Content Summary

Don't know what type of latte to order or make at home? With so many different types of lattes, it can be difficult to choose. From traditional lattes and iced lattes to mocha and flat whites, there are plenty of options for the perfect cup.

We'll explore what makes each type unique and provide some tips on how to differentiate them. Read on for everything you need to know about the different kinds of latte drinks!

What Is A Latte?

1. The Ratio

A latte is an espresso combined with steamed milk with a ratio of 2 parts steamed milk to 1 part espresso, and topped with 1/2 part of foam.

It has more milk than espresso compared to other types of drinks. It also has less foam than a cappuccino. If you like coffee but don't want it to be too overpowering, this is your go-to drink! You can make it hot or cold depending on your preference.

Check out our full guide on: How To Make A Latte

2. The Taste

The taste of a latte can vary depending on the type of espresso used, what kind of milk is added, and what flavors are included. Generally speaking, lattes are much milder and sweeter due to the steamed milk.

3. The Size

You can get a latte in a variety of sizes, ranging from small, 8-ounce drinks to large, 20-ounce drinks.

4. Different Types

There are various types of latte.

  • A traditional latte is just espresso and steamed milk.
  • An iced latte is a traditional latte with cold milk and ice cubes.
  • A layered latte is made with espresso, steamed milk, and foam.
  • A flavored latte is made with flavored syrups such as mocha, caramel, hazelnut, or vanilla.
  • A latte macchiato is made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk, then topped off with thick foam.
  • A flat white—another popular variation is made without foam that has a stronger espresso flavor than regular lattes.
  • Non-coffee versions such as chai, beet, pumpkin, or matcha latte.

The Differences

1. Latte vs Latte Macchiato

A latte macchiato is an Italian-style espresso drink made by combining a double shot of espresso with hot milk and thick-frothed foam to give it a creamy texture.

In a latte macchiato, the espresso is added first, then steamed milk, and topped off with thick foam. This makes for an intense flavor profile as the espresso hits the tongue first followed by creamy steamed milk and velvety foam topping.

A latte is sweeter than macchiato lattes. It's is very similar to a latte macchiato, but with less foam and more milk. The steamed milk is added first followed by espresso shots and then topped off with just enough foam.

2. Latte vs Flat White

A flat white is essentially a latte without foam. The coffee and steamed milk are what make a flat white what it is. It has two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and no foam. This results in a stronger coffee taste compared to what you would get from a regular latte.

3. Latte vs Cortado

A cortado is an espresso with a small amount of steamed milk. It typically has 2 oz of espresso and 1 oz of steamed milk. It has a stronger coffee flavor than what you'd get with a latte, as the espresso isn't balanced out by the steamed milk.

4. Latte vs Mocha

A mocha differs from both lattes and macchiatos in that it contains both chocolate syrup (or cocoa powder) as well as espresso shots.

The chocolate syrup adds sweetness while adding depth of flavor while still keeping the same quantity of steamed milk as found in lattes or macchiatos.

5. Latte vs Cappuccino

A cappuccino differs from a latte because the amount of froth and milk used to make it creates a more intense flavor.

Cappuccino contains less milk and more frothed foam than a latte. The ratio for cappuccino is 1:1:1 (espresso : steamed milk : foam), which contrasts with the 1:2:1/2 proportion in a latte.

Tips & Tricks

  • Looking for a sweeter and creamier coffee drink? Add syrups like caramel, hazelnut, or vanilla to a latte.
  • Need an intensely flavored drink? Try a latte macchiato.
  • Like a strong latte flavor? Try a flat white.
  • Want a caffeine fix but don't like the sweetness of lattes? Try a cortado.
  • Searching for something sweet and creamy,? Try a mocha latte.
  • For a delightfully balanced coffee flavor, you can't go wrong with a cappuccino.
Specialty Coffee Drinks Explained - What is a Latte? | FreshGround Roasting

There you have it—the definitive guide to lattes. Whether you’re looking for something robust or something sweet and creamy, these variations on the classic cup of joe have you covered!

Need an espresso machine to make your lattes and other coffee drinks? Check out the blog post below and pick your favorite affordable gadget from our selection of best espresso machines under 100 USD.

Best Espresso Machine Under 100 US$: Jump Start Your Day
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, read on our finds of the 5 best espresso machines that are great value and up to the task for your morning wake-up drinks!

Make yourself one delicious cup of latte! Enjoy!

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