How to Make Your Favorite Coffee Drinks at Home


With recent events, you may have found yourself staying home more than usual and not venturing out for your favorite coffee. You may be craving a latte from your favorite cafe or just wanting to spice up your morning cup of joe.

We all know coffee is important during these trying times of working from home and being a full-time parent at the same time.  

Well, you are in luck because I am a former barista and lifelong coffee drinker who is here to guide you! 

Here Are Some Tips to Get Started

It’s all about the beans

Quality beans with the right roast are important to the flavor of whatever drink you are making. If you like lattes, stick with an espresso roast. If you just like plain coffee or iced coffee, a medium roast is fine. 

Brew it right

As a coffee snob, I own a semi-automatic espresso machine. Her name is Gaggia and she’s been worth the investment for more than six years. I highly recommend purchasing an espresso machine if you actually prefer lattes over plain brewed coffee.

My favorite website to purchase an espresso machine is Seattle Coffee Gear. They sell machines in a wide price range and do video demos. They even sell refurbished, which is a great way to get a “fancy” machine at a better price point.

If an espresso machine is not an option…

…Why not work on your brew technique with your drip coffee maker? You can make a “shot” of espresso by simply reducing the amount of water you brew with your grounds. Make a more concentrated pot of coffee to serve as your base for a latte. The exact amounts will vary based on your flavor preference. 

The real MVP of our house

Choose your milk

whatever you normally get at your favorite coffee spot, just buy it for home. I enjoy almond milk for iced drinks, but prefer 2% or skim for hot steamed lattes. If you don’t customize your drink at the coffee shop, it’s probably made with 2%. If you like your drink as a hot latte, you can get a cheap milk steamer from almost anywhere. You can also simply warm milk in a pan on the stovetop. Just don’t let it burn!

Choose your flavor

Pick your favorite syrup flavor! There are lots of options online and in many stores. Ghiradelli even makes a mocha sauce that is delightful! Many sugar-free options exist as well, so have fun.

Now That You Have Supplies, Here Are Some Favorite Recipes

All ingredients are listed in the order you should add them to your cup and the size is about 16 ounces. A shot of espresso is 1 ounce. If using concentrated brewed coffee, you may need more.

Caramel Machiatto
3 tablespoons vanilla syrup
steamed milk 2/3 way full (or cold milk and ice if you want it cold)
2 shots of espresso on top 
caramel drizzle


3 tbs mocha syrup
2 shots of espresso
steamed or cold milk to the top
whipped cream to top it off


Americano or Iced Americano
2 shots of espresso
hot water to taste or pour over iced cubes, then cold water to taste
add cream and sugar as you like!

What are your favorite coffee recipes?

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Lisa Freeburg
Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to 2 fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.


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