Let me show you how I make a delicious yet healthy iced latte at home. It's creamy yet completely dairy-free, only naturally sweetened, and super easy to make. Plus, with only 4 ingredients, including home-brewed coffee and a blender, you can enjoy this iced latte in less than 5 minutes. I'll share how to make an instant latte versus using cold brew coffee. Enjoy for breakfast on hot summer days or take it to work, to the gym or whenever you need a pick-me-up drink!
I am very much into cold coffee or lattes during the hot summer months. And if you are like me and don't like your coffee drinks loaded with sugar or syrups, then you are going to love this recipe. It's a blender latte that is creamy, slightly sweet with a foamy top, and a hint of caramel taste—all with natural ingredients and tools that you probably already have in your kitchen.
Usually, you'll need an espresso—a more concentrated shot of coffee— to make a latte. But I like to make my iced latte with a regular cup of coffee. You can use either hot or cold coffee, or concoct a cold brew concentrate (which will take some extra time to make), enough to last you a few days or up to one week. Let's take a look.
How to make an instant iced latte
A great healthy iced latte tastes best with a brewed cup of coffee from beans that you already love and enjoy regularly. So use your home-brewed method for this recipe. I often make my coffee with a Nespresso Machine. But I sometimes also make it with an old-fashion percolator coffee maker that I got from my aunt.
- Either brew the desired amount of coffee in advance, like the night before, and let it cool in a sealed mason jar or pitcher—perfect if your blender can't handle hot liquids.
- Or blend all the ingredients with freshly brewed coffee, release some of its steam a bit before adding it to the blender— and then pour the drink right over ice cubes.
- Even if your blender can handle hot liquids, work in small batches, or let the coffee cool a bit before mixing it (safety first, right?)
I love making this drink with unsweetened cashew milk. This plant-based kind of milk adds a lovely creamy and nutty flavor. You can also use almond or hazelnut milk, but a cashew milk latte is naturally sweeter and creates a nice layer of foam once blended.
Usually, I measure about ¼ cup of milk per cup of coffee because I like it that way. But feel free to make yours lighter or stronger by adding less. Taste test and find your perfect coffee to milk ratio!
Tip: make cashew milk ice cubes in advance if making an instant iced latte. Cashew milk freezes well, and they pop easily out of ice cube trays. Replace them with regular water ice cubes for a less diluted coffee flavor.
How to naturally sweeten an iced latte
Use very soft pitted Medjool dates. It adds not only natural sweetness but also a heavenly caramel-like taste. I measure one Medjool date per cup of coffee—enough to add sweetness without losing the coffee flavor. Add a second if you like it closer to an iced latte caramel from a coffee house—though still healthier and less sweet.
Note: have your dates hardened in the fridge? That sometimes happens to me as well. Then make them plump and juicy again by submerging them in some hot water for 10 minutes. That will do the trick. It will also help with blending them.
A bit of sea salt
You can, of course, totally omit this, but I highly recommend it. A pinch of salt not only takes away any bitterness in your brewed drink, but it also nicely balances the sweet flavors. And it goes well with the caramel tasting dates or any vanilla-flavored cashew milk. It is the same when you add a tad of salt on top of peanut butter cookies. Ever done that? Then you know what I mean.
How to make cold brew coffee for your iced latte
I highly recommend making cold brew coffee, especially if you are a regular latte drinker. You'll have to prepare this a day or two in advance, but it is so well worth it.
Cold brew coffee is made with iced or room-temperature water and has to soak either overnight (12 hours) or anywhere from 18 to 24 hours for a more robust coffee. But what you get is
- a less acidic coffee drink,
- that is easy to make,
- smoother in taste,
- while its strength heavily relies on how long the coffee grounds have steeped in the water.
I took the advice of some local coffee aficionados and coarsely ground my beans for the best cold brew. I don't own a coffee grinder but used my blender instead. Just grind in quick short bursts instead of letting the blade run continuously. This technique produces a nice coarse grind and gets the job done.
When you ask regular cold coffee brewers or do some research online, you'll see that not everyone agrees on the coffee bean to water ratio. You have some suggesting 1:3, 1:4, or 1:5 coffee to water ratio. Some even suggest carefully weighing the coarsely ground coffee in ounces—I did not do that.
