When my husband and I found ourselves with twin infants in the middle of a pandemic, we had no idea about the sleep deprivation that was to come. And don’t we all know what comes after a night of basically no sleep with a baby?
You guessed it, coffee!
We literally ran UP our Starbucks rewards so much that we were getting free coffee like every other week. It was insanity. So when we found out we were…pregnant…again…my sweet mother-in-law bought us an espresso maker so that we could save some money.
I know espresso machines/stations can be very intimidating, but once you get used to your machine, making drinks will be a breeze. I’m a huge pumpkin spice lover, and I worked as a barista for a short time at a local coffee shop so I also LOVE well-crafted coffee.
Here are some of my recipes and a “How To” on how to make Starbucks quality drinks at home.
Some things you will need…
- Espresso: You can brew espresso using your own coffee machine, or if you don’t have that option you can also buy instant espresso. We buy our grounds from Starbucks (you just ask them for whatever bag of beans you want, Blonde Espresso roast is the BEST, and tell them you want them ground for espresso) and use those in our espresso machine.
- Coffee Syrups & Sauces: The best place to get coffee syrup is probably Amazon. I’m personally a huge fan of the Torani flavors but there are other brands. I suggest getting a multipack with a few flavors that you like, as well as the caramel sauce (caramel sauce brings out other syrup flavors VERY well).
- Milk: I suggest using whole milk, especially if you have a steam wand on your espresso machine. Whole milk will give you the ultimate froth, but 2% also works great. I’m also a huge lover of almond milk in my iced coffee and the BEST almond milk for iced coffee is Califia Farms (my personal fave is the unsweetened vanilla) because it’s creamy just like whole milk and even if you leave your coffee sitting for a little bit (mom life) it doesn’t separate.
Some honorable mention tools and ingredients to have on hand are a milk pitcher, hand frother, heavy whipping cream, and half and half.
Here are my top 3 make at home recipes!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Pumpkin spice syrup (recipe here)
- Milk of choice
- Heavy whipping cream (you’ll add some pumpkin spice syrup to this and froth it before you put it on top, tastes best on an iced drink and creates a copycat “pumpkin cream cold foam”)
- Pumpkin pie spice
Caramel Brûlée Latte
- Caramel syrup (and sauce!)
- Milk of choice
- Salted caramel flavored topping (check amazon)
French Toast Latte
- French toast syrup
- Caramel sauce
- Milk of choice
The key to making a delicious espresso drink at home, where the flavors really pop is to pour your hot espresso directly over your syrup and sauce for the drink! Then of course you pour in your hot/steamed milk and add your topping. If you’re an iced coffee gal, like me, you’ll add ice after you mix your hot espresso with syrup and sauce. Make sure to mix your espresso and ice thoroughly and then add your milk straight from the container, add your toppings and enjoy!
Buying a delicious seasonal coffee every day is definitely a way to fight off the seasonal depression, but we all know how pricey that can get! I hope you enjoy these recipes and little tips to make yourself a Starbucks-quality drink right at home.
Now that you’ve got the basics, get creative and make something of your own!