How To Make A Latte With Nespresso At Home

You might think that there’s some secret latte recipe all baristas know. But actually, it’s really simple.

You can even make a latte with your Nespresso machine.

I have made plenty of lattes with Nespresso machines over the years. And they always end up tasting really good.

In this article, I’ll explain exactly how to make a latte with Nespresso. I’ll go over what you need, what ingredients to use, and offer some advice on which pods are best for a latte.

Let’s start brewing!

How to Make a Latte With Nespresso Machine?

It’s actually really easy to make a latte. And having a Nespresso machine makes it even easier.

Why does Nespresso make lattes easy? Because you get consistent espresso from all Nespresso machines.

After all, the espresso is the hardest part of making a latte. When I was starting out as a barista, I spent months pulling shot after shot trying to perfect the espresso.

But having a Nespresso takes all that work out of the equation!

So, let’s get into this recipe

Tools You’ll Need

If you already have a Nespresso coffee maker, you’ll most likely know which one you have.

But here is a reminder:

There are two lines of Nespresso machines: the VertuoLine and the OriginalLine.

While they both make espresso, I always recommend OriginalLine for making espresso drinks.

Why?

Because they were designed as espresso-first machines. (The VertuoLine was designed as brew-first machines.)

You’ll also need a milk system. Some Nespresso machines in the OriginalLine have integrated milk systems. If you have one of those, you’re all set!

If you don’t, you’ll need a milk frother.

There are plenty of ways to froth milk, but having a dedicated milk frother is a good idea if you make a lot of lattes.

Nespresso has the Aeroccino milk frother.

I actually really like the Aeroccino for home use. There was a period of my life where the only coffee I drank was lattes from a Nespresso and milk from an Aeroccino. And I was always happy with the results.

The bottom line?

You need two things:

  1. A Nespresso machine
  2. A milk frother

Ingredients

There is a reason lattes are a staple at just about every coffee shop around the world.

They are one of the simplest drinks when it comes to ingredients.

After all, there are only two ingredients:

  1. Espresso: you can use a single or double shot, depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.
  2. Milk: dairy milk works the best, but you can also use non-dairy versions such as almond milk or coconut milk. Just keep in mind that you won’t get so much milk foam.

That being said, you can get into the weeds about each ingredient. Like what kind of espresso roast is used for the espresso, how hot and what texture the milk should be, etc.

But I always tell people getting into coffee at home to go by taste.

Does your latte taste good? Great, then you don’t need to change a thing.

Don’t like how your latte tastes? Well then, try changing something in your process. Try a different Nespresso pod or different setting on your milk frother.

But only go as deep as you want! Coffee is a personal experience, so don’t let anyone (not even me) tell you that you have to do it a certain way!

In a nutshell: Espresso and milk are all you need to create a latte. And a Nespresso machine and milk frother are all you need to make espresso and milk.

Instructions

Alright, the time has come for the actual process.

Now that you have your Nespresso machine and milk frother ready to go, let’s brew!

A latte is really simple:

  1. Insert your favorite espresso capsule into your Nespresso machine
  2. Select the espresso drink (single or double)
  3. While your espresso is brewing, pour milk into your Aeroccino (or another milk frother)
  4. Froth your milk to about 145 degrees Fahrenheit (or until your milk frother is finished)
  5. There should be a thin layer of foam at the top of your milk
  6. Once your espresso is done, pour the steamed milk into your espresso

That’s it!

What I like about this recipe is that it’s super repeatable. Nespresso takes a lot of the work out of espresso, and a milk frother takes a lot of the work out of the milk.

If you want, you can try adding flavors to your lattes.

To do this you’ll need a good syrup. My personal favorites are hazelnut and vanilla syrup.

I recommend adding the syrup to your mug before pulling your espresso. Then use a spoon to mix the espresso and syrup together before pouring your milk.

PRO TIP
A latte should have milk to espresso ratio of about 3:1. Using that ratio as a guide makes it easier to adjust the size of your latte. If you brew a 1.5 oz espresso, then use 4.5 oz of milk. If you do a double shot of espresso at 3 oz, then use 9 oz of frothed milk.

Serving

a mug of nespresso latte

Serving a latte is entirely up to you. But a latte should be served right after it’s prepared so it stays hot and the microfoam doesn’t disappear.

Traditionally, lattes are served in mugs. Sometimes on a platter, sometimes not.

You can garnish your latte with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg on top to give your latte a little extra flavor. You can also add some whipped cream for some sugar boost.

If you want an iced latte, just use the cold milk instead of hot, and pour your latte over some ice cubes. 

For an easy mocha: Break up a bar of dark chocolate into the mug before you pull your espresso. Then mix the chocolate in with the espresso before pouring your milk froth. Extra points for using a cheese grater to shave some extra chocolate on top!

The Best Nespresso Pods for a Latte

Nespresso makes different pods for each line of coffee makers. That can make it a little confusing for choosing a good pod for a latte. 

Best OriginalLine Pods for a Latte

Because the OriginalLine coffee machine is espresso-first, I found that there are more options for creating a good latte.

Here are my favorites:

  • Cosi – a mild and subtle espresso for a smooth latte
  • Istanbul Espresso – for an earthier, nuttier coffee flavor
  • Vanilla Eclair – for a vanilla latte without extra syrup or sugar

The reality is that any OriginalLine Nespresso capsule is going to taste great in a latte. Try out some different ones to see what you like!

PRO TIP
Nespresso has a really fun, interactive coffee selection guide that will help you pick out the best pods to try.

Best VertuoLine Pods for a Latte

altissio nespresso

The VertuoLine espresso doesn’t taste quite as good as the OriginalLine espresso. But that doesn’t mean it can’t do a great latte!

You just have to be a little more selective about which pods you use.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Altissio – is probably the best espresso in the Vertuo lineup
  • Melozio – a great all-around coffee
  • Voltesso – for a lighter and smoother latte

My opinion: Try looking for Nespresso pods that are on the stronger side. That way you’ll get better integration of the espresso and milk in your latte.

FAQ

You might still have some burning questions.

Here are a few common ones I get asked about making a latte with Nespresso:

Do all Nespresso machines make lattes?

No, actually only a few have integrated milk systems that allow you to make lattes.

But the good news? All Nespresso machines make espresso.

So, as long as you have a way to froth milk, you can make a latte with your Nespresso.

How do you froth milk in a Nespresso machine?

When using the Aeroccino or a Nespresso with an integrated milk system, frothing milk is really easy.

All you have to do is fill the milk reservoir up to the max height. Then press the button for your desired milk temperature and texture.

Do I use espresso or lungo for a latte?

I would recommend only using espresso for a latte. But if you want a slightly bigger latte, you can always do a double espresso.

Just make sure your milk to espresso ratio is around 3:1 and you’ll get a delicious latte.

Final Thoughts

Now you’re equipped to make a great latte with your Nespresso!

I remember fondly all the lattes I made with my Nespresso. It’s what really started getting me into coffee in the first place.

Really all you need is a Nespresso machine and a milk frother.

Then you pull a shot, froth some milk, and enjoy your latte.

Honestly, it’s really that simple. Don’t overthink it.

Did you know?

It’s also really simple to make an iced coffee with Nespresso!

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Craig Carey
Craig spent a year as a barista in Denver's specialty coffee world. He spends his days rock climbing, cycling, drinking espresso, and hanging around the Rocky Mountains. He still lives in Colorado.