Instead, I kept it simple and used ¾ cup of coffee beans, ground for 4 cups of water, and used my French press to store it in (not for straining.) It produced a pleasant and balanced coffee taste, perfect for this cold brew latte recipe.
Note: you don't need a French press, I just used mine to store my cold brew. You can use a Mason jar or a pitcher for storage or whatever you have available in your kitchen that comes with a lid or cover.
How to make a cold brew
So, once you have coarsely ground your coffee beans, add the recommended water, and then stir for a few minutes until thoroughly mixed and you have wet all the coffee beans (a few minutes.) Cover your container and store it in the fridge for 12 to 18 hours.
What I use to strain the cold brew
I use a milk nut bag over a large bowl to strain the coffee and then transfer the cold brew into a pitcher—super easy. This is the nut milk bag I use (affiliate link.) But most use a fine-mesh strainer or sieve covered with a thin paper coffee filter or fine cheesecloth.
The coffee bean
Choosing a coffee brand is such a personal thing, and depending on your location, the varieties available might differ. So I want to refrain from recommending one. Use what you love and are used to drinking. I prefer buying a brand that locally roasts the beans. If you haven't found your favorite type of coffee yet or are ready to try something new, check out the top 25 list of best coffee brands for some inspiration.
Take it up a notch
Go a bit extra fancy with this homemade iced latte recipe and add a tablespoon of salted peanut butter combined with 2 Medjool dates and the cashew milk. This concoction is just DELICIOUS, like a tad thicker salted caramel version—but still healthier. Use almond butter if you are following a Paleo or whole30 diet, or are allergic to peanuts!
Love coffee protein smoothies or protein coffee drinks? Then check out some of my other drink recipes on the blog:
Now go ahead and PIN this on your healthy drink board so you'll have this recipe on hand. If you have questions, leave it in the comments or DM me. Always love to hear from you!
Make this smooth and healthy caramel iced latte that is slightly sweetened with dates and deliciously balanced with sea salt and cashew milk. Or take it up a notch by adding salted peanut butter. Great to enjoy at home or for an on the go refreshing drink!
For making an instant iced latte
- 1 cup hot brewed coffee or one cup cold brew (see recipe below)
- 1 or 2 pitted Medjool dates
- ¼ cup cashew milk, cold
- pinch of sea salt
- ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon salted creamy or crunchy peanut butter (optional)
for making cold brew coffee
- ¾ cup of whole coffee beans, coarsely ground
- 4 cups of water
How to make instant iced latte
- Allow the brewed coffee to cool a little or release its steam (one minute).
- Place all the ingredients in a (high-speed) blender. Blend until the dates are disintegrated and all chunks are gone. If you use a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, start on the lowest setting (because the liquid is hot) and gradually work your way up to the highest when safe to do so.
- Add a handful of ice cubes into your favorite coffee glass. Pour the mixture over it and use a spoon to transfer the foam.
Prepare Cold brew coffee to make iced latte (yields 2 ½ cups)
- In a one-quart pitcher or jar, combine the coffee with the water. Stir to combine for a few minutes until all the coffee is thoroughly wettened.
- Place a lid on the jar or pitcher and refrigerate for 12 to 18 hours.
- When ready to strain the coffee, place a nut milk bag over a large deep bowl. Pour the coffee concentrate in the milk bag. Close the bag, and use your hands to let the coffee steep and drip out completely into the bowl. Discard the coffee grounds or use it as a body exfoliator.
- Alternatively, if you don't have a milk bag, use a thin coffee filter or fine cheesecloth and place it into a sieve or fine-mesh strainer over a deep large bowl. Pour coffee concentrate through the prepared sieve into the bowl.
- Transfer the cold brew into a pitcher with lid. Refrigerate and store up till one week
- Or immediately use some of it to make the iced latte recipe above.
- You can also brew your favorite cup or pot of coffee and let it cool in the fridge overnight (and omit using ice cubes)
- Adjust the level of sweetness by adding more or fewer dates!
- Double the ingredients for every extra cup of iced latte you want to make.
Cold coffee brew
- The recipe above yield 2 ½ cups of cold brew coffee
- Simply double the ingredients to yield twice as much.
- The cold brew will take an extra 12 to 18 hours of soaking time
(Note: This post was published in May 2019 and has been updated to include new info and photos)