The latte, you either love them or hate them, but there’s no denying their increased popularity, which has mainly been fueled by sleepy, stressed moms navigating the hectic morning school traffic.
At its core, a traditional latte is simply a single or double shot of espresso combined with steamed milk to create a rich and creamy coffee beverage.
But today’s lattes have ventured far from their traditional roots, and you can now find lattes with an assortment of toppings, syrups, and sprinkles that turn the humble latte into a sugary concoction that’s guaranteed to keep you buzzing for a good 6 to 8 hours. And don’t get me started on the unicorn frappuccino! Yikes.
Our Top Pick: Best Value
If you enjoy those drinks that masquerade as a latte power to you, don’t let me stop you. But personally, I prefer sticking with the classic latte – sweet sugary drinks don’t really do it for me.
If lattes are your thing, but you don’t want to fork over a small fortune every time you step foot inside a coffee shop, keep on reading. In this article, I have hand-selected some of the best coffee beans for latte that I know work exceptionally well.
Which Coffee Roast Is Best For Lattes?
The latte is an espresso-based drink, so dark roasted espresso coffee beans work extremely well. Even so, dark roasted coffee isn’t for everyone.
If you find dark roasted coffee has a bit too much bitterness try switching to medium-dark roasted beans.
I wouldn’t recommend going any lighter than a medium roast. You may find that the taste profile is a bit underwhelming, and the coffee flavor of the latte will be very subtle if it’s noticeable at all.
Which Type Of Coffee Is Best For Latte
So we’ve talked about the best type of roast, but how about the brewed coffee? What kind of coffee should be used in a latte?
If you were following along, I already mentioned that espresso is the core ingredient of a latte. In fact, espresso is the base of almost all coffee drinks served in coffee shops and cafes.
In case you’re planning on making a latte at home, producing a shot of espresso might be difficult if you haven’t invested in a good espresso machine.
If you have great, you’re all set – just remember to use dark or medium roasted coffee beans.
However, if you haven’t splurged on a full-size espresso machine, you can still make a decent shot of espresso-like coffee using the AeroPress or a Moka Pot; both methods work surprisingly well in a latte. The AeroPress works best with medium-fine ground coffee.
The Moka Pot requires a medium to medium-fine ground coffee, slightly coarser than you’d use for an espresso machine but finer than needed in a drip coffee maker.
6 Best Coffee Beans For Latte At Home
We have tried and tested dozens of different coffee brands over the past few weeks.
From our extensive taste tests, we dwindled down our list to the below six coffee beans that we feel work extremely well in a latte.
Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling Coffee
Our first recommendation is these exceptional medium roasted whole beans from Sumatra.
Volcanica Coffee takes pride in selecting only the finest coffees from around the world and then roasting those beans to perfection.
The Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling coffee doesn’t disappoint, and the subtle flavors of toffee and dried fruit marry well with steamed milk in a Latte.
Mandheling coffee beans are known for their low acidity and bold hints of dried fruit flavors which the coffee inherits from the unique washed process it undergoes.
If you’re looking for the best beans for a latte, this is a great place to start.
Lavazza Gran Riserva Whole Bean Coffee
Lavazza is an established name in the world of coffee. A large number of restaurants and hotel chains around the globe exclusively serve this brand of coffee.
Chances are if you’re enjoying a cup of coffee after your meal or while staying in a hotel, it will be Lavazza coffee you’re drinking.
The Gran Riserva whole bean coffee is an excellent choice that pairs well with a latte.
This coffee bean blend has been sourced from the highlands of Central and South America and includes semi-washed Robusta beans that offer up just enough earthy bitterness against the slightly richer washed Arabica beans.
The coffee blend is then roasted using a method that gives the coffee a classic Southern Italian flavor.
You can expect maple syrup and walnut flavors with a rich and thick texture, and I’m sure you’ll agree that both flavors will work well in a milky latte.
Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
In the world of coffee, nothing screams premium more than real Kona coffee beans.
This particular bag from Koa Coffee is dark roasted to perfection resulting in a rich, thick, strong but smooth espresso shot with an impressive crema – perfect espresso beans for making a latte at home.
If you want to treat yourself next time you make a latte at home or you’re looking for the perfect gift for the coffee snob in your life, these 100% Kona coffee beans are bound to please.
Don’t fall prey to fake Kona coffee beans. These are the real deal from single estate farms in Hawaii.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Beans
The lattes of today come loaded with toppings and flavorings, which are added just before serving. But what if you could flavor your latte at the beginning? Hear Me out.
Cooper’s Cask Coffee offers a range of barrel-aged coffees that are naturally flavored. Forget about those sugary artificial flavorings most lattes get covered in – these Arabica beans are all-natural.
Sourced from a Colombian single-origin farm and small-batch roasted, you can expect flavors of cocoa and dark fruit notes with a bourbon finish.
Just close your eyes for one second and imagine a bourbon-flavored latte – right, right!
Trust us when we say these bourbon-flavored whole coffee beans are to die for, grab a bag, and you won’t be disappointed.
Café de Loja Gourmet Coffee Beans
Grown at 6233 feet above sea level in the mountains of Ecuador, the Café de Loja Gourmet medium roast coffee beans are dense, packed full of crisp, fruity flavor, and have an intense aroma.
If you’re on the hunt for low-acid coffee beans for your latte, these are a great option.
Cafe De Loja sources some of the finest coffee beans from Ecuador that are organically grown (free from pesticides). Each batch is then roasted to perfection.
This particular offering is a medium roast which is perfect for espresso and milk-based coffee drinks like the latte or cappuccino.
Olde Brooklyn Coffee Dark Roast Whole Bean
Our final recommendation is the dark roasted espresso beans from Olde Brooklyn Coffee.
Based in New York, Olde Brooklyn Coffee handpicks and then roasts a selection of small batches each week of various coffee from around the globe, with unique and flavorful blends from Columbia, Brazil, and Guatemala, to name a few.
This dark roast bag of whole beans coffee pairs really well with a latte. It’s smooth and robust with a slight smokiness.
Unlike other dark roasted coffee beans (like the French roast) that tend to suffer from over-bitterness or a burnt aftertaste, the Olde Brooklyn Coffee has none at all.
These are a reasonably priced large bags of whole coffee beans that are roasted each and every week in New York – each bag you buy is as fresh as it can be.
? Can You Make Lattes With Regular Coffee?
Yes, you can make lattes with regular coffee, but you won’t get the rich coffee flavor associated with espresso.
Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that rather than a “textbook” latte, you will be making a coffee-based drink more akin to a Café au Lait. A Café au Lait is equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk.
? What Coffee Beans Does Starbucks Use For Lattes?
According to Starbucks, they use espresso roasted whole coffee beans from Latin America and the Asia Pacific. The coffee beans are finely ground for espresso.
? What Coffee Bean Does McDonald’s Use For Their Latte?
McDonald’s uses 100% Arbacia coffee beans for its lattes. The Arabica coffee bean is a crowd favorite due to its smooth constant flavor, moderate caffeine content, and versatile pairing with many foods.
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