Are you tired of spending too much money on fancy coffee drinks at your local cafe? Do you crave indulgent yet healthy alternatives to sugary-laden lattes?
Look no further because this sugar-free hazelnut latte recipe is here for you.
As someone who has struggled with finding that perfect balance between delicious taste and nutrition in their beverages, I am excited to share my newfound discovery with you.
What is a Caffe alla Nocciola?
Caffe alla nocciola roughly translates to hazelnut coffee, a creamy and indulgent latte with added hazelnut syrup. It is said to have originated in Naples, Italy, where hazelnuts were produced in commercial quantities.
It combines the rich flavors of espresso coffee with silky steamed milk to create a comforting and flavorful experience. You can even enjoy a guilt-free flavor boost without the extra calories.
This recipe is perfect for those busy mornings when you crave something more than a latter, but have no time for complicated preparations. Prep time is minimal, there is only 1 extra step added to our delicious café latte recipe.
Living in Europe, I get the chance to visit Italy as often as I like. And I like it often, it is one of my favorite European countries. I love the pizza, the wine, the beaches, skiing, and the coffee.
As I was traveling around Naples once with friends, we ended up at a cozy little cafe near Piazza Bellini, where locals usually gather for their morning coffee. I’ve never had hazelnut coffee before, so I tried it. As soon as the nocciola blend arrived on our table, I knew it would be love at first sip. The simple addition of hazelnut syrup naturally enhances the aroma and subsequent taste without any extra artificial sugar or preservatives.
Equipment and Ingredients for Hazelnut Coffee
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Espresso machine – the main equipment for extracting the shots.
- Stainless steel pitcher – for frothing the milk.
- 18g of espresso fine-grind coffee beans – provide the perfect base for a shot with bold profiles.
- 3 tablespoons of sugar-free hazelnut syrup – enhances the flavor and adds sweetness.
- 236 ml of full cream milk – adds creamy texture and richness to the final drink. You can use non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk for a vegan option.
- Optional – sweetener, whipped cream, and flavored syrup of your choice.
Step-by-step Guide to Making Hazelnut Coffee
You just need to follow these easy steps to make your very own creamy and delectable flavored latte right from the comforts of home:
1. Add the hazelnut syrup to the glass
If the pump is available like at Starbuck’s, pump twice into the serving glass. Otherwise, use 3 tablespoons of the syrup.
2. Grind your favorite coffee beans
Larger drink volume recipes like this one with lots of milk are best with dark or medium roast beans. I think these are the best dark roasted beans in 2023.
Grind them to a fine consistency if you are using an espresso machine to make your coffee.
You can use any other of these method of making espresso style coffee though:
3. Brew your coffee
Brew a double espresso, so you end up with around 45-55g liquid.
A perfectly pulled shot has three parts:
- Crema: the golden brown layer at the top
- Body: the caramel-colored middle layer
- Heart: the deep, rich brown layer at the bottom of the shot
4. Pour the brew into the glass
Once ready, you should immediately pour the freshly extracted shot into the glass with the syrup.
5. Steam full-cream milk using the steaming wand
This step is quite technical and takes practice to get right, so make sure to follow the guidelines carefully:
- Fill a stainless-steel pitcher halfway with milk.
- Insert the steam wand into the milk. Don’t submerge it completely. Aim for a level just below the surface.
- Turn the steam wand on.
- Keep the wand near the side to create a vortex.
- Once the milk has expanded by about 25%, move the tip of the steam wand a bit lower, so that no more air is introduced into the milk.
- Let the vortex spin until the milk jug is too hot to the touch.
6. Pour milk directly on top of the finished brew
After steaming, pour it directly over your cup containing the syrup and shot mixture.
7. Serve and enjoy
Optional: Add whipped cream or drizzle a syrup of your choice as an extra topping.
Iced Hazelnut Coffee Variation
Starbuck’s loves making iced versions of their hot espresso-milk drink, I guess there is a market for it.
So they made the iced hazelnut latte, and as you can guess, it is this same recipe, just with ice and cold milk. It will lack the natural sweetness of steamed milk though, so you may have to use a sweetener.
What kind of cup should a caffè alla nocciola be served in?
Latte glasses or mugs are best for these types of larger coffee beverages.
Helpful Tips for Brewing Hazelnut Coffee
Here are some food pairings that work great with this coffee:
- Its buttery, sweet flavor works well as an extra kick in breakfast pastries such as muffins or scones and even pairs perfectly alongside a light continental treat like croissants.
- If you’re looking at desserts, there’s no doubt that chocolate-based creations are definitely on top of my list.
- Fresh fruit compotes can also be enjoyed over French toast or pancakes with this Italian beverage.
Making a delicious hot hazelnut latte at home is easier than you thought. All it takes is hazelnut syrup, and a few simple steps that require minimal time and equipment to get a quality drink with results comparable to (if not better than) coffee shop drinks.
This recipe provides an excellent alternative for those searching for guilt-free options while keeping their calories in check without sacrificing taste.
So why wait? Make one and please let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.