At home when I crave something to eat or drink I have no shame in admitting I use weird hacks to get the job done. Short on time and patience, my methods are considered strange and sometimes controversial. All this to say, I am going to share with you my coffee hack for making a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Before I get started I want to say upfront that you can change this recipe up to suit your own palate or diet. This recipe is meant for you to adapt to your liking. Some of you will love it and some of you will think it’s bizarre. But if you like novelty coffee drinks (which I do), hate spending a small fortune (which I loathe), and would prefer to make your own because you like the fact that you can, read on.
I should also tell you right now that we will be using the microwave and a blender. If you’re still with me and can see past using both of these things, continue to read.
Let me tell you a quick story about using the microwave and a blender to make lattes, generally speaking. Using a microwave will steam your food, in this case milk. Using an espresso machine with a steamer will also steam your milk. Using a microwave will not inject your milk with more water. Using a steamer will. A high-end quality steamer will froth your milk to a velvety perfection which only matters for the first few minutes of drinking a quality latte because the foam will eventually settle. Using a blender at a high speed incorporates air into it while it does it thing, which in this case froths the milk. Will it be velvety? No. Is it passable? Absolutely. In fact, it looks and tastes like a latte. Still interested? Keep reading.
You will need an espresso machine or triple strong coffee in a small quantity. I can’t give you a specific amount because you will need to figure it out according to your liking. But if you have an espresso machine, we need 2 shots.
Next you will want to microwave your choice of milk (8 oz/1 cup exactly) in the microwave for 75 seconds to get it nice and hot.
Finally you put the espresso and the hot milk in a blender with a lid along with the other ingredients . Blend on high for 20 seconds and pour it into a mug. Voila, a satisfying latte.
Now I am going to give you my recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte using the above method. I like making this with either whole milk or unsweetened almond milk. Both will have different flavors but you can use whatever milk you want. I use very little pumpkin and pumpkin spice. I use the best espresso dark roast bean I can buy on sale. I also add a little bit of vanilla extract and a smidge of coconut oil. I lost you, didn’t I? Lastly I add sweetener. I won’t tell you which kind to use or how much because it is personal preference but you can add enough sweetener to this as you normally would a cup of coffee. If you really want to be like Starbucks, you can top it off with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of pumpkin spice. What I am trying to go for is not a Starbucks version. Instead, I am going for the best version that suits my taste buds. I don’t care for sickly sweet coffee and I like using different milks. But I definitely can assure you this homemade pumpkin spice latte is definitely good, not just for a hack job, but street cred good. And definitely good enough to serve guests, that is if you’re not ashamed to use a microwave and blender – which I’m not.
So give this recipe a go. I’ve been making it since last month nearly every morning and enjoying every sip. Especially knowing I’m not paying $4 each day for one. That is the beauty of this hack -good coffee, money saved, and knowing anything Starbucks can do, I can do better. Enjoy.
- 8 ounces milk (your choice)
- 2 shots espresso
- 1½ teaspoon pumpkin puree (I use puree from a can)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- ¼ vanilla extract
- Heat the milk in the microwave for 75 seconds or until it is as hot as you normally drink coffee. Pour it into a blender.
- Add the shots of fresh poured espresso to the blender as well followed by the pumpkin, coconut oil, spice, vanilla extract, and sweetener.
- With the lid on, blend on high for 20 seconds.
- Pour the latte into a tall mug.
- Add a touch of whipped cream followed by a light sprinkle of pumpkin spice as an optional garnish.