Browned Butter Is Key To Making Starbucks' Pistachio Latte At Home

Between the Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, matcha cold foam, and Merry Mint White Mocha, Starbucks has no shortage of creative concoctions on its menu. The pistachio latte, a favorite in the new year, is no exception — and it may have a more complex recipe that you'd expect. Thanks to the chain releasing the full recipe for coffee (and pistachio) aficionados to whip up at home, we know exactly how to replicate its delicious flavors. You may be surprised to learn that its rich taste hinges on an unexpected ingredient: browned butter.

Sure, the recipe includes plenty of nutty goodness in the form of pistachio syrup, but browned butter is added to a shot of espresso along with the syrup, so that both flavors can infuse with the hot java. It makes sense when you think about it: Butter makes everything taste better by adding creaminess, yet browned butter adds an extra flavorful touch. Not only does the rich, foamy goodness help balance out the acidity in the espresso, it also brings toasted, nutty flavors that perfectly complement the pistachio syrup.

How to create your own Starbucks' pistachio latte

If you want to make a copycat Starbucks pistachio latte at home, you already know where to start: browned butter. Essentially, all you'll need to do is heat a small amount of regular butter in a pan over medium heat until it turns a caramel-brown color, but it's important to stir frequently so it doesn't burn. The whole process should take less than 10 minutes, so it's easy enough to do in the morning for this delicious pistachio concoction. If you end up with too much and want to save any leftovers (perhaps to use for future lattes), pour the extra browned butter into ice cube trays and store it in the freezer.

Once you have your browned butter ready to go, you'll need pistachio syrup. It's possible to buy this flavor of syrup, so feel free to do so if you want to skip a few steps in the kitchen. For those who want to make the syrup at home, Starbucks' recipe uses sugar, water, pistachios (roasted and unsalted), almond extract, and an optional pinch of salt. Combine the browned butter and pistachio syrup with an espresso shot, then top your drink with frothed milk and pulverized shortbread cookies. Between the pistachios, almond extract, and browned butter, you'll end up with three layers of nutty flavor in your morning coffee.