If you visit many specialty coffee shops around the world, you’ll find Spanish latte on the menu. But what is Spanish latte, and how is it different from a standard Caffè latte or other drinks that use similar ingredients? Also, what does it taste like, and can you brew it at home?
This article will answer those questions so that by the end, you’ll have a good idea of whether it’s a beverage you’d like to try.
What Is Spanish Latte?
Spanish latte is an increasingly popular espresso-based milk beverage that combines espresso shots with regular milk and condensed milk. Like a standard latte, you can enjoy it hot or iced.
If you’re familiar with the ingredients in a normal latte, you’ll see that the main difference between the two is the condensed milk in Spanish latte.
Condensed milk acts as a sweetener in Spanish latte instead of the flavored syrups you’d often add to a normal latte. It also means Spanish Latte is milkier than a normal latte. Spanish latte is popular among many coffee lovers who enjoy strong coffee with a touch of sweetness.
The exact origins of Spanish latte are unclear, but, as the name suggests, there’s no doubt it is a Spanish invention. However, it’s hardly the only coffee that uses condensed milk. Vietnamese Coffee, Café Bombón, or Cafe Canario contain condensed milk too. The main difference is that Spanish latte is espresso-based rather than made with drip coffee. It also combines condensed milk with textured milk. Thus, it’s regarded as a variation of those other condensed milk drinks.
Some people assume Spanish latte is Café con Leche (Spanish for coffee with milk). However, they are different. We enquired with the barista at our nearest coffee shop on the differences between the two. He advised us that Café con Leche uses equal parts espresso and scalded milk. To add to the confusion, he also told us that Cuban latte adds sugar and, on occasion, evaporated milk. However, they are all similar in translation, ingredients, and flavor.
However, this article focuses on Spanish latte, consisting of espresso, milk, and condensed milk.
What You’ll Need To Make Spanish Latte
An espresso machine or stove top espresso maker is ideal for making Spanish latte at home. Ideally, you’ll also have a grinder for grinding fresh beans for pulling the best shots. Then, according to how strong you want the drink to be, you can pull either a single or double shot of espresso.
Concentrated milk has approximately 60% of the water content removed, then sugar is added before canning. Indeed, the sugar content is between 40% and 45%. The liquid is extremely sweet, with a rich, thick texture and caramel color. Therefore, it works well as a sweetener for many gorgeous coffee recipes.
You can use either whole milk or dairy-free alternatives, including almond milk and oat milk. Also, you can enjoy extra texture with steamed or foamed milk using a milk frother.
As we mentioned earlier, you can make either hot or iced Spanish latte, so let’s look at recipes for both so you can enjoy this gorgeous coffee at home.
Iced Spanish Latte Recipe
- A cup of cold milk
- Two teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk
- A double shot of espresso Serving size: 12 oz
- As many ice cubes as you like
- Espresso coffee machine
- 12-ounce cold glass cup
1. Prepare the coffee
Finely grind coffee beans with your grinder and pour the grounds into your filter basket. Tamp the grounds evenly. Attach the portafilter to the brew head of the coffee machine. Pull a double espresso shot (we use 18g of coffee for 36ml espresso).
If you’re not using an espresso machine, ensure you brew strong coffee as the milk will dilute it considerably. AeroPress or Moka pot are excellent alternatives.
2. Add sweetened condensed milk
Pour the condensed milk into the cup. You can also garnish the cup by squeezing some to the side. This will be easier to dissolve with the coffee and regular milk.
3. Add cold milk
Half-fill the cup with cold milk and add your ice cubes.
4. Add the espresso shots
Pour your espresso over the milk. The coffee will slowly permeate through the milk, which looks beautiful and delicious. Stir the drink, and your iced Spanish latte is ready to enjoy.
Hot Spanish Latte Recipe
- Hot milk or steamed milk
- One or two teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk
- A single or double shot of espresso
- Espresso machine
- Six-ounce cup
1. Add sweetened condensed milk
Pour one teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk into your cup. For a sweeter drink, add two teaspoons.
2. Pull an espresso shot
Position your cup beneath the portafilter and pull your espresso shot directly into it. For a stronger coffee, pull a double shot. Stir to mix the hot coffee with the milk.
3. Steam your milk
Using your espresso machine’s steam wand, steam your milk. Keep in mind that the texture doesn’t need to be identical to a standard latte. If you’re not using an espresso machine, heat the milk in a microwave, then use either a whisk or a handheld milk frother to create a creamy texture.
4. Pour the milk over the espresso and condensed milk
Pour the frothed milk into the cup. You can make latte art if you’d like to. Enjoy your drink!
There you go, a delicious coffee recipe for a hot Spanish latte.
As you can see from the two recipes, they use the same ingredients. The hot Spanish latte has a similar flavor to a regular latte, though it is slightly sweeter. However, it’s not quite as sweet as a regular latte with syrup.
Creating recipes that combine robust coffee with sweetened condensed milk is not new. However, if you’ve yet to sample Spanish latte, you’ll notice that the bitter flavor of the coffee mellows, while the sweetness is more pleasant than adding sugar.
Spanish latte is a great option for people who would rather not have a coffee with flavored syrup but still want a drink with a sweeter flavor. If that applies to you, it’s well worth attempting at home or ordering next time you see it on a coffee shop menu.
If you’re making a Spanish latte at home, you can’t really go too far wrong – it’s simple to make, has options for either hot or cold weather, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious!
Spanish Latte Recipe
- Espresso Machine
- Glass cup
- Milk frother
- 2 shots espresso or strong coffee
- 2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk
- Half cup cold milk for iced Spanish latte
- Iced cubes for iced Spanish latte
- Half cup hot milk for hot Spanish latte
Iced Spanish Latte
- Pull a shot of espresso or make a cup of strong coffee with your coffee maker.
- Add two teaspoons of condensed milk into the cup.
- Fill half cup of milk and as many ice cubes as you want into the cup.
- Pour your espresso shots or strong coffee over the milk.
Hot Spanish Latte
- Add one or two teaspoons of condensed milk into your cup.
- Pull single or double shots of espresso directly over the condensed milk in the cup, stir to mix them.
- Steam milk, or heat the milk using a microwave. If you like a creamy texture, you can froth milk with a handheld milk frother or using the steam wand on your machine.
- Pour the milk over the espresso and condensed milk mixture.
- Traditional Spanish latte uses espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use Moka pot or Aeropress to brew strong coffee for this recipe.
- How many calories of your Spanish Latte depends on the type of milk and the amount of condensed milk you add. You can add whole milk, 2%, nonfat, oat milk, or any milk you like. Condensed milk has 321 calories per 100 grams, two teaspoons have approximately 10 grams, so it’s about 32 calories.
- We prefer using a bigger cup for iced Spanish latte and a smaller cup for hot coffee. You can use any cups you like for this recipe and adjust the amount of coffee and milk.