We may be tea geeks, but we’re not against adding milk to our tea now and then. Having recently discovered what our CEO called the “Mercedes of Tea Frothers”, we are now enthusiastically whipping up tea lattes. So we’re devoting this blog to sharing how you too can create cafe-grade lattes at home, without splurging on an espresso machine with a steamer.
One thing we’ve learned from binging on Netflix series about the top chefs of the world: presentation matters. Food tastes better when it looks beautiful. Tea lattes are the same. It’s a known fact that the favorite mug makes tea taste better. In the same way, rich froth makes your tea lattes taste better. Plus, technically it’s not really a latte if it doesn’t have at least a little foam. (We’re looking at you, hundreds of online tea latte recipes without foam….)
So before you dive in, you’ll need good hand-held milk frother, like the above-mentioned Eparé Professional (“Mercedes”) Milk Frother. These last. The cheap ones do not. (Case in point: our former cheap office spinner that used to come to life like a zombie, spitting flecks of milk at the user while growling like a nest of angry bees.)
Here are some other supplies you’ll find helpful.
- A milk pitcher or measuring cup, or a deep mug can work nicely.
- A way to heat your milk – either by stove top in a saucepan or by microwave in a safe container.
- Good, high quality tea - duh. We don’t have to tell you.
- Milk, of course. Whole, skim, half-and-half, soy, almond, oat (yeah it’s a thing), cashew - it’s your choice. Let it be said that the type of milk used will affect the type of foam formed. If you see a “Barista” version of your milk alternative, go with that.
- Dishcloth or apron. This can get messy. Be ready for a bit of spray if your mug is too full, or not deep enough.
Now that you are all set up, let’s get started.
How to Froth Milk to Perfection at Home
Step 1: Heat milk in microwave-safe milk pitcher or measuring cup (or tall mug) for 60-90 seconds so it’s warm, not boiling. Or heat on the stove in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally; then remove from heat once simmering and pour into pitcher or mug.
Step 2: Take your hand-held milk frother and submerge whisk just below the top of the milk, then press the power button.
Step 3: Move frother upwards so that the whisk is half in the milk and half in the air for a couple of seconds to aerate the milk, and then submerge whisk fully, about half way down, never touching the bottom.
Step 4: Slant the milk pitcher and the frother slightly, about 25 degrees.
Step 5: Move frother slightly off from center and move up and down a bit, but staying away from the bottom of mug and top of milk.
Step 6: Stop frothing when large bubbles start to disappear. The whole frothing business should take less than 30 seconds.
Step 7: Pour beautiful micro-foam and milk over brewed tea.
We recommend adding frothed milk to English Breakfast or Assam tea, Earl Grey, Chai, Matcha green tea, Chamomile or Rooibos and sweetening to taste for a simple tea latte. You will need to adjust the amounts of tea vs. milk based on how big your mug is, and how frothy or not you want your latte. It may take a couple of tries to get to your perfect cuppa. A good place to start is ½ a mug of tea to ½ milk/froth.
Since you’re practically a pro barista now...here are some upgrades and fancier recipes you may want to try.
- Steep 1 Two Leaves and a Bud Earl Grey Tea Sachet in ½ mug of boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove sachet.
- Stir in cane sugar or simple syrup to taste.
- In separate container, heat milk.
- Add 1/4 tsp vanilla extract to milk and stir.
- Froth milk like a pro and pour over fully steeped Earl Grey tea to fill mug.
Chai Walla Latte
- Steep 1 Paisley Label Chai Tea Bag for 5 minutes in ½ mug of boiling water, then remove teabag.
- In separate container, heat milk.
- Add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tbsp of maple syrup to milk and stir.
- Froth milk like a pro and pour over fully steeped Chai tea to fill mug.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.
- Place 1 tbsp of Two Leaves and a Bud Nice Matcha green tea powder in the bottom of your mug.
- In a separate container heat milk.
- Add a splash of heated milk to matcha and use a whisk to stir the matcha into a starter paste so that all clumps are dissolved.
- Add 1 tsp of agave to matcha starter and stir. (optional)
- Froth the remainder of the milk and pour over matcha starter paste to fill mug.
- Give it a quick stir and sprinkle a dusting of matcha powder on top.
Rooibos Vanilla Spice Latte
- Steep 1 Two Leaves and a Bud African Sunset Sachet in ½ mug of boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove sachet.
- In separate container, heat milk + 1 tsp of coconut oil.
- Add 1 tsp of honey and ¼ tsp vanilla extract and stir.
- Froth the milk mixture to perfection and pour over fully brewed African Sunset tea to fill mug.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Chamomile Rose Latte
- Heat milk and 2 tbsp of crushed rose petals (Some info on harvesting rose petals here)
- Remove from heat and allow rose petals to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
- You may need to re-heat milk.
- Steep 2 Two Leaves and a Bud Chamomile sachets in ½ mug of boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove sachets.
- Froth milk and rose mixture and pour over Chamomile tea to fill mug.
- Sprinkle a pinch of rose petals on top.