Simple to make and deliciously smooth, this homemade iced cold brew latte recipe may be the easiest way to enjoy a coffee shop-level drink from home.
You Will Love This Recipe
- No trip to the coffee shop: Quickly and easily make your own smooth iced latte with limited equipment and without leaving your home.
- Limited ingredients: No fussing around getting a bunch of ingredients out of the pantry, this latte is at maximum 4 ingredients (and really, you only need 2).
- Customizable: Depending on the type of milk and sweetener you add, you could come up with a ton of different latte flavor combinations!
What's a Cold Brew Latte?
A cold brew latte uses cold brew concentrate instead of espresso as the coffee source. Because of this, a cold brew latte often has a more mellow flavor than a standard iced latte, even when made with dark roast coffee grounds.
Why Make a Latte with Cold Brew?
Making a latte with cold brew instead of espresso is a coffee game changer. Here's why:
1. It is silky smooth. Steeping coffee grounds in cold water, as opposed to brewing with hot water, is a gentler way to extract coffee compounds. This results in a mellow, smooth coffee flavor with less acidity than hot coffee.
2. It's simple. No espresso machine or fancy equipment is needed to make a delicious cup-a-joe.
3. It can be forgiving. Because the flavors tend to be more mellow, this is a great way to enjoy your coffee beans that are on the older side or were too bitter on your last hot brew.
Overall, choosing cold-brewed coffee for your latte is simple, delicious, and can even save those coffee beans you were thinking of throwing away.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Coarse-ground coffee or cold brew concentrate: I prefer dark roast coffee beans, but any roast will work. Whether you are grinding it for yourself or having your coffee ground for you, make sure it is coarse ground. If you don't want to make your own cold brew coffee, you can pick up cold brew concentrate at the grocery store.
- Milk of choice: While I'd recommend a plant-based milk alternative, feel free to use whatever milk you normally stock your fridge with.
- Liquid sweetener: I've used simple syrup for a classic cold brew latte, but feel free to get creative here!
- Vanilla extract: Optionally add some vanilla extract for that Starbucks classic flavor. I'd recommend using alcohol-free vanilla extract for the best flavor.
Choosing the Perfect Milk
A standard cold brew latte recipe would be made with whole milk, but I'd encourage you to try one of the following milks:
- Soy milk: I prefer unsweetened organic soy milk based on its nutrient composition, environmental footprint, and flavor. Soy milk has a slightly nutty flavor and a creamy consistency, though some may say the texture can be a bit grainy.
- Oat milk: Because of the creamy fiber from the oats, oat milk has the creamiest texture. The flavor is very subtle, so many oat milks are sweetened or flavored with vanilla. Oat milk may be the winner for the tastiest non-dairy latte.
- Almond milk: The nuttiest in flavor with the thinnest consistency. Because it is not very calorically dense, I like to use this milk when I just want a slight flavor. It also makes very pretty swirls if you pour it over your coffee!
This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding plant-based milk, but the great thing is there are plenty of tasty options!
Making Cold Brew Concentrate
There are several simple ways to make cold brew using different equipment. The ratio of grounds to water is 1:4-1:5 (i.e. 1 cup of grounds and 4-5 cups of water).
- Cold brew maker: Simply follow the instructions with your cold brew maker for some delicious coffee concentrate.
- Cheesecloth bag: You can use cheesecloth bags to steep your coarse-ground coffee as you would tea. Fill a pitcher or other container (like a mason jar) with water and your cheesecloth with coffee grounds. From here, place the bag into the water and the container into the fridge to steep for 12-24 hours. After steeping, remove the bag of grounds. Do not squeeze or press the bag, as some grit and bitter flavors may be extracted.
- Cheesecloth and strainer: With this method, add the water and coffee ground to your desired container and give a stir. Place the container into the fridge to steep for 12-24 hours. Once steeped, pour your cold brew from your container through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into another container.
- French press: Add the coffee and water to your french press and allow the coffee to steep for 12-24 hours. When ready to serve, slowly plunge the coffee about halfway down and pour it into your cup.
Making the Latte
To make the latte, add a few ice cubes to your glass. Then, add the rest of the ingredients except the cold brew. Stir the ingredients with a straw or stir stick.
Then, top with cold brew. Try to pour slowly directly onto the ice for a pretty layered effect. If you are using almond milk, you can switch adding the milk with adding the cold brew for a swirly milk effect.
There are probably a million different ways you can customize this recipe, but here are a couple I think you'd love:
- Cinnamon cold brew latte: Swap out the simple syrup for my homemade cinnamon dolce syrup.
- Maple cold brew latte: I love maple coffee drinks! Add maple syrup to get into the fall spirit as the summer days turn to autumn.
- Vegan honey cold brew latte: Add my vegan honey in place of the simple syrup for a dairy-free latte with citrus and floral notes.
Make-ahead: Homemade cold brew concentrate can be made 3-5 days in advance, and stored in an airtight container, before enjoying.
Freeze: Freeze leftover cold brew in an ice cube tray and transfer the cubes into a bag or other freezer-friendly container. They should last about two weeks this way.
- Be sure to check whether your milk is sweetened or flavored, and adjust this recipe accordingly.
- If you choose to buy your cold brew concentrate, make sure that it specifically says "concentrate" so that it has a nice strong coffee flavor.
- Be sure to use coarsely ground coffee. This is coarser than typical pre-ground coffee. You may need to have a coffee shop grind the coffee, or use the grinder at your grocery store if they have one.
- Use filtered water in your cold brew for a result that even coffee snobs will love.
- Eco tip: Freeze leftover cold brew into coffee ice cubes to blend into a frappé or keep your favorite iced coffee drink from getting watered down.
A cold brew latte uses cold brew concentrate instead of espresso as the coffee source.
It can be! A cold brew latte will not be sweet unless a sweetener is added. If you order a cold brew latte at a coffee shop, they may add sweeteners such as simple syrup or vanilla-flavored syrup.
Good question! Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold (or room temp) water for a long period of time while regular iced coffee is made by chilling coffee made by typical hot brewing.
Homemade Iced Cold Brew Latte
Homemade cold brew concentrate:
- 2 cups cold water (filtered water preferred)
- ½ cup coarse-ground coffee
To make cold brew concentrate:
- Pour the coarse-ground coffee into a cheesecloth bag. Add the bag and cold water to a large mason jar or other airtight container. Alternatively, add the coffee grounds directly to the water.
- Place the container into the fridge for 12-24 hours. When ready to use, remove the cheesecloth bag or pour the coffee-grounds mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Do not squeeze the bag dry, otherwise the cold brew may taste overly bitter.
- Store the cold brew concentrate in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze leftover cold brew into ice cubes and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
To make cold brew latte:
- Add several ice cubes to a glass.
- Pour in the milk, vanilla, and sweetener. Stir with a straw, spoon, or stirrer to combine.
- Add the cold brew concentrate on top. Stir to combine and enjoy!
- *If your milk is already sweetened ("original") and has vanilla flavor, omit the syrup and vanilla until you taste it. Then, sweeten to taste.
- The cold brew concentrate yields 2 cups, enough for 4 (12-ounce) lattes.
- Latte recipe is written for a 12-ounce latte (Starbucks "tall"). If you'd prefer 16-ounce ("grande"), type "1.33" next to servings.
- The cold brew concentrate is made with a ratio of 1:4-5 coarse-ground coffee to water.
- The latte is made with a ratio of 1:2 cold brew concentrate to milk. If using regular cold brew, (not concentrate), recommend a ratio of 1-2:1 cold brew to milk.