difference between latte and iced coffee
Food & Drinks

Know Your Coffee: The Difference Between Latte And Iced Coffee

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ve probably already sampled two of the most popular types of coffee in the world — latte and iced coffee. While it may seem like they’re both the same with just one being hot and the other iced, latte and iced coffee are actually very different.

Interested to know more? Here’s a brief overview of the difference between a latte and an iced coffee.

What Is A Latte?


One of the most popular all-day drinks in the US, a latte is typically made by mixing coffee with hot milk.

Originating in Italy, latte has a long history, with the term “caffe e latte” first used in William Dean Howells’ essay on “Italian Journeys” published in 1867. In fact, the story goes that the “latte” was invented specifically for American tourists who found the cappuccino too bitter, resulting in more milk being added to the drink.

The English term “latte” is a shortened version of the Italian name for “caffe latte.” So, in Italy, asking for a “latte” will get actually you a glass of milk!

Today, lattes are still considered newcomers to the country’s caffeine culture, but it is still regarded as one of the most versatile beverages since they can be tweaked and flavored as needed.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced Coffee

As the name suggests, iced coffee is simply coffee and water served on the rocks. Steamed or frothy milk may or may not be added to the beverage.

This beverage has been around for quite a while, originating in 1840 in Algeria, and was called mazagran. It was invented by the French Army while fighting the Arab and Berber forces during the Battle of Mazagran, a region in Algeria after which the coffee was named. The drink was invented when they ran out of milk and decided to have their coffee cold with water to beat the heat.

When the war ended and the French Army returned to Paris, they recommended this brew to café owners and suggested this cold concoction be served in tall glasses. Thus, iced coffee was born for everyone to enjoy.

The iced coffee that we know today typically includes drip-brew coffee poured over ice, with some variations including coffee syrup, sweeteners, or other flavors like caramel.

Difference Between Latte And Iced Coffee


Here are some of the major differences between these two well-loved beverages.

#1. Ingredients

In a latte, the main ingredients are steamed or frothed milk, espresso coffee, and a sweetener.

For an iced coffee, you will need traditional brewed coffee and ice.

#2. Method of Preparation


If you have a coffee machine or espresso machine, making a latte will be incredibly simple because you will have all the right ingredients in the appropriate compartments. However, if you don’t have an espresso machine, you only need to combine espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam to make your latte at home.

Start with brewing a strong cup of coffee or a single or double shot of espresso and mix it with steamed milk to achieve that creamy and rich consistency.

After preparing your coffee, it is time to make your milk frothy. Pour milk into a jar (fill it halfway, no more), screw the lid on tightly, and shake it hard. Remove the lid, place the jar in the microwave, and heat the milk for half a minute.

Next, pour your brewed coffee into your favorite coffee mug, followed by the frothy steamed milk. Add some milk foam from your microwaved milk jar for the final touch.

Iced Coffee:

Iced coffee is super easy to make and only takes a few seconds. All you need to do is pour your hot brewed coffee into a tall glass filled with plenty of ice.

You will notice that as soon as you pour the hot coffee, some of the iced cubes will start to melt, which will help dilute the coffee and bring it to room temperature.

Once the ice cubes start floating and are no longer melting, you can transfer the brew to another tall glass and add your sugar and creamer. Stir well.

#3. Strength

If you want a strong punch of caffeine in the morning, you won’t get it from a latte or iced coffee. Both of these beverages are quite diluted, but because of different reasons.

A latte is a milk-heavy drink. The addition of milk masks the taste of coffee, making it not a very potent beverage.

A cup of latte consists of approximately 75mg of caffeine compared to 100mg of caffeine that you’ll get from a regular-sized brewed coffee.

Iced coffee is also not a strong drink because of the amount of ice incorporated in the drink. This dilutes the strength of the caffeine. However, with iced coffee, the choice of coffee beans you use can impact its overall strength.

#4. Taste

A latte is arguably one of the milkiest coffees you will ever taste and has a very subtle coffee flavor.

Lattes are also quite mellow in taste if additional flavors like hazelnut or vanilla are incorporated into your brew.

Compared to lattes, iced coffees have a stronger coffee flavor. Although iced coffee may be slightly bitterer than your regular hot coffee because it is brewed initially at a high temperature.

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