Inspired by coffee shop drinks, these 5 recipes will make you feel like you’ve got your own home cafe. Two hot drinks to warm the soul, and three cool drinks to beat the heat!
We’ve all been making a lot of effort to keep ourselves from going stir-crazy during this time, and because of that, I feel like we’re all going to come out of this with a new skill or two. I myself have been puttering around the kitchen more than usual, and the results are mostly pretty awesome. Between my desire to experiment and to drink delicious things during this INSANE Philippine heatwave, I’ve been playing the role of barista girl in my own little home cafe.
I even busted out the fancy glasses and the spouted jugs just to complete the experience. Never mind that I always end up having to wash 4x more glasses and measuring cups than necessary lol. Mind you, not all of the drinks I’ve been trying have actually ended up passing my taste test, but the five I’m sharing today are definitely what I would refer to as coffee shop drinks in terms of taste and overall experience.
The video above was largely created to indulge my love for recording pour shots, as well as shots where the light and dark components of a drink swirl together. Of course I am also enthusiastic to share the recipes for these coffee shop drinks with you, which is why I’ve prepared this unnecessarily detailed blog post to walk you through the process of making each drink. For once I’m writing a post that’s mostly self-serving, but hopefully it’ll still be informative lol. I hope you are able to give at least one of these coffee shop drinks a go.
The recipes are sequenced by the number of ingredients you’ll need to create each one. Everything’s really easy as well, though the last recipe might have an ingredient you’ll need to purchase. Anyway, here goes:
To start our round-up of coffee shop drinks, we have the Matcha White Chocolate Iced Latte. I had to make a bunch of tweaks to the original to make the flavors of the drink come out a little more, but for the most part, I think this drink will satisfy lovers of the matcha-white choco combo.
Here’s what you’ll need:
First up, we make the matcha mixture by vigorously whisking together very hot water and good quality matcha powder. Emphasis on the good quality. Emphasis also on the vigorously whisking part. You want to make sure you don’t have any whole bits of matcha at the bottom when you start drinking this, so just be aggressive about whisking until all the matcha powder is dissolved. Use a whisk if you don’t have a chasen. I actually have one but I’m too lazy to clean it so I used a whisk too lol. Set that aside a moment once you’re done.
Next step, you want to melt your salt and white chocolate in your milk. You can do this in two ways: You can either heat the milk separately and then add in your chocolate and salt, but the easier way would be to heat all three ingredients together in a saucepan. (Didn’t show this in the video because I hate filming by the stove. It’s really dark there. So I chose to do option A.) Mix until melted, smooth, and homogenous. I actually forgot to include the salt in the photo above, but though you can omit it, I think it’s a good touch. Something to cut down on the sweetness of the white chocolate.
Then, we use our handy dandy frother to aerate the milk. Because we gotta froth at least one thing from this list of what I refer to as coffee shop drinks, right? Whisk vigorously if you don’t have a frother, or just skip this step I guess.
Once both of your components are done, it’s time to pour everything into your serving glass! In goes the matcha, followed by the biggest component of a latte, which is the milk. This was supposed to make 2 servings, but I used such a small serving glass I had to divide this into 3.
Finally, stir and enjoy this matcha made in heaven drink! The sweet white chocolate often makes a great combo for earthy green tea. They kind of push and pull with each other to create a good balanced combo. And to be honest, adding white chocolate to the milk makes it taste just a tad milkier, if that makes sense. I go for this when I’m in the mood for something cold and a little milkier-tasting than usual.
Matcha White Chocolate Iced Latte
- 1 to 1½ tablespoons high-quality matcha green tea powder, use more for stronger matcha flavor
- ¼ cup 60 mL very hot water
- 2 cups 480 mL milk of choice
- 170 grams good-quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Ice cubes
- In a small bowl, sift in matcha powder. Drizzle in the hot water and whisk vigorously until matcha is completely dissolved. Divide the matcha between two serving cups with ice.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. When the milk is nearly simmering, add in the white chocolate. Whisk constantly until chocolate is completely dissolved into the milk. Add in a pinch of salt and stir well. Take the milk off the heat.
- Use your frother or blender to froth the warm white chocolate milk until bubbles form on top, then gently pour our over your matcha and ice.
- Stir and enjoy!
On to one of my favorite drinks of all time: the Matcha Espresso Fusion Latte. Talking about the store-bought version, the best one I’ve had so far is from Serenitea. They call it a chaffea, and it’s cheaper and even more delicious than the Starbucks version. I drink it with minimal sweetener but with coffee jelly added in. You could totally do that here. (In fact I actually just bought some coffee jelly for this specific purpose.) I’ve made this so many times the past few weeks, I already have all the measurements memorized.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Just like with the first recipe, we will make the matcha base for this drink. Whisk together good-quality matcha powder, your sweetener of choice, and some very hot water. Whisk vigorously to make sure you don’t have any leftover lumps or bits. (I really hate when that happens, and I have had that happen in coffee shops.) You can sift your matcha if you want, but I have never had any issues as long as I put in the work whisking this.
