Latte means milk in Italian. Therefore, a latte is made using shots of espresso combined with milk. It is very similar to a cappuccino, with the main difference being the amount of milk used to create it.
Typically, a cappuccino will be broken up into thirds. There will be one part espresso, one part milk, and one part milk foam. A latte is composed of one part espresso and two parts steamed milk instead. This means a latte will have more of a milk flavor than a cappuccino.
To make one, you simply need to put a shot or two of espresso into a mug which has already been heated up. Then, put steamed milk on top of the espresso to fill the mug up. Some people put frothed milk on top of their lattes. Others have the top of the beverage decorated with art instead. Either way, the amount of froth is much less than used on a cappuccino.
There are variations of the basic latte. There are both hot and iced versions available. The procedure to make a hot latte varies slightly from the one used to make the iced variation. Steamed milk won't be poured on top of espresso waiting in a heated mug. Instead, milk will be added to the mug first. Espresso will then be poured on top of it before adding ice to the beverage last.
There are various ways you can enhance your basic latte besides making decorations on it. You can add a little cocoa powder to it to give it a mocha flavor. Other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon can also be added too.
As is the case with all espresso-based drinks, you will need to make a great espresso to produce a great latte. Having a high-quality espresso machine will make this task much easier. You may only need to press a few buttons to have a perfect shot of espresso produced in under a minute.
Latte does not always refer to coffee though. There are also tea lattes which are quite popular, with one of the most popular being the chai tea latte. Instead of using espresso to make the beverage, chai concentrate syrup will be substituted into the mug. Hot water will be poured over the syrup and steamed milk will be added soon after. This type of latte can also be topped with milk foam if you prefer.