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Korean Black Sesame Latte Recipe (Heukimja Latte)

by Emily
Black Sesame Latte on a mat next to flowers

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In South Korea, people often enjoy beautiful specialty drinks at home and in cafes. A few of my favorites I enjoyed when living in Korea include sweet potato latte, strawberry matcha latte, strawberry milk, and banana milk!  

If you also enjoy making specialty drinks at home, try making this Korean black sesame latte! In Korean, this drink is known as a ‘heukimja latte’ (흑임자라떼). This particular coffee drink combines the nutty flavor of sesame with deliciously bitter espresso. We hope you enjoy it!

Before diving into this recipe we wanted to give you a chance to learn more about sesame. Below, I list our articles and recipes about this ingredient!

A side shot of a black sesame latte next to flowers. The latte has a bottom layer of black sesame paste and top layer contains milk and espresso.
This Latte Tastes Nutty From the Sesame! Honey Adds Sweetness.

Black Sesame Latte Tips & Tricks:

Before we get to the recipe, we wanted to give some tips & tricks to help you make this black sesame latte! Let us know if these tips help you prepare this recipe at home! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email us at [email protected].

  • When shopping for black sesame seeds, make sure to buy the unhulled variety. You can buy hulled black sesame, but it removes all the good nutrients and makes the seeds more bitter.
  • To make this drink, start by using a small food processor. Combine black sesame seeds with honey and blend into a fine, thick paste. You do not want any seeds remaining. In the photos, I had some remaining seeds (as I hand-ground the black sesame). While the flavor was delicious, the texture was not very pleasant.
  • If you do not have a small food processor to blend, I recommend buying black sesame powder or paste instead.
  • Then, add the black sesame paste to the blender or food processor with heavy whipping cream. Blend until the ingredients combine and thicken. Do not make this super thick. You do not want whipped cream. Instead, you want to blend just enough so the mixture stays separated from the coffee and milk to create layers in your cup.
  • Next, using a Moka Pot, Nespresso, or espresso machine, prepare your shot of espresso. Set it aside.
  • Finally, prepare the layered ingredients. In a large cup or mug, add the thick black sesame mixture. Then, add milk. Next, add the whipped black sesame layer. The last step is pouring over the espresso. 
  • To enjoy this beautiful drink, stir all the ingredients together! 

Black Sesame Latte Frequently Asked Questions:  

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for making this recipe, we want to answer some questions you may have as well! If we do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email us at [email protected]

A Morter and pestle filled with black sesame seeds.
I Do Not Own a Small Food Processor to Make the Sesame Paste. I Ground Them Myself. Unfortunately, I Do Not Recommend This. You Need to Grind It So There Are No Chunks Left.

Can I Make This Recipe in Advance?

While you cannot make this entire recipe in advance, you can make the whipped black sesame mixture used for this latte ahead of time. 

For a non-dairy alternative, make our vegan black sesame milk in advance instead!

How Do I Store the Leftovers?

If you accidentally blended together too much sesame and heavy cream, you can keep this prepared portion of the latte in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days. Then, later, you can make more espresso to add to combine with the blended black sesame and milk. 

Because this recipe uses dairy, make sure to consume the leftover ingredients quickly. 

A small cup of espresso next to a glass of milk.
Besides the Sesame Paste, This Recipe Is Easy! Just Milk and Espresso!

Is This Recipe Vegetarian and Vegan?

Unfortunately, this Korean black sesame latte contains dairy milk. While still vegetarian, it is no longer vegan. Thankfully, we already wrote an article about a vegan black sesame milk alternative. Instead of using the dairy-based sesame milk in this recipe, use our vegan alternative instead!

If you use the vegan alternative, know the latte will not have the same thick texture. The vegan milk sesame milk has a thin consistency. 

Does This Recipe Contain Major Allergens? (Gluten, Soy, Etc.)

For the most part, this recipe does not contain any allergens. It does not include wheat, gluten, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, or eggs. 

Unfortunately, for those with a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, this recipe does contain heavy whipping cream and milk. Like I already said, we have a vegan option for the black sesame milk that does not include dairy. You can easily switch out the dairy for that option. 

Finally, it is important to note that some people have allergies to particular seeds, such as sesame. As such, always check with friends or family before serving this black sesame latte to them!

A cup of black sesame latte. In the cup is a wooden spoon and I am mixing the drink.
Before Drinking, Stir the Ingredients! Remember, the Smoother the Black Sesame Paste, the Better the Taste and Texture.

Where Can I Buy the Ingredients? 

Excitingly, you can buy almost every ingredient in a well-stocked grocery store. Though that is the case, I recommend buying the black sesames in bulk online. Black sesame seeds can be expensive and sold in small quantities. If you buy them online, you can buy more for a much cheaper price! 

Can I Buy Pre-Made Ingredients?

In South Korea, you can buy pre-made black sesame milk. With this black sesame-infused dairy milk, you combine the espresso powder. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find this pre-made ingredient outside of Korea.

That being said, you can find pre-made Korean black sesame-infused soy milk online! Further, if you do not want to make this recipe from scratch, you can buy Japanese -style black sesame powder made specifically for lattes.  

If you do use these pre-made ingredients, just know the flavor and texture will be different.


An overhead shot of this nutty coffee drink next to vases.
Deliciously Sweet and Nutty Espresso

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make This Black Sesame Latte!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about how to make a black sesame latte! If so, let us know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Drink Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].

And, finally, we would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow us at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog Youtube channel! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to our blog by joining our mailing list. Let us know if you make this black sesame latte (heukimja latte)! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Korean Black Sesame Latte (Heukimja Latte)

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Recipes, BeveragesCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 6 TBSP Black Sesame Seeds

  • 2 TBSP Honey

  • 8 Oz Heavy Whipping Cream

  • 16 Oz Milk

  • 2 Shots Espresso


  • In a mini food processor, combine black sesame seeds and honey. Blend until the mixture is smooth.*
  • Then, in the food processor, blender, or mixer combine the heavy whipping cream with the black sesame paste. Blend until the mixture gets thick enough to create layers. You do not want to make thick whipped cream. Too thick, and you won’t get able to mix it into the milk and espresso.
  • Next, prepare the espresso. Do this in a Moka pot, espresso machine, or Nespresso.
  • Finally, combine the ingredients. Start with the black sesame mixture. Next, add the milk. Finally, top the drink with espresso. Before drinking, mix everything together.


  • *Note: You need this part to be completely smooth. The random chunks of seeds do not add a good texture to this drink. In the photographs, I did not blend the mixture enough.

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Steve January 11, 2023 - 12:20 pm

16 oz of milk and 8 oz of heavy whipping cream seems like way too much!

Emily January 20, 2023 - 12:33 pm

Hi Steve! This is for more than one black sesame latte! The ingredients listed are for making 2 lattes. If you would like to make only 1, I recommend halving the recipe.


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