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Latte vs Coffee

If you enjoy drinking coffee, you’ve definitely heard of lattes and pondered what makes them different from other types. Despite the fact that both beverages contain espresso, they are very different in terms of flavor, texture, and ingredients. To assist you in selecting the beverage that is best for you, we will examine the distinctions between lattes and coffee in this post.

Cup of coffee with beautiful Latte art

It’s critical to comprehend the fundamentals of coffee in order to comprehend the distinctions between lattes and regular coffee.

Roasted coffee beans are used to make coffee, a brewed beverage.

Although it is generally served black, many people sweeten it by adding milk, cream, or other ingredients.

A latte, on the other hand, is a specialty coffee beverage made with espresso and heated milk.

Espresso and milk are commonly mixed in a one to three ratio, however this might vary.

Understanding Coffee

There are a lot of different varieties and sorts of coffee. Knowing the fundamentals of coffee might assist you in selecting the right kind to order or brew at home.

coffee cup and coffee beans

Coffee Basics

Roasted coffee beans are used to make coffee, a brewed beverage. To make a tasty and aromatic beverage, the beans are ground and brewed with hot water.

Depending on the type of bean, level of roasting, and brewing technique, coffee’s intensity and flavor can change.

Coffee Variations

There are numerous varieties of coffee drinks, each with a special flavor and way of preparing it. Several well-liked coffee variants include:

  • Espresso: A strong and concentrated coffee made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans.
  • Americano: A coffee drink made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso.
  • Cappuccino: A coffee drink made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam.
  • Latte: A coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk, often topped with a layer of foam.
  • Mocha: A coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup or powder.

Coffee Add-Ins

A lot of individuals like to flavor or sweeten their coffee. Several well-liked coffee additives are:

  • Milk: Adding milk to coffee can help mellow out the bitterness and create a creamier texture.
  • Sugar: Adding sugar to coffee can help balance out the bitterness and add sweetness.
  • Syrups: Flavored syrups can be added to coffee to create a wide range of flavors, such as vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut.
  • Whipped Cream: Adding whipped cream to coffee can create a decadent and indulgent drink.

Knowing the fundamentals of coffee might assist you in selecting the right kind to order or brew at home. There is a coffee drink out there for everyone, whether you want it strong and concentrated like an espresso or creamy and decadent like a latte.

Understanding Latte

If you consume coffee, lattes are definitely familiar to you. But exactly what is a latte?

coffee cup latte art

A shot of espresso and steamed milk are the main ingredients in the popular Italian coffee beverage known as a latte.

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The fact that the term “latte” in Italian actually means “milk” makes sense given that the beverage is primarily made of milk.

1/3 espresso, 2/3 heated milk, and a thin layer of froth are the ingredients in a typical latte.

The steaming milk is added to the cup after the espresso shot has been poured into it. After that, the foam is spooned on top of the beverage.

The type of milk used in lattes (such as whole milk, almond milk, or soy milk) and any additional flavorings or syrups can frequently be customized.

Lattes can be produced at home using an espresso maker or a milk frother even though they are frequently associated with coffee shops and cafes.

Lattes are a well-liked and adaptable coffee beverage that can be consumed hot or cold.

Brewing Process

The brewing technique is one of the key distinctions between latte and coffee.

Two cups of coffee on the table, latte art

Unlike lattes, which are made with espresso shots and steamed milk, coffee is normally brewed with hot water and freshly ground coffee beans.

Coffee can be brewed using a variety of methods, each of which produces a coffee with a unique flavor and strength.

The method for making lattes, on the other hand, calls for drawing a shot of espresso and then boiling milk to give it a creamy consistency.


A latte and coffee have quite different flavors. Because they are made with steamed milk, lattes are renowned for their creamy, smooth flavor.

Due to the frequent addition of cream and sugar, they also frequently have a softer flavor than coffee.

Contrarily, many coffee consumers prefer the stronger, more bitter flavor of coffee.

The roast level, brewing technique, and bean origin are just a few examples of the variables that might affect coffee flavor.

Caffeine Content

The amount of caffeine in latte and coffee is another distinction.

While the amount of caffeine in coffee might vary based on the type of bean and brewing technique, on average, it has more than a latte.

Espresso shots, which are used to make lattes, have less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee.

Adding more espresso shots will, however, increase the quantity of caffeine in a latte.

Nutritional Content

There are some variations between lattes and coffee in terms of nutritional value.

Due to the frequent addition of milk and sugar, lattes can have more calories and fat than coffee.

Contrarily, coffee is a low-calorie, low-fat beverage. Coffee’s calorie and fat content may rise if cream and sugar are added, though.

Overall, whether you choose a latte or a cup of coffee depends on personal preference.

Whether you favor the robust and bitter flavor of coffee or the creamy, smooth taste of a latte, each beverage has distinct qualities and advantages of its own.

Health Benefits and Risks

Both coffee and latte have been linked to a number of potential advantages in terms of health benefits.

Cup of coffee latte art with coffee shop.

However, it is crucial to eat them moderately and be aware of any potential hazards, just like with any meal or beverage.


Coffee is a widely used beverage, and research indicates that a moderate coffee intake may have various health advantages.