As for the sweetener, you can adjust it to make it sweeter. However, I don’t recommend omitting or reducing unless you want to drink something that tastes a little bitter, a little earthy, and something that feels like it needs a little something to spruce it up. That little bit of sweetness really brings this drink together. I often like to use maple syrup and honey as my sweetener for this, but others like simple syrup or plain sugar. The choice is yours.
Now that we’ve got our matcha mixture, we pour it into the bottom of a tall glass filled with ice.
Next up, the milk. You can use skim, whole, low-fat, 2%. We’re making these coffee shop drinks at home so we can modify it to our heart’s desires, am I right? Now I’ve never tried to make this with milks that have a more distinct taste on their own like soy or almond, but the coffee shops do it so why not? You want to pour the milk in gently, not just dump it in one go over the matcha.
The final layer is the espresso layer. Similarly, pour this in gently. Please use a spouted vessel so you don’t make a mess like I did. You can probably get away with using really strong brewed coffee for this, BUT I know for a fact you can create a good cup of Matcha Espresso Fusion Latte using some really good instant espresso. When I make this in a hurry (which is often), I actually use instant espresso. It should be a brand that passes your standard, because then you’ll know it will be pretty good. 1 Tablespoon instant espresso plus 1/4 cup water will be exactly 2 shots of good, strong espresso. (Never tried it with instant coffee though.) It’s really a matter of convenience, but obviously some fresh espresso can’t be beat.
After pouring in the espresso, wait for the liquids to settle and stop swirling around. The layers will come out a little clearer then. You’ll see those beautiful brown, white, and green layers after maybe 10 seconds.
After you appreciate those gorgeous layers, it’s time to go in with a stirrer and
DESTROY mix it all together. It doesn’t make sense to me to drink this as is. It’s a fusion latte! Speaking of which, since this drink is a combination of two caffeinated things, caffeine-sensitive people probably shouldn’t drink this in the late afternoon. Other than that, all I can say is: UGH THIS IS SO GOOD. I’m going to make myself a glass after I write this post.
For the record, I’ve tried other formulations of this drink from other sources, and this is the best one I’ve found. The ratios are perfect, the drink is delicious, and I would like to drown in it.
Matcha Espresso Fusion Latte
- 2 Tablespoons very hot water
- 1 teaspoon high-quality matcha green tea powder
- 3 teaspoons =1 Tablespoon sweetener of choice
- Ice cubes
- ¼ cup 60 mL milk
- ¼ cup 2 shots/60 mL espresso
- In a small bowl, sift in matcha powder. Add hot water and sweetener and whisk briskly until smooth. Pour into a tall serving glass filled with ice.
- Gently pour in the milk, followed by the espresso.
- Mix and enjoy!
This Hot Chocolate Coffee is kind of like a drink for someone who likes their Cafe Mocha with REALLY strong chocolate notes. The chocolate is definitely more dominant in this drink, but it’s a little thinner than traditional hot chocolate because of the added coffee. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this drink in an actual cafe, but it’s something that I think people would enjoy. You can’t always have alcoholic hot chocolate at 7 in the morning. Spike it with coffee instead lol.
Here’s what you’ll need:
First, place your milk, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and heat on the stove. You want to melt the chocolate and dissolve the cocoa powder, but you also want to warm up this drink.
Once everything is melted and liquid, you pour in your brewed coffee. It has to be strong for the coffee to have a chance at coming through the chocolate flavor.
Whisk everything together and that’s it!
Now we just divide our beautifully glossy chocolate coffee into serving glasses, then top with marshmallows. I can think of very few things a marshmallow is perfect for and this is one of those things!
Tasting of sweet chocolate with some notes of coffee underneath, this drink feels like a warm hug. Hot Chocolate Coffee is obviously meant to be consumed hot, but I am aware that people sometimes ask for Hot Chocolate over ice in coffee shops too, so go right ahead and throw in some ice if you feel like it. It’s 40 degrees Celsius in the Philippines and that idea sounds really good to me right now.
Hot Chocolate Coffee
- ¾ cup 180 mL milk
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutched is fine
- 85 grams high-quality semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- ½ cup 120 mL freshly brewed strong coffee, plus more to taste
- Marshmallows, to top
- In a small saucepan, place milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate together. Place over medium low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently to melt the chocolate and avoid burning the mixture. Once the mixture is smooth and lightly simmering, remove from heat. Do not allow to boil.
- Drizzle in the coffee, whisking until well-combined. Taste the mixture. If it seems too chocolatey for you, add a bit more coffee to your taste.
- Divide into servings mugs and top with marshmallows. Serve warm and enjoy!
I first discovered Sweet Potato Latte in Seoul. Maybe it sounds really alien in other parts of the globe, but South Korea’s native sweet potatoes are so good they can go anywhere, even in your latte. Each coffee shop makes it in a different style, with some versions a little milkier and some a little grittier. This version is the exact kind that I like, which is to say it’s smooth and a little thick, but not gritty. Most importantly, it has a stronger sweet potato flavor rather than a milky taste.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Yes, I keep my brown sugar in an old Blue Bunny container. Any complaints?
