Make Your Own Fancy Coffee (And Save a Ton of Money)

I take my whiskey on the rocks, but I take my coffee doctored up until it’s basically dessert. In my barista days I had daily free lattes at my fingertips. Now that I have to actually pay for them, I’ve reassessed.

Did you know you can get more bang (caffeine) for your buck if you order a café au lait instead of a latte? It’s half coffee and half milk, and just as delicious. Still, if you buy three of these a week at $2 each (at some crazy cheap coffee shop that you must tell me about), you would spend $312 a year. Outrageous. Time to learn to DIY (don’t worry, it’s very simple).

I’m going to show two different methods, one easy and one super easy. You don’t need to buy an espresso machine or pay someone else to make your coffee drinks. Ready?


First, the easy way. This is good if you like a lot of foam and you suddenly have no idea where all of your AA batteries went. For this method, we’ll be using a manual milk frother as shown on the right of #4. I see these all the time at thrift stores, perhaps because people aren’t sure what to do with them.


To start, microwave your milk in the frother container, THEN put on the lid. Please refrain from microwaving metal. I can’t be responsible for exploded microwave ovens.


Now you just go to town with the frother pump until your milk reaches its desired consistency. Like lots of foam? You’ll be at this for a few minutes.

combine forces

I like to add cinnamon because it makes me feel like I’m having a treat. You can also add your favorite flavored syrup (I recommend coconut or amaretto flavor. Heavenly).

And now, the super easy way. Instead of using a manual frother, you’ll be using a battery-powered version.


The prices of these can vary, but in my opinion the cheaper ones work just as well. If there’s no IKEA nearby, you can either move or  check Amazon for one of these bad boys.


I’m going to emphasize one more time the importance of completely submerging your frother before you turn it on, lest you find yourself with a very splattered countertop.


Remember to pull up gently and slowly to create the foam. This can very messy if rushed. Still, the whole process should take two minutes or less depending on how large of a mug you’re using.

You can add as much or as little coffee as you’d like (in these photos I went easy on it. I already had two cups and didn’t want to be bouncing off the ceiling).

And there you have it: a super simple way to save money, and a nice way to treat yourself every morning. Don’t forget to bust out the frother for your hot cocoa (and other wintertime drinks).

(Now what are you going to do with all of the latte money you’ve saved?)


Take care,



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