How to Make an Iced Latte (No Machine)

If you love your coffee shop drinks, you’ll enjoy learning how to make an iced latte, no machine required! This one uses a homemade espresso substitute, is dairy delicious.

I realize it’s almost pumpkin season but it’s still so hot out in North Carolina. We still drink our iced lattes and homemade iced coffee.

I quite enjoy purchasing drinks from a coffee shop on occasion. But talk about expensive! Just think, it’s $5-$8.00 for one latte. When I make it at home it’s less than $2.00 for a homemade iced latte that tastes just as good.

What are iced lattes made of?

A regular Iced latte is made with a double shot of espresso, ice and cold milk. Optional add ins are simple syrup and/or cold foam. While a hot caffe latte is made with espresso and hot frothed milk.

Should I Use Espresso Or Coffee to Make an Iced Latte?

Typically, an iced latte is made with espresso shots extracted from fresh ground coffee beans. Sadly, I don’t own an espresso machine. And if you don’t either, just know there are other options which I cover in this post.

Like a moka pot, an AeroPress, French press, strong coffee or a homemade espresso substitute. You don’t want to use regular coffee because the coffee flavour won’t be as strong.

Homemade Espresso Substitute

How To make Iced Lattes Without an Espresso Machine

You can totally use ½ a cup of strong coffee. Make sure to brew it at double strength. Just like I do for this homemade iced coffee recipe.

Or there are gadgets like the AeroPress or a Moka Pot that both render a great espresso equivalent.

The best way is to make a homemade espresso substitute that requires no special equipment. To do this boil some water and pour 1/3 cup over two tablespoons of ground coffee. Let it steep for 3-4 minutes, strain it and use.

Homemade Espresso Substitute

Or you can use the French press method. I have one similar to this one and it doubles as a milk frother. I actually have three French presses…

Instant coffee will work in a pinch, but I don’t recommend it. I’m all for what works and I’m sure this is a wonderfully quick option.

And the last one, cold brew coffee. Remember that cold brew is concentrated so it will take less than the amount of double strength coffee.

What Type Of Milk Should I use

Cold whole milk is the original way it’s prepared at coffee shops. 

These days there are so many great dairy free options. My favourite is oat milk because it’s thick and creamy! Almond milk or coconut are also fun choices.

The key to choosing a dairy free milk to use, is finding one with a rich creamy taste. That way it will complement the caffeine and balance out the acidity. Whole milk is very rich and has high protein/fat content. It’s good to note that oat or coconut milk are the creamiest and also froth the best. Remember those things when trying to find a vegan milk for your homemade lattes.

How much milk is used in an Iced latte?

The ratio of caffeine to milk is 1 part espresso to three parts milk. In an iced coffee there is coffee and ice and if it is used there is less milk than in a latte.

How to make an iced latte

Best type of Sweetener

Traditionally for a coffee syrup it’s just a simple syrup. Which you can make by bringing to boil one ½ cup water and ½ cup of sugar. I like to make a simple vanilla syrup for my cold coffee beverages.

A great alternative, and my personal favourite, is maple syrup. Which also makes it refined sugar free. Other options include: a tablespoon of hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, cane sugar or honey. You can also stir the sugar into your espresso.

In both an iced and a hot latte the syrup to sweeten it is optional and should be adjusted to your taste.

Do I need to froth my milk?

Nope! I don’t froth my milk unless I’m wearing my fancy pants that day. It’s not necessary but you can froth it if you want to. I mean maybe you’re also wearing your fancy pants. And frothing the milk truly does add a nice touch.

One thing that coffee shops sometimes add to an iced latte is some cold foam. It’s optional but so good.

If you decide to froth your milk, you can do so by using a handheld frother. Or I like to use my French press, which takes 1-2 minutes of plunging for a nice froth. And for about a year I loved using a mason jar. All you need to do with the mason jar is shake for 30 seconds to a minute.

What Types of Lattes Can I Make?

  • There are some fun ways to jazz up your plain iced latte. A plain latte contains no sweetener or other flavours. 
  • Use vanilla syrup or add ¼-½ tsp of vanilla to make it an iced vanilla latte.
  • Caramel sauce or syrup will create an amazing iced caramel latte. 
  • You could add chocolate sauce to make it an iced mocha. 
  • Or simply top with some cold foam and cinnamon for a beautiful, extra rich cold drink.
How to make an iced latte

How to Make an Iced Latte at Home

Step One: Add Ice to Glass

Prep a tall glass by adding a generous amount of ice cubes and place it in the freezer. Placing it in the freezer is optional but is an easy way to make it extra cold. 

Step Two: Prepare Espresso or Coffee

Prepare your espresso shots or the espresso substitute. Or if you’re using strongly brewed coffee brew it ahead of time and give it some time to cool.

Step Three: Mix Latte

Add 1-2 tablespoons of syrup to the ice (optional).

Pour in your espresso, 1/3 cup espresso substitute or your 1/2 cup strong coffee.

Then top with 2/3 cup cold milk. Frothed if you so choose.

Optional Add Ins:

  • Add Cold Foam, Spoonfuls of foam
  • Sprinkle with vanilla flakes or some cinnamon
  • Add a pinch of sea salt to bring out the coffee taste

Homemade Iced Latte Recipe

I love knowing how to make iced lattes at home. This recipe requires simple ingredients to create a wonderful cold drink.
Prep Time7 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, desserts, Drinks, Iced Drinks, Morning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade iced latte, How to make an iced latte, Iced Drink, Iced Drinks, Iced Latte
Servings: 1
Author: Linda Spatig


  • 1 Jar or French press to froth milk (optional)
  • 1 Tall Glass


  • 1 heaping cup ice cubes
  • 2 shots of espresso or ⅓ cup espresso substitute*
  • 1-2 TBSP simple or maple syrup
  • cup cold oat milk


  • Prepare your glass by adding ice to it and place it in the freezer (optional but adds a nice chill and keeps everything frozen while prepping espresso/coffee).
  • Make your espresso shots/ strong coffee or the ⅓ cup of espresso substitute (instructions to make in notes).
  • Pull your glass and ice out of the freezer. Pour the syrup over the ice and add in the espresso/strong coffee. Top with ⅔ cup of milk, you can froth it while it’s cold. Add some cold foam to make it extra fancy.


*Espresso Substitute: To make the ⅓ cup of espresso substitute, grind coffee beans and place 2 TBSP of coffee grounds in a small cup. Pour just a bit more than ⅓ cup of hot water over the grounds and let it steep for 3-4 minutes. Stir once during the steeping process and then strain through a fine mesh strainer and use in the recipe.
You can also use 1/2 cup of double strength coffee in this recipe to replace the espresso.
**Froth your milk cold by: pouring into a french press and plunging the press up and down for 1-2 minutes; or place in a glass jar with a lid and shake vigourously for 30-60 seconds.
I find oat milk froths the best of plant-based milks. And it also pairs best (to my taste) with coffee since it’s fatty and creamy.

Other Iced Favourites

Iced Tea Lattes

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