So the most important component of a Sweet Potato Latte is obviously your sweet potato. You want to pick a yellow sweet potato that’s soft when steamed or roasted, and naturally sweet. The purple sweet potato could be an option, but it’s a lot less sweet and also a lot less soft, so you’ll have to make a lot of adjustments with the sugar and the milk.
In a perfect world, I’d tell you to source Japanese or Korean sweet potatoes, but with the current situation, we stick with what we have. I find that Philippine yellow sweet potatoes can be hit or miss. The one I used for this recipe ended up being really dry so I had to add more milk, but the taste was spot on. In the end, I can’t find it in my heart to complain.
For this recipe we will solicit the help of a blender. Just throw your sweet potato chunks and milk in, then blend until as smooth as possible.
I always strain my sweet potato latte because I don’t want to drink it and suddenly choke on large bits or fibers. (It happened before, in Korea lol.) As I mentioned, I like it smooth. If the mixture seems a bit too thick at this point to run through the strainer, return to the blender, add more milk, and whiz to thin it out. If the sweet potato you used is a bit drier than you realize, this may happen. Otherwise, it should go through the strainer with some coaxing.
After you get all the good sweet potato stuff across, you may find that some of the milk has separated from the main mixture. Just whisk it all together until combined. The mixture should be thick but also be a consistency you can sip. Add more milk if necessary to achieve that consistency.
Finally, we add in the brown sugar. Mix it in and give the latte a little taste. Yellow sweet potato is naturally sweet so it doesn’t really need too much added sugar. The final step after that is to heat the mixture up until nearly simmering. Please remember to whisk frequently to prevent it from getting burnt. Divide into serving glasses once hot enough, then sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Perfect combo!
The natural flavor of the sweet potato permeates every sip of this drink, but the brown sugar adds a caramel dimension. The cinnamon also gives a nice little tickle both in terms of scent and taste. Sweet potato, brown sugar, and cinnamon have always been a good trio in my book. Making this really brings me back to cold winter days in Seoul. I wonder when we’ll get to fly there again.
Sweet Potato Latte
- 200 grams roasted or steamed sweet potato, cut into large chunks
- 2 to 3 cups 480 to 720 mL milk, as needed to thin out latte to your liking
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, or more to taste
- Ground cinnamon, to top
- In a blender, blend together sweet potato and 2 cups milk until smooth. Depending on how dry your sweet potatoes might be, you may want to add more milk, 1/2 cup at a time, until you get a thick but drinkable consistency.
- Transfer the sweet potato mixture into a small saucepan and mix in the sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture warms up, about 5 minutes. Whisk frequently to avoid burning.
- Divide the sweet potato latte among serving mugs then dust some cinnamon on top. Serve warm and enjoy!
This last drink is one of my favorite new discoveries. It’s called Black Tie Coffee. If the Matcha Espresso Fusion Latte has green tea and espresso, well this drink has Thai tea and espresso. Yes, the Thai tea they use to make the world-famous Thai Iced Tea. I realize most of you probably won’t have this ingredient at home, but promise me you’ll try this when you manage to get your hands on some of those Thai tea leaves.
Here’s what you’ll need:
The first step is to steep the Thai tea mix in hot water with some sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar then leave it alone for 5 minutes to steep.
After steeping, we strain that beautiful red-orange liquid. It’s such a gorgeous color! Just not when it stains my white surfaces lol. You should use a finer mesh strainer if you want to get a completely clean tea. I used an ordinary strainer so some of the finer leaves still went through, as you can see.
After making the tea, it’s time to assemble the drink. Start by adding the condensed milk into your tall serving glass filled with ice. 1 Tablespoon should be enough per serving, since your Thai tea is already sweetened. This will be followed by a shot of espresso in each glass, and then the Thai Iced Tea. You can fill your glass until nearly full, but leave space for the last ingredient.
The final thing to complete this Black Tie Coffee is a splash of milk. 2 Tablespoons of milk or cream for each serving, to be exact. Pour it in and watch it drift to the bottom and swirl around.
This drink creates some pretty interesting layers, though not as distinct as the Matcha Espresso one. Stir well before drinking so that the condensed milk sweetens the drink evenly. It’s kind of hard to explain the taste of this. You get a bit of sweet, a bit of the Thai tea flavor, and a bit of the espresso all at once. It’s slightly creamy thanks to the milk, and entirely refreshing. A really good drink for a really hot day. I’ll probably make this again tomorrow.
Black Tie Coffee
- 1 cup 240 mL boiling water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Thai Tea Mix
- 1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1 shot, 30 mL espresso or strong coffee
- 2 Tablespoons milk or cream or half & half
- Ice cubes
- In a measuring cup, mix together boiling water, sugar, and the Thai tea mix. Cover and steep 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Filter tea through a fine mesh strainer. (Be careful not to splatter this everywhere as it can stain white or light surfaces.)
- Fill a tall serving glass 3/4 of the way with ice. Add in the condensed milk, then gently pour in the shot of coffee. Pour in the Thai tea. Finally, add in the milk or cream.
- Stir well and enjoy!
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