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Lattes have surged in popularity, evolving from the traditional espresso and steamed milk blend to include a variety of toppings and flavors. While some adore the newer sugary concoctions, others, like me, still cherish the classic taste.
If you’re looking to recreate the perfect latte at home without breaking the bank, this article offers top espresso bean recommendations to get you started.
Which Coffee Beans Are Best For Latte?
Here are my ratings of the best coffee beans for making latte at home. Click the link to jump to each review section.
Which Coffee Roast Is Best Suited 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 instead.
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.
What’s The Best Type Of Coffee 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 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.
Best Espresso Beans For Lattes 2023
I have tried and tested dozens of different coffee brands over the past few weeks. From my extensive taste tests, I dwindled down my list to the below six coffee beans that I find work extremely well in a latte.
So with further ado, let’s dive in.
Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling Coffee
My first recommendation are these exceptional medium-roasted whole beans sourced 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 I found that the subtle flavors of toffee and dried fruit marry well with steamed milk in a Latte.
Mandheling bean coffee is known for its 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 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. This particular bag from the Koa Coffee company 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.
But be careful that you don’t fall prey to fake Kona coffee beans that are common in the marketplace. These are the real deal from single estate farms in Hawaii, and it doesn’t get any more authentic than that!
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 me 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
My final recommendation are 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 particular 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 reasonably priced large bags of whole coffee beans that are roasted each and every week in New York – so each bag you buy is as fresh as it can be when it reaches your door.
Choosing the Right Milk for Your Latte
A good latte is more than just about the quality coffee beans. Don’t forget about the milk. A great latte is a mix of strong coffee and milk, and the type of milk you pick can change how your latte tastes and feels when you drink it.
Different milks can either enhance the coffee flavor or add a unique twist of their own. Your choice can also influence the creaminess and richness of your drink, making every sip a delightful experience.
Let’s take a closer look.
Regular Milk: This milk is creamy and makes the coffee taste smooth. It’s the most common choice for lattes.
Low-fat Milk: This is a thinner milk. It’s less creamy but has fewer calories.
Plant Milk: Some people like using milk made from plants. There’s almond, oat, soy, and coconut milk.
- Almond Milk: Tastes a bit sweet and nutty.
- Oat Milk: Thick and a little sweet. It’s close to regular milk.
- Soy Milk: Smooth with no strong flavor.
- Coconut Milk: Tastes like coconut.
Some milks are better at making foam than others. Regular and oat milk are good for foam. Almond and coconut might not foam up as much. I hope that helps, but if you want to know more about the best milk to use, make sure to check out my article here called What Milk Is The Best For Frothing.
Latte Art: Making Your Coffee Look Cool
If you want to go one step further, why not give latte art a try? Making latte art is a fun part of making lattes. You can play with the milk foam to make neat designs on top of your coffee.
The contrast between the rich brown of the coffee and the white of the milk creates a canvas that you can use to express your creativity. And the best part? You don’t have to be a pro to give it a try.
Even simple shapes or patterns can make your latte special. From a basic heart to a leaf design, starting with easy patterns can be the first step towards mastering this coffee craft. With a little practice, steady hands, and the right tools (like a thin, pointed steaming pitcher), you can gradually venture into more intricate designs.
Latte art isn’t just for show; it’s a testament to the quality of the espresso shot and the steamed milk.
A good art signifies that the milk has been steamed to the right consistency, with microfoam that’s smooth and silky.
So, when you see a beautiful design atop your coffee, know that what’s beneath is likely brewed to perfection. Dive into this artful world and elevate your coffee experiences, one cup at a time!
Lattes, with their harmonious blend of strong espresso and creamy milk, have firmly established themselves as a favorite in the world of coffee. Whether you’re a purist who loves the traditional flavor or an adventurer seeking new toppings and twists, the essence remains the same: a well-brewed shot and the right milk.
By selecting the best coffee beans for a latte and mastering the art of brewing, you can recreate that coffeehouse magic right in your kitchen. Cheers to many delightful latte moments ahead!