Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: What’s The Difference?

iced coffee vs. iced latte
What differentiates an iced latte vs iced coffee?

Who could resist the refreshing taste of iced coffee? The caffeine and the dash of coldness in every sip is a perfect treat on a hot summer afternoon

I, myself, drink iced coffee regularly. Sometimes, regular iced coffee, sometimes iced latte.

But how do these two cold coffee variations differ? To help you find the answer, let us compare iced latte vs iced coffee.

Iced Latte Vs Iced Coffee: A Comparison

iced latte vs. iced coffee
Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: How do these two beverages differ?

There are many types of coffee out there. Even coffee lovers like me confuse one for another.

For instance, many people think that an “iced latte” is just a fancy way of saying cold coffee. However, this is not the case when it comes to this versatile drink.

Iced latte and iced coffee may seem like similar drinks. However, the only thing that they have in common is that they are both served cold.

Iced latte is a combination of espresso, cold milk, and of course, ice. To be specific, it has two shots of espresso and around 175ml to 250ml of cold milk.

While the amount of coffee and milk may seem small, this drink is quite large once added with ice.

On the other hand, iced coffee is brewed coffee added to ice. When you compare iced latte vs iced coffee, you will see that iced latte is a more complex beverage.

Unlike the iced latte that only uses espresso, iced coffee uses any coffee, regardless of the brewing method. You can even use instant coffee for iced coffees.

You can also add sugar and milk to your iced coffee.

4 Key Differences In Iced Latte Vs Iced Coffee

iced latte vs. iced coffee
Iced latte and iced coffee differ in taste, appearance, coffee base, and the type of milk used.

Now that we know what an iced latte and iced coffee are, you may already be noticing some of the differences.

But to make these differences more apparent, take a look at these four main points:

1. The Coffee Used

As mentioned, an iced latte uses two shots of espresso, while iced coffee uses brewed coffee.

2. Milk To Coffee Ratio

An iced latte consists of more milk than iced coffee. For every 60ml of espresso or 40ml, if you are using ristretto, you need to add 175ml to 250ml of milk.

You can also add more milk if you want your latte creamy.

Iced latte vs iced coffee, the iced latte has a less distinct coffee flavour despite using two espresso shots.

On the other hand, iced coffee only has a small amount of milk, which you can opt not to add if you do not want to.

3. Appearance

To make a cup of iced latte, you need to follow a particular order of adding the ingredients in your cup:

  • Add the double shot espresso
  • Slowly pour the milk over the coffee
  • Add the ice on top

For this reason, you will see that an iced latte has three layers with coffee in the bottom, milk in the middle, and ice on top.

In contrast, iced coffee only has two layers. The bottom layer is the brewed coffee and on top of it is the ice.

If you want to add milk to your iced coffee, it is poured on top of the ice after preparing the beverage.

4. The Milk Type

People often use either reduced fat milk or full cream milk when making an iced latte. Meanwhile, iced coffee is either served black or added with a small amount of dairy and alternative milk.

You can also add plant-based milk to your iced latte as long as they are not sweetened.

Some dairy and milk options that you can add to your iced coffee are:

  • cold cream
  • condensed milk
  • creamer
  • whipped cream

Which Is Stronger Between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee?

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Iced latte uses espresso but tastes more mellow than iced coffee.

An iced latte has a double shot espresso base, so most people think it is stronger than iced coffee. But if you compare iced latte vs iced coffee, you will find out that the former has a more mellow taste.

Despite having a stronger coffee base, an iced latte has a large amount of milk added to it. So, it has a more mellow taste than iced coffee, which has a little to no amount of milk and sweetener.

Making Iced Latte Without Using An Espresso Machine

iced latte vs. iced coffee
You can make an iced latte at home even when you do not have an espresso machine.

When comparing iced latte vs iced coffee, it is evident that iced coffee is easier to make. Such is because you do not need any machine to make your coffee base.

Iced latte is my go-to drink during the hot summer days. But since I do not have an espresso machine at home, I need to go to a coffee shop every time I crave the cold, refreshing latte.

Fortunately, I discovered that I could make an iced latte even when I didn’t have an espresso machine.

Your finest ground coffee is the first thing you need to make your “espresso” at home. For every gram of coffee, you will only add about 12ml of water.

Using freshly ground coffee beans is ideal to get the best possible flavour.

Once you have your coffee base ready, you can make your latte based on the order of ingredients mentioned above.

Is Iced Coffee And Cold Brew The Same?

iced latte vs. iced coffee
Iced latte vs iced coffee has a difference in the coffee used. But what about cold brew?

After comparing iced latte vs iced coffee, another confusing coffee beverage is the cold brew. Some coffee drinkers often confuse cold brew with iced coffee.

But the truth is that they are entirely different drinks.

As mentioned, iced coffee is brewed coffee and ice. The actual difference that it has with cold brew is the brewing method used for the coffee base.

When making iced coffee, the ground coffee is brewed using hot water to quickly get the flavours out.

With cold brew, normal temperature water is infused with ground coffee for 12 to 24 hours. This way, the flavours of the coffee slowly come out.

The result of cold brew is a beverage that only has a slight bitterness and acidity. Cold brew coffee also tastes smoother and sweeter than other brews.

Additionally, cold brew is less acidic than other coffees because cold water cannot extract coffee oils, which makes other brews acidic.

Frequently Asked Questions: Iced Latte Vs Iced Coffee

iced latte vs. iced coffee

Are lattes better, hot or cold?

If you are a fan of sweet beverages, you may find latte better when it is cold. Milk tastes sweeter when it is cold, thus making your latte easier on the palate.

Conversely, hot milk does not have any sweetness, so a hot latte is better if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Is cold coffee healthier than hot coffee?

According to Frank Hu, a nutrition expert at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, cold brew and hot brew have the same effect on one’s health.

Does iced coffee make you gain weight?

Iced coffee alone will not make you gain weight. It can even boost your metabolism, which is beneficial if you are trying to shed some weight.

However, drinking coffee can affect your sleep negatively, which in return may promote weight gain. Coffee with milk and sugar are also high in calories, promoting weight gain.

Final Thoughts

Iced latte vs iced coffee is two distinctive beverages with similarities. However, it is important to note that they are completely different.

On one hand, an iced latte has a large amount of milk, which makes it creamy and less coffee-like in taste. Meanwhile, iced coffee has little to no milk, so it has a stronger coffee flavour.

If you compare iced latte vs iced coffee, you will also see that they have different appearances. Iced latte has three visible layers, while iced coffee only has two.