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This Starbucks pistachio latte copycat recipe is so easy to make at home, you can have this fancy Starbucks drink all winter long. Made with a sweet, homemade pistachio syrup. Topped with a brown butter brown sugar topping, just like the Starbucks version.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Pistachio & Brown Butter Topping. The brown butter, brown sugar and crushed pistachio topping makes this pistachio latte extra decadent — just like the Starbucks’ one.
- Homemade pistachio syrup. The homemade pistachio syrup is what makes this latte so good. There are no artificial or chemical flavors from using store bought coffee syrup.
- It can be made year-round. The pistachio latte at Starbucks is a seasonal latte and is only available at certain times of the year. But with this copycat recipe, you can make pistachios lattes all year round.
- Easy & Inexpensive. This is a quick and easy latte to make. Plus, when you make it at home, it is a fraction of the cost of buying one from Starbucks.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pistachios: Real pistachios are used to make the pistachio syrup which flavors the latte. Use unsalted or lightly salted pistachios and make sure to de-shell them before measuring them.
- Espresso: Lattes are made with espresso, not coffee. Use 1 to 2 shots of high quality, freshly brewed espresso. If needed, you can substitute this with strongly brewed coffee or instant espresso.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is used to make the pistachio syrup for sweetening and flavoring the drink. Brown sugar is used to make the classic brown butter topping that is drizzled over the finished latte.
- Butter: For the latte topping, a small amount of butter is browned on a saucepan and mixed with brown sugar. You can use a vegan butter or margarine instead, but it will not brown in the same way as butter will.
- Milk: Starbucks uses 2% milk for their lattes, but you can use any type of milk you like, including skim milk or whole (3.25%) milk. You can also use a non-dairy milk such as oat milk or almond milk. Make sure to use a “barista” oat milk or almond milk to ensure that it froths well.
- Water: Water is used to make the pistachio syrup, giving it the proper consistency. Use filtered water to avoid any unpleasant tastes from tap water.
- A food processor to finely chop the pistachios.
- A saucepan to make the pistachio syrup in as well as the brown butter brown sugar topping.
- A strainer to separate out the pistachios from the syrup.
- An electric frother to froth the milk for the latte.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse several times to break them up into small pieces.
Step 2: Heat the pistachios, granulated sugar and water together in a saucepan over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to heat for 5 to 7 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Step 3: Remove the pistachio syrup from the stove and use a fine mesh strainer to remove the pistachio chunks. Let the syrup cool for a few minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, make the brown sugar, brown butter topping. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes until it browns. Remove the butter from the stovetop and mix in the brown sugar.
Step 5: Use an electric frother to froth the milk.
Step 6: Brew the espresso and mix in the pistachio syrup. Pour the frothed milk on top of the espresso. Sprinkle the brown butter brown sugar on top of the latte, followed by some crushed pistachios.
- Adjust the sweetness. Overall, this is one of Starbucks’ sweeter lattes. If you want to reduce the sweetness, decrease the amount of pistachio syrup used, and halve the amount of brown butter topping added.
- If you don’t have a frother: An electric milk frother is the best, most effective way to froth milk. However, as an alternative, you can use a mini, handheld milk frother. Or, you can warm the milk in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds and shake it vigorously in a mason jar.
- The pistachio syrup should be liquid. The pistachio coffee syrup should have a slightly thick, liquidy consistency. If it is very thick and sticky, then the syrup was probably heated for too long or at too high a temperature. To fix this, stir in a ½ tablespoon of water at a time while heating on low, until the syrup has thinned out.
- Store leftover pistachio syrup in the fridge. This recipe will make extra pistachio syrup. Let the pistachio syrup fully cool to room temperature before storing it. Store the syrup in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Making a large batch in advance will save time making this latte on busy mornings.
To serve this as an iced latte, first mix the pistachio syrup into the espresso while it is still warm to prevent it from clumping. Then, pour it into a glass filled with ice. Lastly, froth the milk on the “cold froth” setting on your electric frother. Top with the cold frothed milk and brown butter topping.
Pistachio syrup can be used to make other coffee drinks, such as pistachio cold brew or a pistachio matcha latte. It can also be used to make pistachio-flavored cocktails. See the full pistachio syrup recipe for more ideas.
You can replace the homemade syrup with a store bought pistachio simple syrup. However, the latte will have more chemically, less authentic flavor.
For a vegan latte, use barista oat milk instead of 2% milk. Replace the butter with vegan butter or a plant-based margarine. Note that the vegan butter will not brown in the same way as regular butter, but will still taste delicious.