Differences between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee

There are so many perks of drinking coffee, regardless of temperature. If consumed in moderate quantities, it can prevent depression and lower the risk of getting diabetes. However, if you prefer the cold brew over a hot steaming cup of coffee, there are benefits of this as well.

We love iced coffee and iced latte - but, what are the differences?

For instance, the iced coffee is less acidic and this makes it perfect for those with sensitive tummies. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about scorching your mouth with hot coffee. The question that many have though is, which is the best cold coffee drink for summer- iced latte or iced coffee? Is there one that’s superior to the other? Read on to learn more.

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte- Are They the Same?

The iced latte is an entirely different beverage from iced coffee. The primary feature that sets these two apart is the coffee to milk ratio.

Iced coffee is simply coffee that is prepared with hot or room temperature water, chilled and then poured over ice. If you like, you can add flavor or a sweetener to your iced coffee.

To sweeten, it’s best to add sugar before pouring coffee over the ice. This way, the sugar has ample time to melt. For an added flavor, some people also add a small amount of milk. However, iced coffee will always have a higher coffee to milk content.

Iced latte can be defined simply as a mixture of ice-cold milk with rich, strong espresso. The use of espresso means it’s not a drink for an individual that is used to taking mildly-concentrated coffee.

Also, the iced latte has more milk than coffee- the main thing that distinguishes it from iced coffee. The milk to coffee ratio can be as high as 8:1. Thus, an iced latte is more of coffee-flavored milk and not vice versa.

You’re more likely to find sweetened lattes than iced coffees. This is because of the milk or creamer incorporated. Some iced lattes- like the Vietnamese latte -are made using condensed milk.

Can You Make Iced Latte At Home?

Yes, it’s very easy to make an iced latte at home. Start by choosing what milk you’ll use for your latte. You’re free to use any kind of milk ranging from whole to skim cow’s milk to coconut, soy, or almond milk.

Next, fill a glass with ice. Pour the milk over the ice cubes so that it’s just enough to cover their level.

All that’s left to do is prepare your favorite espresso and pour it over the ice and milk. If you’re making this drink for the first time, we recommend adding the espresso in tiny amounts until you achieve the strength of coffee you prefer.

Finally, give all the ingredients a stir and your iced latte is ready! As with iced coffee, you should always add your preferred sweetener to the espresso before pouring it over the ice-cold milk. Another trick to make your latte more flavorful is to add vanilla extract to the milk.

Now that you know how an iced latte is prepared, you’re probably wondering how a hot latte is made. Well in the case of hot latte, the same combination of milk and espresso is used. The only difference is that instead of chilling the milk, it’s steamed.

Is Iced Latte Coffee?

Based on the definition we provided earlier, an iced latte is a form of a coffee drink. It’s made by mixing milk with espresso, which is itself a type of coffee. Espresso is normally brewed by running hot water through coffee grounds at very high pressure and speed. This is why you need a special piece of equipment like an espresso machine.

Also worth pointing out is that the coffee beans used to prepare espresso are roasted for a much longer time than those used in making drip coffee. Plus, they’re ground more finely.

Enjoy a delicious cup of iced latte!

Is Iced Latte Bad For You?

No, it’s not. Based on the ingredients you use, an iced latte is actually better for your health than other coffee drinks.

For one, iced latte contains espresso which – depending on how it’s prepared-  is lower in caffeine than a normal cup of coffee. Most people assume that espresso has more caffeine but this is not entirely true. It may be more concentrated but as explained later in the article, this doesn’t mean it has more caffeine than brewed coffee.

Why is this important? Despite the benefits of coffee that we mentioned earlier, drinking too much caffeine can have adverse health effects. Not only can it cost you your sleep but it also triggers addiction. So the smaller amount of caffeine in espresso really helps.

Another reason why we recommend iced latte is because it contains a generous amount of milk. If you use whole milk to prepare your latte, you’ll be getting an excellent balance of fats, proteins, and sugar.

Of course, there are those who prefer skimmed or semi-skimmed milk because of the lower fat content. But overall, adding milk to your coffee has indispensable health benefits.

For one, it’s a good source of calcium- a nutrient that’s vital for developing strong bones. Milk is also rich in B vitamins like B-2, which helps in energy production and B-12, which aids in the creation of new red blood cells.

Does Iced Coffee Have More Caffeine Than Iced Latte?

If you’re worried about the side effects of taking too much coffee, you probably want to know which of the two drinks has lower caffeine content. Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as ABC.

Determining which coffee drink is higher in caffeine will depend on several variables such as the serving size and brewing technique employed.

With reference to serving size, a single shot of espresso contains approximately 40 mg of caffeine in each ounce. Contrary, a brewed cup of coffee has about 10 mg of caffeine per ounce. By concentration, it’s evident that espresso has more caffeine. However, iced latte contains only a small proportion of the espresso meaning it could be lower in caffeine compared to a cup of iced coffee.

The caffeine level will also be determined by the type of coffee roasts used. If you use darker coffee roasts for your espresso, these usually have lower caffeine than their lighter counterparts. The same applies to the coffee roasts used to prepare your iced coffee.

The brewing time also plays an important role. If you brew coffee for longer, then it will have higher caffeine content. This means that if you brew coffee using a drip system- which takes about 5 minutes- the resulting beverage will be high in caffeine. Thus, it all depends on the ingredients used, brewing technique and duration.

Do You Steam Milk for an Iced Latte?

If you’ve ever ordered a hot latte before, then you’re probably familiar with how it’s made. This entails pouring hot, frothy milk into a cup with espresso. But for an iced latte, you don’t need to steam your milk because it’s simply going to melt the ice.

Instead, you should always use cold/chilled milk for lattes. The fact that you don’t have to use steamed milk helps you save time. Even better, you will have fewer utensils to clean up as you don’t need to use a milk steamer.

Can You Use Instant Coffee to Make Iced Latte or Iced Coffee?

Sure, you can use instant coffee to make both iced latte and iced coffee. In the case of an iced latte, this means using instant coffee instead of ground coffee when making your espresso. Just be sure to up the instant coffee to water ratio to concentrate the flavor.

Although instant coffee provides similar benefits as the ground, it doesn’t yield the exact same results when it comes to iced lattes.

Here’s the deal: making espresso requires you to use an espresso machine to help you achieve the dense and thick layer of foam (crema) on top. So even though it’s possible to concentrate the flavor and make a strong espresso shot, it won’t have the trademark crema.

Also, the instant coffee powder can never provide the deep aroma and flavor of ground coffee beans. There’s just something about using fresh coffee beans that makes espresso unique.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t use instant coffee to make an iced latte. There are instances where this alternative comes in handy. For one, it’s much easier to prepare and takes a shorter time to brew. It’s also cheaper and has a slightly smaller caffeine content than regular coffee beans.

In the case of iced coffee, using instant coffee powder doesn’t lead to a very huge difference. If all you want is a simple and quick coffee drink, instant coffee works just as effectively as the ground option.

Final Thoughts

The difference between an iced latte and iced coffee boils down to the milk content. Iced coffee is your ordinary cup of coffee that has been poured over ice. However, it can be sweetened (using sugar) or flavored by adding a little bit of milk on top.

On the contrary, an iced latte is a blend of an espresso shot and chilled milk. So while you can forego using milk in iced coffee, it’s a core ingredient when making an iced latte.

We love iced coffee and iced latte - but, what are the differences?
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