This sweet, creamy Iced Ube (purple yam) Latte is the perfect, colorful summer drink to add to your repertoire of homemade coffees. It uses ube extract for sweet ube-flavoring which is paired with deliciously refreshing coconut milk. Then it's topped off with a strong frothy shot of espresso.
If you've never been to NYC, then it can be hard to find ube-flavored treats. But here, it's ube galore and I love it!
During the year that 2020 was, I found a lot of solace in making a cup of coffee or chai at home. I've become obsessed with making my own elaborate drinks. I used to shell out $7 during normal workdays for a coffee as if it was normal *rolls eyes*.
This latte is inspired by one of my favorites, from what used to be a pop up in the Lower East Side called Cafe Phin by Vietnamese coffee company, Nguyen Coffee Supply. It's quick to throw together before starting your day for a vibrant drink that's a little different from your regular morning coffee.
What is Ube?
Ube is a purple yam (not a sweet potato) originally from the Philippines. It's a staple ingredient in desserts - it's usually boiled, mashed, and mixed with sweetener and sometimes condensed milk into halaya or jam. Once it's in jam form, it can be incorporated into anything you can imagine like cakes, breads, cupcakes, frosting, ice cream etc.
I feel like I'm the only one to ever say this but ube tastes like cereal to me... maybe like a Fruity Pebbles. Some people say it tastes like a mix of pistachio and vanilla and white chocolate. Bottomline, it's sweet, delicious, colorful and makes for some of my favorite desserts!
This recipe uses extract which is typically artificial ube flavoring that is deeply purple.
Using Instant Espresso
It's honestly totally up to you on what you decide to use for the coffee portion, but I loved the dalgona-style instant espresso to top this particular latte instead of a freshly brewed shot of espresso. The whipped espresso mixed into the coconut milk + ube mixture results in a thick and creamy cool latte.
I used the Nescafe instant espresso. It doesn't get quite as frothy and thick as the crystallized instant coffee. The coconut milk I used was already quite thick so I wasn't looking for whipped coffee with stiff peaks, but you can certainly make it that thick if your coconut milk is thinner.
Pairing Ube Extract and Coconut Milk
A popular pairing I love with ube is macapuno, also originally from the Philippines. It's coconut sport that is bottled with a thick syrup. They're essentially jelly-like slivers found in mutated coconuts.
This latte mixes the ube extract with unsweetened coconut milk. Some canned coconut milks are really thick, so thin it out with water if need be and strain it if there are chunks. The coconut milk is very mild - so it just adds a nice layer of flavor to the latte.
Then, add a bit of simple syrup to sweeten as much as you'd like since the espresso can be fairly bitter. To make simple syrup, use equal parts of hot water and sugar and stir it until the sugar has fully melted. You can also use sweetened condensed milk instead of the coconut milk and simple syrup. Stir together the ube extract, coconut milk, and simple syrup.
Add ice and top it off with your favorite milk (or more coconut milk) before adding the frothy instant espresso!
Give it a really good stir and you're ready to enjoy.
Making Larger Batches
If you'd like to keep more of the ube mixture at hand for ube lattes throughout the week, increase the serving size toggles in the recipe card and mix enough of the ube extract, coconut milk, and simple syrup for several coffees.
Keep the ube mixture in a masor jar in the fridge. When you're ready to use it, add an ounce of it to a cup. Top it off with ice, your milk of choice, and freshly made espresso.
More Drink Recipes to try
Iced Ube Latte
- In a cup or a deep bowl, add the instant espresso, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of hot water. Turn an electric whisk on medium speed and whip the coffee until it triples in volume and is frothy, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the 2 teaspoons of hot water to make a simple syrup. The water should be hot enough so that the sugar fully melts.
- In your coffee cup, add the ube extract, coconut milk, and simple syrup. Stir it well with a spoon.
- Fill the cup with ice. Pour the milk over the ice. Then, pour the frothy espresso over the milk. Give it a really good stir. Enjoy!
- Substitute the coconut milk and simple syrup with sweetened condensed milk.
- Use any milk of your choice.