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7 Barista-Level Coffee Shop Drinks You Can Make at Home

Get your caffeine fix without making a run to a café.

Some mornings, a simple cup of fresh coffee from the pot is all you need to get going. But if you're the type that enjoys a more complicated morning beverage, you may feel entirely dependent on your local café to get what you want. Instead of investing in an elaborate system for your kitchen, there are a few simple yet delicious options you can whip up for yourself at home with limited effort—and you may even discover some new favorites. Read on for the barista-level coffee shop drinks you can make at home, according to experts.

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Iced Americano

glass mug of iced coffee sitting on wooden table with coffee beans and eyeglasses

For many coffee drinkers, the return of warmer weather brings cold coffee drinks back into the rotation. And if you're looking to beat the heat, you likely can't go wrong with an iced Americano, which is as easy to put together as it is versatile.

To prepare it, simply brew a strong pot of coffee, use a moka percolator brewer, or steep some cold brew overnight, says Eric Gantz, co-founder of Verena Street Coffee Co. Once the ingredients have cooled completely, fill a glass with ice and pour your coffee over it.

"If you prefer a slightly sweeter version, stir in a touch of simple syrup or honey," he suggests. "This is a no-fuss iced coffee that lets the pure coffee flavor shine."

Iced Latte

Iced Latte

You may assume you can't make a proper latte at home without an espresso machine. But you can pull off an iced version of the drink without any special equipment.

Dale Donchey, barista and owner of Spiller Park Coffee at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, says to measure 40 grams of coarsely-ground coffee into a French Press and add 200 grams of cool water. Then, stir well to incorporate, cover, and let sit overnight.

After straining the coffee the next morning, you'll have a coffee concentrate that you will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in your fridge. Donchey says the latte comes together with just two ounces of the concentrate and six ounces of your milk of choice, topped with ice.

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Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso Latte

A cup of espresso or latte with brown sugar next to it

You don't need a steam wand or high-end espresso machine to make impressive coffee drinks at home. In fact, in the case of a shaken brown sugar espresso latte, all you need is some basic home bartending equipment.

To make this treat, put a spoonful of brown sugar in a hot shot of espresso or two, which you can make in a moka pot with a lower water-to-coffee ratio, says Shonali Paul, founder of Paul John Indian Caffeine Company. Then, put it in a cocktail shaker and shake well.

"Make sure you get the frothy top," she says. "Take your favorite glass, add some ice, then pour in a milk of your choice and pour the shaken espresso mixture on top. Dust some cinnamon for an added flare."

Spiced Pumpkin Coffee

pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream and cinnamon

The return of pumpkin-spiced drinks to the seasonal drink rotation has all but replaced changing foliage as the official marker of autumn's return. But Gantz says you don't need to run down to your local coffee shop—or even like lattes—to get into the fall favorite.

The home version simply involves brewing your coffee using your preferred method and adding a pump or two of homemade or store-bought pumpkin spice syrup with a dash of vanilla extract.

"For a decadent touch, top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice," Gantz recommends. "This is a seasonal special that will have your home smelling like a pumpkin patch in no time."

Citrus Cold Brew

A citrus cold brew coffee with lemon slices
Irina Rostokina/Shutterstock

It's not just special tools that can make for memorably good coffee drinks. For a brighter option during warmer weather, Yoshawn Smith, barista in residence for Califia Farms, recommends a citrus cold brew, which uses everyday ingredients to put an invigorating spin on your daily cup.

"I recommend using a medium roast cold brew and then adding a plant-based milk that's made to foam for specialty coffee drinks, topping with orange zest, and then adding a dash of fine mocha powder," he says. "This still feels like your favorite, everyday cold brew but with an unexpected twist that's a bit more seasonal."

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Dry Americano

two glasses on iced espresso in glasses with milk

One of the perks of making your own coffee at home is that you can tweak traditional recipes to make them even more to your liking. This includes a simple twist on the classic Americano that you can whip up in your kitchen.

"Unlike a standard Americano, which is made by blending espresso with water, a 'dry' Americano doesn't have any water added," explains Jay Isais, vice president of coffee and sourcing at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. "Instead, it consists solely of pure fresh espresso shots poured over ice. This results in a more concentrated and robust coffee flavor."

As always, you can make stronger espresso-style coffee with a moka to get this done at home if you don't have a countertop espresso machine.

"When paired with vanilla or hazelnut, with or without milk, the 'dry' Americano achieves a perfect balance, combining the rich coffee notes with the subtle sweetness," Isais says.

Blueberry Espresso Tonic

A close up of a person pouring an espresso shot into a glass of tonic

Paul says one great way to think outside the box with flavor is with a blueberry tonic espresso, which can completely change your perspective on how refreshing a java-based drink can be.

"Take some tasty blueberry compote or even your favorite blueberry jam in a glass, pour in your espresso shot (or moka-made concentrate alternate), and stir well," she says. "Top the glass with ice and some tonic water, then garnish with a lime peel and enjoy."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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