Blissful Belle

Be Happy, Feel Beautiful

How To: Become Your Own Barista

It’s no secret that Starbucks can drain your budget faster than all of your magazine subscriptions combined. Yes, that pumpkin spice latte tastes like heaven on earth, but let’s face it — the Urban Outfitters fall collection has finally been released and it just isn’t smart to be wasting your money on incredibly overpriced coffee anymore.

Now you no longer need to slave away in order to afford your expensive tastes, at least when it comes to gourmet coffee. The following recipes have all been swiped from the Starbucks menu and can be recreated in the relative comfort of your school’s cafeteria or, for the luckier ones, your own kitchen.

Caramel Machiatto

The iced version of this drink carried me through my summer internship — morning, afternoon and evening.


– Espresso*

– Milk**

– Vanilla Syrup

– Caramel Topping


1. Add three shots of vanilla syrup and steamed milk to your coffee mug, filling it nearly to the top.

2. Add freshly brewed espresso or coffee, pouring through the foam.

3. Drizzle caramel sauce over the top. If you want an exact replica, drizzle in a criss-cross pattern.

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

If I remember correctly, this drink was my introduction into Starbucks gourmet blends, and it still remains one of my favorite drinks to savor on a crisp, fall day.


– Espresso

– 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon

– Milk

– Sugar or Splenda

– Caramel syrup


  1. Pour freshly brewed coffee or espresso into your mug. Add the cinnamon and stir until well blended.
  2. Steam milk and add to the coffee, stirring well.
  3. Spoon in sugar as you like, and finish off with a shot (or two) of the caramel syrup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Forget about rationalizing yourself into buying another cup of this seasonal blend before it’s taken off the menu; now, you can sip on it whenever you desire.


– Milk

– Espresso

– 1/4 c. Whipped Cream

– 1 tbsp. Pumpkin Spice syrup:

            • 1 ¼ c. Simple syrup

            • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg

            • ½ tsp. ground cloves

            • ½ tsp. ground ginger


  1. Combine all ingredients to make Pumpkin Spice syrup in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil over the oven, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.
  2. Strain the syrup through a coffee filter to remove any undissolved spices, then refrigerate until needed.
  3. Steam milk and pour into coffee mug.
  4. Add espresso or coffee to the milk, stirring well.
  5. Mix in the Pumpkin Spice syrup, and top with whipped cream. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish your drink with any of the spices used to make the syrup.

Caffe Mocha (Secret Recipe!)

I haven’t sold the details of this blend to Starbucks yet, but I bet they’ll be knocking down my door once they taste this delectable personal concoction.


– Strong Coffee

– Water

– Hot Chocolate mix

– French Vanilla creamer

– Raspberry syrup (optional)


  1. Scoop in desired amount of hot chocolate mix, then mix with enough water to fill ¼ of the mug.
  2. Add enough coffee to nearly fill the mug and stir until fully blended.
  3. Pour in French vanilla creamer (I usually add 2-3 single serve doses).
  4. If you’d like, you can finish with a shot of raspberry syrup to add a kiss of fruity flavor.
* If, like me, you don’t have access to an espresso machine, substitute with a larger dose of very strong coffee.
** Go healthy! Skim milk steams just as well as regular milk. To Steam Milk: If you don’t have a professional milk steamer, you can still make your blends. Got a BPA-free microwavable cup with a lid lying around? If you don’t have that either, or if you just prefer living life on the edge, any type of enclosed container that can withstand a microwave will work. Fill the container with milk, put the lid on, and shake vigorously. Once it foams, stick it in the microwave until it’s hot (usually less than one minute). Then, scoop the foam out of the container and into your mug.

2 comments on “How To: Become Your Own Barista

  1. Rachel Kadavy
    September 14, 2011

    I simply LOVE this article! I am a huge coffee addict and love all things Starbucks, but if I can still get the great tastes I love at home who am I to complain? Very excited to try out some of these recipes! Great article!

  2. Erika Graham
    September 14, 2011

    Thanks! The idea was born from my own unhealthy Starbucks obsession. Let me know how it goes!

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2011 by in Healthy Belle, How-to, Savvy Belle and tagged , , , , , .
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