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I have had a few Starbucks lattés in my time, and they are good. But, at more than $5 each for a soy vanilla latté, it’s not something I want to spend money on regularly. I can make these copycat lattés at home, for about 25¢ each! That is a savings of more than 95%.
These lattés I make at home for a fraction of the price are also teenager approved and requested! The nice thing about making them at home is you can be creative in what to add to them. I made these last night using peppermint mocha coffee, and added a leftover Christmas candy cane.
At Starbucks, they use those yummy syrups for flavoring, but those are expensive. I used those in the past, until I hit upon a different, less expensive approach. My frugal solution is to use flavored coffee. It imparts the “special” flavor without the price.
I usually use whole, flavored beans and grind them myself. Although, I’ve found I can also use pre-ground, then grind it finer in my coffee grinder. This is a good trick if you find flavored ground coffee at a good price!
Here’s my basic approach and ingredients:
Milk: I use vanilla sweetened almond or soy milk. You can also use unsweetened milks. I prefer the taste of using sweetened milk, and consider this my occasional sugar treat. 🙂 I used Lucerne Almond Milk for the ones in the picture. I often use Costco brand soy milk. I have found soy milk to froth better than almond milk.
Sweetener: You may or may not want extra sweetener, I usually use 1-2 packets of Splenda for a large mug.
Coffee: I usually buy vanilla whole bean flavored coffee at Grocery Outlet for $5.99/lb. Sprouts often has sales, too.
Topping: I sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
Espresso Maker: I use an inexpensive Krups espresso maker, the same one I have been using for years. I’ve even been known to bring it to hotels! Going out for coffee in a group adds up to big bucks. Instead, you can buy an espresso maker for about the price of taking a family of 5 out for Starbucks! This is a frugal alternative, and I enjoy having my latté in my room before heading out.
Coffee Grinder: We recently upgraded to this one, after using a small grinder for a long time. Smaller, cheaper ones are also available, and work just fine!
Tamper: Santa brought me one this year! Before that, I would just press the coffee down with the back of a coffee scoop.
There are lots of videos online that show how to use the espresso maker to make lattés. Once you use the latté maker a few times, you will be a pro! Be prepared for your family and friends to start requesting these!
Happy Saving! 🙂