The following are a few possible advantages of coffee consumption:

  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes: According to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, moderate coffee intake (about 2-5 cups a day) is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease: Some studies have found that moderate coffee consumption may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Possible decreased risk of certain cancers: Research has suggested that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of liver and endometrial cancers.
  • Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease: Some studies have found that caffeine consumption may be linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Improved mental health: Some research has suggested that moderate coffee intake may help reduce the risk of depression.
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However, it is important to note that excessive coffee consumption can lead to potential risks, such as:

  • Insomnia: Drinking too much coffee can interfere with your sleep, leading to insomnia.
  • Digestive issues: Coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid, leading to digestive issues such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Increased heart rate: Caffeine can increase your heart rate, which can be dangerous for people with heart conditions.
  • Addiction: Caffeine is a stimulant that can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms.


Espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of froth are the traditional ingredients in a latte, a coffee-based beverage.

Several potential health advantages of milk in lattes include:

  • Improved bone health: Milk is a good source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones.
  • Reduced risk of certain cancers: Research has suggested that milk consumption may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal and skin cancer.
  • Improved heart health: Some studies have found that milk consumption may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, it is important to note that lattes can also have potential risks, such as:

  • High calorie content: Lattes can be high in calories, depending on the type of milk and any added sweeteners.
  • Increased sugar intake: Many lattes contain added sugar, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
  • Lactose intolerance: Some people are lactose intolerant and cannot tolerate milk, which can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Overall, when eaten in moderation, coffee and lattes both have the potential to be healthy beverages.

It’s crucial to be aware of any hazards, though, and to include them in a diet that is both balanced and healthful.

Popular Variations

There are numerous well-liked variations of coffee and lattes that you can pick from.

Closeup image of a man and a woman clinking white coffee mugs in cafe

Here are a few of the more well-liked ones:

Flavored Lattes

Flavored lattes are a terrific way to spice up your daily coffee ritual.

A few of the more well-liked flavors are pumpkin spice, caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla.

Usually, flavored syrup is mixed with milk and espresso to create these lattes.

Be aware of your intake because these syrups might increase the amount of sugar and calories in your beverage.

Iced Coffee

An energizing variation on a traditional cup of coffee is iced coffee.

Coffee is brewed, then poured over ice to create it. To make an iced latte, you can also add milk or cream to your iced coffee.

Some well-liked versions include frappuccinos, which are blended iced coffee drinks, and cold brew, which is produced by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time.

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A delectable delicacy, mochas mix the flavors of coffee and chocolate.

They are created by mixing chocolate powder or syrup into a coffee or latte.

White chocolate and peppermint mochas are two variants that are well-liked during the holiday season.


Lattes and cappuccinos are comparable, but cappuccinos have a larger foam to milk ratio.

Usually, espresso, steaming milk, and froth are combined in equal parts.

For those who want a stronger coffee flavor, cappuccinos are a fantastic option.


An Americano might be the beverage for you if you want your coffee stronger.

It is prepared by adding hot water to an espresso shot, which results in a flavor profile that is comparable to drip coffee.

For those who want a robust coffee flavor without the addition of milk or sugar, Americanos are a fantastic choice.

As you can see, there are a ton of well-liked varieties available for coffee and lattes.

Everyone can find a drink they like, whether they want a traditional cup of coffee or a luscious mocha.

Frequently Asked Questions

Delicious latte macchiato and coffee beans on wooden table

What is the main difference between latte and coffee?

The main difference between a latte and coffee is that a latte has added milk, whereas coffee has no milk. A latte is typically composed of 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a layer of foam. In comparison, coffee is just brewed coffee without add-ins.

Which drink is stronger, latte or coffee?

Coffee is generally stronger than a latte because it is made solely from brewed coffee beans. However, the strength of a latte can vary depending on the amount of espresso used. A double shot of espresso in a latte will make it stronger than a single shot latte.

Which drink is healthier, latte or coffee?

Both latte and coffee have health benefits and drawbacks. Coffee is known to boost metabolism and improve cognitive function, and it is also rich in antioxidants. On the other hand, lattes contain milk, which is a good source of calcium and protein. However, they can also be high in calories and sugar, depending on the type of milk and sweeteners used.

What is the difference in caffeine content between latte and coffee?

The caffeine content of a latte depends on the amount of espresso used. A single shot of espresso contains around 63 milligrams of caffeine, while a double shot contains around 125 milligrams. In comparison, a standard cup of coffee contains around 95 milligrams of caffeine. Therefore, a double shot latte will have a similar caffeine content to a cup of coffee.

What is the difference in taste between latte and coffee?

The taste of a latte is more complex than that of coffee because of the added milk and foam. Lattes have a creamy texture and a slightly sweet taste, while coffee has a stronger, more bitter taste. The taste of a latte can also vary depending on the type of milk used, with whole milk giving a richer taste and almond milk giving a nutty flavor.

Can I make a latte at home without an espresso machine?

Yes, you can make a latte at home without an espresso machine. One way to do this is to make a strong cup of coffee using a French press or a drip coffee maker, and then add steamed milk and foam on top. Another option is to use a stovetop espresso maker or a moka pot to make espresso-like coffee at home.

Coffee cup and saucer

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee is a brewed drink made from roasted coffee beans, while a latte is made with espresso and steamed milk.
  • Lattes have a creamier texture and a milder taste than coffee due to the addition of steamed milk.
  • Lattes are typically higher in calories and sugar than coffee, but they offer a wider range of flavors and variations.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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