Who else considers their daily coffee shop run as important as brushing their teeth in the morning? Guilty as charged. While making coffee at home has done wonders for my bank account by saving all the cash I usually spend on coffee every week, I have to say I have been missing my morning cup of joy oh-so-much. For me, a strong latte with coconut milk (or one of these iced lattes) is the best way to start the day—it gets me motivated and energized to bang out a workout first thing and go straight into a productive workday. This devotion has led to a deep commitment to recreating my favorite coffee shop drinks as accurately as possible.
Maybe it’s the placebo effect at this point, but my Starbucks is basically my personal morning cheerleader, and I’ve been struggling without it. Since my basic drip pot isn’t bringing the same thrill to my AM lately, I’ve been taking matters into my own hands and getting a little fancier.
And guess what? Turns out you don’t need a fancy espresso machine to make a great homemade version of your favorite coffee shop drink.
Scroll on for the best coffee shop drink recipes around the web to satisfy your cravings when you don’ have time to hit your favorite neighborhood coffee shops or want to save some money.
This four-ingredient, five-minute recipe by Minimalist Baker is easy to make, customizable, and super delicious. Remember that the first and most important thing is to start with quality matcha—my personal faves for matcha are by Clevr Blends, Sun Potion, Golde, and Your Super. I love this recipe because it has my favorite matcha combo of half coconut milk, half macadamia milk, and a little maple syrup for sweetener.
This classic chai latte recipe was created by our Global Kitchen editor, Suruchi, and it is the best chai I’ve ever had. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and the consistency is perfect. What I love about chai is that you can customize it to fit your own pallet. That’s the thing about chai, it’s not really a true recipe. It’s more like a set of guidelines and suggestions to follow to create a delicious cup of goodness. Here are some of Suruchi’s tips for making the best classic chai at home:
- Fresh-crushed spices are leaps and bounds ahead of powdered or pre-packaged blends.
- Toasting the fresh spices make a world of difference in releasing those flavored and aromatic spice oils.
- Chopping or grating the ginger helps infuse that spicy flavor more than just slicing rounds of the root. If you prefer a subtle ginger flavor, keep the rounds.
- You can have so much fun by trying out different spice combinations!
When you recreate a coffee house drink, you not only get a better taste but a sense of pride. And your wallet is happier since it’s a fraction of the price. Because let’s be real, buying lattes from a coffee shop on a regular basis is an expensive habit. And, since it’s not very healthy either, considering the ingredients used in a mocha latte (or any other latte) learning how to make a mocha latte at home is the way to go.
Believe it or not, making a homemade mocha latte is actually very easy. And you don’t need expensive appliances to make it happen. This recipe teaches you how to make a healthy mocha latte without an espresso machine—you can also experiment with other flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, and hazelnut.
Iced Coffee from The Girl on Bloor
This iced coffee recipe is quick, easy, budget-friendly, and tastes just like the gourmet coffee shops, if not better! All you have to do is brew your coffee the night before using good-quality coffee beans. That way, it can come to room temperature by the time the morning comes around. Now I have personally never been a fan of pouring hot coffee over ice but if it doesn’t bother you, then you can whip this up in the morning—it’s up to you! Then you can whip up a batch of simple syrup, but only if you need it. A batch should last you for a few weeks. You can add a splash of creamer or dairy-free milk of your choosing (I love coconut milk with this iced coffee recipe, and I don’t need any added sweetener because the coconuts make it perfectly sweet for me.)
Even though I like the sound of the Iced Caramel Frappé type drinks that are on the menu of nearly every major coffee chain, I never order them because I’m pretty sure they’re full of lots of artificial ingredients that I can’t pronounce. The perfect solution? Make my own version at home with easy homemade caramel sauce (trust me—you can do it, and it’s so worth it), brewed coffee, and half & half. The result is ridiculously good—and so much better for you than satisfying afternoon sweet cravings with processed snacks.
Flat White from The Spruce Eats
A flat white is an espresso drink made with a shot of espresso and two shots of steamed milk. It takes a little more skill to prepare than the other drinks on the list, but once you’ve mastered this recipe, it’s easy to make flat white espresso drinks again and again. Note: the ingredient proportions in this recipe are for 1 serving. Just double, triple, or quadruple them for a larger yield. I love to add a dash of vanilla extract and a few sprinkles of cinnamon on top of the steamed milk as well. Delish!
This post was originally published on May 18, 2020 and has since been updated.