5 Steps to a Better Latte at Home (Plus three fall coffee recipes!)

Fall is here and if you’re anything like me, you’re already trying to insert pumpkin and caramel into everything you consume. Thankfully, Crooks + Coffee has you covered with some really incredibly fall flavors including Salted Caramel, Pumpkin Pie, Creme Brulee and more. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the coffee shop vibes of fall, but today I want to show you how you can save money and get creative making your very own lattes at home!

Be sure to read to the bottom where I’ll be announcing a giveaway for this months taster box! Need to snag some new coffee flavors for fall? Save at checkout with code CAFFCREATE

I know that many people flock out to the coffee shops for pumpkin latte season, but what if you could stay in your PJs to fulfill your fall drink craving? I’m going to give you my quick process to making a latte at home! Be sure to hit up the bottom of the post for three fall drink recipes using Crooks and Coffee items too!

  1. Start with filtered water and high-quality grounds. My water is extremely hard and can cause a bit of an off taste, as well as clogging up my brewing systems faster than filtered water. I honestly don’t always use the filtered water, but when I do, I feel like the coffee has a fuller taste. But, it’s also incredibly important to just use good coffee. If you’re here, I hope you’re using Crooks, because all grounds are small batch roasted and fresh when you order. I recommend an airtight container to hold your grounds to keep freshness as long as possible.

  2. Brew strong. If you are using a standard machine or french press, you’ll want to use twice as many grounds per water than you use for a normal cup of coffee. This will help with the robust flavor you usually want with a latte since you aren’t using espresso. If you have a Ninja brewer or similar machine, check out the Specialty or Cafe Forte setting for a strong brew. Another mini tip? If you want to add sugar beyond the sweetness of your milk or cream, just add it straight to your coffee. Stir it right in before you top with your milk of choice, so you can leave the latte layered.

  3. Choose the right milk or creamer. If I just want a regular latte, I usually go with coconut milk or almond milk that is unsweetened. If I want extra sweet and creamy, I’ll go with flavored coffee creamer. Whole or 1% milk also froths very well, if you want unflavored. And if you’re feeling a serious chocolate craving, grab the chocolate milk. I’m not kidding, try it and get back to me with how happy you are. It won’t froth as well as a regular milk, but you can usually get a little foam and stir it right in. (There are currently 4 kinds of creamer or milk in my kitchen right now for coffee: coconut milk, dark chocolate milk, salted caramel creamer and 1% milk. Yes, I have a problem and I accept it.)

  4. Froth your milk or cream. Ok, if you want a latte, chances are you are wanting that good, frothy milk on top and sometimes, that’s not always easy at home. Here are a couple ways you can easy froth your own milk:
    1. Use a frother. This is, of course, the easiest method. I use a Ninja Brewer and there’s a built in frother on the side that is basically the best purchase of my life. You can also purchase an inexpensive frother wand (electric or manual) anywhere coffee equipment is sold.

    2. Grab a mason jar with a lid. Put your milk or cream in the jar, seal with the lid and shake shake shake. Shake for a good minute or so until you see those bubbles raising. You can then heat up the milk a bit and layer it right into your coffee mug!
Extra Tip: If you want to add a little more sweetness or creaminess to the actual brewed coffee, using a spoon, hold back the foam on your frothed milk to let a little of the still liquid milk pour into the coffee. Stir that in and then you can spoon in the foam on top.

5. The biggest neglected component I ever see in at home lattes? Top it! Get yourself to the spice section (or blend up some of your own) and have a small collection of toppings for your lattes. The toppings are great for a little flavor boost, but also take your latte experience from being a way to consume some caffeine to a full body experience by increasing the aroma of your coffee with each sip and adding a little spice or extra on top. Some of my favorites: pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger cloves, cinnamon sticks, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce.

Now that you’ve got a few new tips to make your latte at home, let’s get to a few recipes to try! Any of these recipes can be made hot or cold!

Caramel Apple Latte:


  1. Layer in your coffee grounds - half of each flavor - into your brewer. I have made this as one cup and as a whole pot, both work well.
  2. Brew strong with cafe forte setting or by simply using twice as much coffee to water as usual.
  3. Froth milk or creamer. I find that a salted caramel creamer is a really good creamy, sweet taste for this specific latte. Spoon foam into the cup, adding creamer into the coffee, if desired first. 
  4. Top with either sea salt and caramel sauce or apple pie spice. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie Dirty Chai Latte


  1. Brew coffee strong with cafe forte setting or double coffee to water ratio for a usual cup. You only need enough for half of a cup of coffee since you’ll also use chai for this drink.
  2. Pour your prepared chai (hot) into the coffee and stir. I like to use equal parts of chai and coffee, but you can easily play to get the right flavor you want.
  3. Froth milk and spoon on top of latte.
  4. Top with a quick shake of the pumpkin pie spice.


Salted Caramel Mocha


  1. Brew strong coffee.
  2. Froth chocolate milk as best as you can. Chocolate milk won’t froth very well, but you can usually get some foam with an at home frothing wand.
  3. Stir it in and spoon out the foam on top.
  4. If you want it sweeter, stir in sugar or additional chocolate sauce.

 To celebrate a new month and fall taking over our lives, let's have a giveaway! Head on over to the VIP group to find out how you can win your very own taster box with three sample packs of three limited flavors! And don't forget to stock up on your fall favorites (new apparel added recently too!) and save with code CAFFCREATE.

Until next time, 


Veronica is a Crooks + Coffee superfan, as well as the blogger and creator of Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her husband, Randy, and their 5 yr old self-proclaimed pirate princess, Gabby.  She loves to write, play board games and has a deep seeded love of Star Wars and coffee.


  • These recipes look great, I can’t wait to make the caramel apple latte!

    Jodi Lynn
  • These all sound amazing definitely going to give them a try

  • These all sound amazing definitely going to give them a try


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