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How to Make 3 Fancy Coffee Drinks at Home

Now that going to your local coffee shop is for most but a distant memory (though if they are still open, remember to support local and help keep them in business), it’s high time to learn how to do things on your own. At least for now, if you’re crazing a latte, you’re most likely going to have to make it yourself. That’s okay, though, because it is not too hard to do. With a few ingredients and some basic kitchen tools that you already own, you too can be your own barista.

If you’re looking for coffee cocktails, you’ll find those here, but if you want something without an ABV, you’ll find recipes for homemade versions of the following below:

  • Chai tea latte (hot or iced)
  • Caffe vanilla frappuccino
  • Pumpkin spice latte (think of the bonus points you’ll get if you can whip one of these up for the girl that stays over)

Now without further ado, the recipes.

Chai Tea Latte (Hot or Iced)

chai latte recipe
Nipanan Lifestyle

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is a tea drink, not a coffee drink — I get it. But it’s one of the most popular beverages that Starbucks sells, and as it’s really nothing more than spiced black tea with lots of milk, you really should learn to make it at home and not give those fat cats all your fat stacks. Here’s the 4-1-1 on the CTL:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk (2 percent or whole)
  • 2 bags black tea
  • 3.25 tbsp honey
  • .5 tsp cardamom
  • .25 tsp nutmeg
  • .25 tsp ground ginger
  • .25 tsp cloves

Method: Mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk and heat the blend over medium heat until it simmers (you don’t want to go too high and scald the milk). Cut the heat and add honey. Stir to incorporate, then add tea bags. Next, add cardamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Bring the milk, water, honey, tea, and spice blend back to a low simmer and stir for 3 more minutes.

And you’re done! Get the tea bags out, pour and enjoy. Or let it cool a bit, then pour over ice and enjoy. Oh, and consider topping with a bit of cinnamon for looks, too.

Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino

caffe vanilla frappuccino recipe
Thimo van Leeuwen

More milkshake than coffee drink, the Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino is nonetheless delicious, and it does pack a bit of caffeine punch. And calories. Like 500+, FYI, so keep that in mind.


  • 1.5 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 oz espresso or 3-4 oz black coffee
  • .25 tsp vanilla extract
  • whipped cream (optional)

Method: Combine ice with vanilla ice cream and blend until they’re completely mixed. Pour in espresso (or coffee) and vanilla extract. Blend again for a few seconds.

Yeah, that’s it. It’s ice cream blended with ice and coffee, and a dash of vanilla, because vanilla. Oh, and feel free to top with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpkin spice latte recipe
Heewei Lee

This one is all about the syrup — once you have a batch of that made, you can make a pumpkin spice latte at home in a matter of minutes. So let’s start there.

Pumpkin spice syrup ingredients

  • 2 cups simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio)
  • .5 cup pumpkin puree (canned)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • .5 tsp ground clove
  • .5 tsp ginger

Method: Mix all the stuff and simmer it for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Strain it, cool it, and store it.

Pumpkin spice latte ingredients

  • 6 oz milk
  • 5 oz espresso
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice syrup*
  • Whipped cream, optional

Method: Heat and then froth milk (you can use a dedicated frother, a blender, or you can do some serious whisking). Brew five ounces of espresso or five or six ounces of strong coffee. Blend the coffee with two tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup*. Pour in milk. Top with whipped cream and another dash of syrup if you’d like. And you’d like, wouldn’t you?

There, the fall “classic,” demystified!

Bonus: Iced Coffee

iced coffee glass
Blake Wisz

Iced coffee is just so refreshing on a warm day or after a hard workout in any season, but how to make yourself the perfect cup? Bear with me…


  • Brewed black coffee
  • Ice

Method: Brew your favorite black coffee. Pour it over a lot of ice.

(OK, flippancy aside, here’s one real tip: Be sure to brew a pot that’s a bit stronger than usual if you’re going to ice it.)

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