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How to make the perfect gingerbread latte

Gingerbread lattes are a great holiday treat offered in coffee shops during holiday time. However, getting that drink three times a day can get expensive quickly. Just because the holidays are over,or haven’t started,doesn’t mean it is not the season for this delicious drink. Make gingerbread lattes at home, and have this tasty treat any time, at a low cost.

Prepare to make the perfect latte.

Start with a cup that holds as many ounces as desired. A standard coffee drink is 12 to 16 ounces, though the standard home coffee cup is usually 8 to 12 ounces.

For a standard 12 ounce, use about 2 ounces of flavored syrup, though the exact quantity can vary depending on how much coffee vs. gingerbread flavor is desired in the drink. Gingerbread syrup can be purchased by the bottle, or made from scratch at home. Steam the milk and brew the espresso.

Make sure to pick out good espresso beans, other roasts or low quality beans will not taste the same. Use an automatic espresso machine or a stovetop espresso pot to brew the shots.

The number can vary depending on how much caffeine is required, and how much coffee taste is preferred.

Using too much espresso, or trying to use the more watered down drip brewed or French press coffee, even when made with espresso beans, can make the drink taste horribly wrong. When using a stovetop espresso maker, the shots are not made by shot quantity, so keep in mind that one espresso shot is about one and a half or two ounces, and measure accordingly. Espresso shots can only sit for about 30 seconds before they go bad, so don’t make them too early. They may even be the last thing to be made, though not the last ingredient to be added to the cup.

To steam milk

An espresso machine with a milk wand is the easiest and most effective option.

Pour the milk into a container with a handle. Usually, metal milk pitchers are used, but another coffee cup will work too.

For a 12 ounce drink, you will want about 8 ounces of milk. Put a thermometer in the milk pitcher with the milk, and hold it up to the steam wand.

For the first 60 or so degrees, keep the wand under the level of the milk, around 60-80 degrees, pull the cup away from the wand until it is just barely touching the surface of the milk, where it will begin frothing it.

Let it froth to about 130 degrees, then bury the wand back in the milk so that the tip is totally submerged.

Heat to 160 degrees, then take away from the steam.

Tap the cup or pitcher on the counter a few times, then swirl the milk around. Repeat twice more. This settles the foam and the milk properly.

Put it together

In the cup, pour in the gingerbread syrup, then the espresso shots.

Once those are in, pick up a latte knife (or a butter knife, whatever), and hold it at the edge of the pitcher of milk, so that there’s about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of space between the knife and the rim of the pitcher to pour the milk through. Pour the milk.

When the drink is nearly full, move the knife to leave more space between it and the rim of the pitcher, allowing some of the foam out, for a half circle of foamy awesomeness.

In this perfect gingerbread latte, quantities of milk, syrup, and shots can vary to suit personal taste. For something a little less milky, try a cappuccino, which is about 1/3 each of espresso/syrup, milk, and foam. Enjoy this seasonal drink year round!