The 80-Second Latte

Great news! You no longer need to blow $4.00 at Starbucks or at your local trendy coffee shop to enjoy a latte.

In this post, I'll explain how to make a delicious latte-style coffee in the comfort of your own home, without any expensive coffee-making equipment, milk-frothing attachments or other gadgets. Here's how:

1) Fill a microwave-safe coffee mug half full with milk (skim, whole, 2%, it doesn't matter).

2) Microwave on high for 60 seconds.

3) If you want to add sugar, stir it in immediately after microwaving.

4) Let the heated (and sweetened) milk stand for 10-15 seconds. You'll see a layer of foam rise to the top of the milk. Then, very gently, fill the mug the rest of the way with strong coffee.

5) Drink and enjoy.

A quick final note: Obviously, some microwaves are more powerful than others. If you heat the milk to a point where it begins bubbling, not only will it not form the desired foamy texture, it may explode all over the inside of your microwave. Tears and suffering will ensue. Keep an eye on things the first couple of times you do this and you'll quickly figure out your optimal microwave time.

Needless to say, this isn't identical to a latte, but it's a surprisingly close--and laughably cheap--approximation. Enjoy!

Related Posts:
The Macchinetta: Stovetop Espresso Coffee
The French Press
How to Use an Ibrik to Make Easy Turkish Coffee
Calling All Coffee Addicts: 100% Kona Coffee

How can I support Casual Kitchen?
If you enjoy reading Casual Kitchen, tell a friend and spread the word! You can also support me by purchasing items from via links on this site, or by linking to me or subscribing to my RSS feed. Finally, you can consider submitting this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to bookmarking sites like, digg or stumbleupon. Thank you for your support!


Charmian @ChristiesCorner said...

I didn't know you could just zap the milk. Good to know when travelling!

I make my own lattes and home but use a latte whip, and I gotta say, it foams up beautifully. A pump-style frother works well, too. Both these items cost $10 to $20 each depending on which brand you buy. Doing the math... they pay for themselves in 4 to 8 lattes -- and that's using organic milk.

Thanks for pointing out that you don't need to go broke to enjoy a great coffee.

Owlhaven said...

I add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a slosh of cream, and a tablespoon of Hershey's syrup to my strong coffee for a homemade Mexican mocha.

Tammy said...

Really? Very cool. I will have to try it. I just read that you can create the froth by using a coffee press on the milk. But then I'd have to wash TWO coffee pots. I like your idea much better.

Anonymous said...

WOW a new version of the original Ghetto Latte...quit being so cheap and indulge!

Sally said...

If you fill a mug with milk, how can you fill it the rest of the way with strong coffee? Filled is filled, isn't it?

Daniel said...

Sally, it says "fill a coffee mug half full with milk." :)


Marian (Sweetopia) said...

Yum, yum and triple yum!
Glad to find you Daniel. =)

Sally said...

Well, that's embarrassing! I read the post on Tuesday. Yesterday morning I couldn't remember the amount of milk and went back to read it. I must have read it four times and only read "fill a mug with milk."

My apologies...

Anonymous said...

Great idea. My version of ice latte. I usually do it when I have a cup or 2 left of milk in the gallon jug. I add my coffee and sugar. Then just shake it vigorously till its completely mixed. I pour in my huge cup and at the end will have a lovely foam top which I usually add cinnamon to the top and it can't be beat by any latte from a shop.