If I were a cartoon character, I would be drawn with a coffee mug in my hand (maybe it’s actually a coconut caramel latte). More like super glued to my hand. Like a coffee mug the size of my face because I’m a sucker for caffeine. And an even bigger sucker for fancy coffee shop drinks. All throughout university, I would do all my assignments and studying at a coffee shop. There was some quiet chatter, weird music that I didn’t know the words to, the smell of freshly ground coffee, and I could always get my caffeine fix when I needed it. And, of course, the fancy lattes were my go-to.
I still love my fancy coffee shop drinks but… BUT. I get really bitter every time I go to a coffee shop because of The Vegan Tax. By The Vegan Tax, I mean the extra $0.60 that I get charged to have my latte made with soy milk. The retail price of 1 L of Silk Soy Milk is $2.64 CAD compared to $2.39 CAD, the retail price for 1 L of Dairyland 2% milk. The soy milk is only a single quarter more per liter! Then why are we being charged such a ridiculous extra fee when the difference is so small? Plus, that doesn’t show the true cost of dairy, a product from a heavily subsidized industry. But don’t get me started about dairy. Just watch Cowspiracy or Got The Facts On Milk to understand my personal vendetta against dairy.
Anyway, I’m obviously a bit annoyed at the fact that I’m doing something objectively better for my health and the planet by ordering a non-dairy drink, but I have to pay the price. Which I do occasionally.. But still.
Pro tip: if you order a drip coffee, you can get soy milk in it for free, as long as it’s less than 4 ounces.
Ok that was my 2 cents.. or should I say 60 cents?
I’m going to show you how to make a latte at home where no one will charge you any additional money and the only equipment you need is a mason jar, a microwave, and something to make espresso (I just used extra-strong coffee and played pretend but if you have an espresso maker then go for it!).
The trick to a latte is getting a nice little foam on the top. Foam is really just air bubbles caught in your non-dairy milk. We can do this easily, by shaking it like crazy in a mason jar for about a minute. Yes, really.
This is what you get after shaking it all up. You can choose the shake weight method, or the side to side, or turn on some tunes and have a little dance party with your mason jar in hand (I chose almond milk, in case you were wondering, but I’m sure it would work with others!). Then you’re going to remove the lid (very important!!) and microwave it for 1:45-2 minutes.
And now there’s even MORE foam! Woohoo! Who needs a barista when you can do this yourself?
And the final product…
This caramel can go on just about anything you could dream up, too. And it’s good. I was going to dedicate an entire post to it but I didn’t have a photo of the whole batch… because I ate it all. And frankly, I don’t trust myself with another big bowl of this stuff. When it gets warmer I’m planning on some more DIY barista-ing with some cold brew.. so I’m sure you’ll see this caramel again in the future. If you aren’t feeling the caramel, this can be done in about 5 minutes with a couple easy substitutes. You could use vanilla flavoured non-dairy milk or even try it with switching out maple syrup for the caramel. I’m eager to try making a matcha green tea latte with this mason jar method!
Enough talk, let’s make these lattes happen.
Coconut Caramel Latte
To make caramel (this makes a LOT of caramel, but that’s fine because we will be hooked on these all week..):
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight, cream only
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- In a saucepan put the coconut cream and brown sugar and bring it to a gentle boil.
- Turn heat to med-low and stir continuously for 20 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Let cool.
- 1 cup (or however much you want in your coffee) of your favourite non-dairy milk
- Half a mug-full of espresso or extra strong coffee
- Pour your non-dairy milk in a mason jar and seal tightly. Shake vigorously for about a minute.
- Remove the lid and microwave on high for 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
- In your mug, mix 1t of the coconut caramel into your coffee, then pour your milk and spoon the foam on top. Drizzle some sort of fancy design with more caramel.
- Cozy up with your caramel latte!
I hope you love this latte!