee-lovers and has become a staple on café menus around the country.

For those who have never tried a flat white, it’s comparable to a traditional latte but contains less milk and foam, allowing the coffee flavour to dominate. It usually has just a flat layer of foam on top, which is where the flat white gets its name.

flat white in a glass


The best friend of any coffee fiends who like to keep things classic, a latte is much like a flat white but has a greater milk to coffee ratio, giving it a creamier taste and a touch more of that iconic foaminess. However, the majority of milk in lattes is in fact steamed, with just a small amount of milk foam on top.

Lattes have become slightly more exciting in recent years with the boom of latte art – they taste even better when they have a pretty design on top, don’t they? They’re also the base of mochas, the beloved chocolatey coffee beverage – just add a little chocolate to your latte and you’ll have a dreamy mocha.


A relation of the latte and the flat white, the cappuccino is a traditional and much-loved beverage that’s made with coffee and milk. The biggest difference between a cappuccino and the other coffees mentioned is the ratio of steamed milk and foamed milk.

Whereas the milk in flat whites and lattes is mostly steamed, the milk in a cappuccino is mostly foamed. There’s also usually less milk and more coffee in a cappuccino, making it a good drink of choice for those who like their coffee strong. Personally, our favourite part of a good cappuccino is the sprinkle of cocoa powder on top, but you can also sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other tasty powder on top.

How do baristas make them in cafes

Baristas can expertly whip up these drinks with ease thanks to their professional espresso machines, grinders, blenders, and steam wands – not to mention their years of experience!

But don’t worry, making these coffees at home isn’t nearly as tricky as you might imagine. And, what you lack in experience, you can make up for in enthusiasm…

How to make a flat white at home

To make a flat white at home, you’ll need a nice ground coffee, a milk of your choice, and a cafetière. If you’re going for plant milk, you may like to try oat milk because its mild flavour allows the coffee to shine through.

The method

cafetiere with strong coffee to make a latte
  1. Put about six teaspoons of ground coffee into your cafetière. It doesn’t matter what type of coffee you go for as long as it’s ground to a salt-like texture.
  2. Boil your kettle and fill the cafetière about halfway full with boiling water. You shouldn’t fill it any more than half because you want the coffee to be strong and espresso-like.
  3. Let it stand for a few minutes and then slowly plunge it to filter out any old grains, leaving just strong coffee behind. Then pour this coffee into your pug until it’s about a third-full.
  4. Give your cafetière a rinse and fill it half way with milk before heating it up. You can do this in the microwave (as long as you make sure you only put the glass container in and none of the metal case) or you can pour the milk into a saucepan and warm it up on the hob.
  5. Once it’s heated and in the cafetière, pump the milk slowly for half a minute to get some air in it. Give it some gentle taps on the counter and then swirl it around until there are no large bubbles visible.
  6. Pour the milk into the cup of coffee slowly, starting from high above the cup and moving closer as you pour.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat to go with your homemade flat white, look no further than our Dunking Biscuits. Coming in five tantalising flavours such as Cinnamon, Almond and Cocoa, we guarantee these cookies will make your coffee even tastier.

Flat white lovers often crave a punchy, well-rounded caffeine boost. Try our Rocket blend, with a bold opening of oak, leather and tobacco that unfolds into dark chocolate notes. Paired with steamed milk, you’ll get a beautifully balanced and vibrant cup of java.

How to make a latte at home

To make a latte at home, you’ll need ground coffee and milk. If you’re using dairy milk, full fat is best and if you’re using plant milk, soy and oat work best. You’ll also need a clean jam jar, and a wide mug if you’d like to recreate the café experience.

  1. Make a strong, espresso-like coffee in your cafetière using six teaspoons of ground coffee and boiling water.
  2. Fill the jam jar half way with milk and shake it with as much force as possible (make sure the lid is on tight!) until the milk is frothy and voluminous.
  3. Take the lid off the jar and microwave the milk for around thirty seconds to let the foam rise to the top.
  4. Pour the espresso into your chosen mug before adding the hot milk. Once you’ve put in as much milk as you desire, heap the foam on top to create that stunning latte finish.

We think our The One coffee blend is perfect for a latte. Its deep flavour with notes of caramel and warm fruit results in a smooth, comforting cup.

If you want to make things even simpler, you can treat yourself to our Caffè Latte Sachets. Mellow and silky with tasting notes of rich chocolate, these create a latte experience that’s as satisfying as anything you can order in a café. They’re made to pair with the Velvetiser but can also be made on the hob, so everyone can enjoy a cup of this latte goodness.

How to make a cappuccino at home

cappuccino with cocoa powder sprinkles

To create a cappuccino at home, you’ll need ground coffee, a milk of your choice, and something nice to garnish it with. If you’re using dairy milk, skimmed is fine but full fat will give it a creamier taste. For a plant-based option, we recommend using oat milk, as it creates a nice thick foam.

  1. Make a strong coffee in your cafetière using six teaspoons of ground coffee and boiling water.
  2. Whilst your coffee brews, heat up your milk on the hob, taking it off just before it boils.
  3. Whisk the milk vigorously for a couple of minutes until it gets nice and frothy.
  4. Fill your coffee mug halfway with the coffee, and then fill the rest of the cup with the frothy milk.
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or even a little chocolate syrup for a delightful finishing touch.

If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to your cappuccino, we recommend our Coffee Chocolates Selector. Made with strong Arabica coffee and creamy white chocolate, these make the perfect little treats to savour with a sip of your coffee.

Can you use a milk frother?

To froth the milk when making any of these beverages, you can absolutely use a milk frother if you have one. Whilst it’s not necessary, it would certainly speed up the process, allowing you to get your coffee fix that little bit quicker.

You can also use our hot chocolate machine, the Velvetiser, to heat milk for coffee. We designed it to whisk up a sumptuous hot chocolate, but it will do a pretty good job of creating frothy coffee milk. So, if you already own a Velvetiser, you probably don’t need to bother investing in a milk frother. If you’re considering purchasing a Velvestiser for your kitchen, keep in mind that it’ll help you make fabulous hot chocolate and fabulous coffee. 

Our Podster coffee machine uses coffee pods to create a perfect espresso base for your homemade lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos too. Find your favourite from our five coffee blends and you’ll never need to go to a cafe again!

We hope these tips will help you channel your inner barista and make some delicious coffees at home. If you use any of these recipes, make sure you tag us in photos on social media because we’d love to see your efforts!