Milk Selection for the Perfect Cafe Latte

Do you love cafe lattes, but dislike the thought of paying $5 for one at a coffee shop? With a little research, you might be shocked to know you can create this beverage at home for a fraction of the cost. So in this article, let’s take a look at the best type of milk to use for a perfect cafe latte.

Cafe Latte Components

First, we should discuss what constitutes a cafe latte. A traditional caffe latte consists of steamed milk and espresso; specifically, two-thirds steamed milk, one-third espresso, and one centimeter of foam. The foam can be simply placed on top, or poured in an artistic manner to create latte art. So now that we know that milk accounts for the majority of a latte, let’s take a look at the best type of milk to utilize.

Dairy Milk Option

Whole milk is hands down the barista’s milk of choice. Fat content is important to consider when choosing a milk. While fat free options do exist, when added to coffee, it mostly just water your coffee down. If you’re wanting that traditional creamy latte consistency, then you will need to use a milk that contains fat. That’s where whole milk comes in. With 4% fat, whole milk provides a wonderfully creamy richness to your beverage. If you’re health conscious and don’t consume whole milk, that’s quite alright. Instead opt for 1% or 2% milk. Those options won’t be quite as rich in texture, but you’ll also feel good about your choice.

These milk options also work great if you don’t have a frother. Frothers are wonderful, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have one. You can steam milk quite simply without one by putting milk in a jar with a lid (i.e. a mason jar). Shake vigorously for about one to two minutes until it appears frothy and bubbly. Then take off the lid and place the jar into the microwave for thirty seconds to stabilize the foam. After that, simply pour the steamed milk into your beverage and spoon the foam on top or get creative and learn at home latte art.

Non Dairy Milk Option

Are you lactose intolerant, vegan, or just avoiding dairy? Fear not. You can still enjoy a deliciously rich cafe latte thanks to a variety of dairy free milk options. While soy milk has been the most popular option on the market for years, it can curdle when added to hot coffee. Almond milk also has a risk of curdling with high heat. Oat milk however, is newer to the market and can easily replicate the rich taste whole milk provides in a latte.

Oat milk can be steamed and provides foam for that perfect latte. Just note that because of its lower protein content, the foam will have larger bubbles and will dissolve a bit quicker than dairy milk.


So to summarize, the most important factor in choosing a milk is recognizing the fat content. Choose whole milk if you can’t live without that rich creamy flavor, or if you’re health conscious then perhaps choose 1%-2% milk or a dairy free alternative like oat milk. Pick the milk you like best and start making your cafe latte’s at home. Just imagine all of the money you will save and how proud you’ll be to make your own cafe latte from scratch.

For more guides, check out Mama’s Royal Coffee.