If you crave a bit of caffeination without strong coffee flavors, a latte might be the perfect drink for you.
Milky and delicious, the latte is a perfect gateway into the java jungle. But what exactly is in a latte, and how much caffeine can you expect to find in this creamy beverage?
What Type of Coffee Is in a Latte?
A latte is a mix of espresso and milk. The difference between lattes is how much espresso the barista puts in the beverage.
Some baristas make lattes using one shot of espresso. Others use a double shot… or even three shots.
Generally, a cafe will have an established espresso-to-milk ratio for lattes.
My experience suggests that your local coffee shop probably uses a double shot as the standard for a latte. A Starbucks latte, on the other hand, uses one or two shots depending on the beverage size.
If you buy a latte from a vending machine, say from a gas station, it becomes harder to determine coffee content.
How Much Caffeine Is in a Latte?
A single shot of espresso contains about 65 mg of caffeine. Milk does not contain caffeine. So if a barista makes your latte with one shot, your drink will have about 65 mg of caffeine.
But the answer can get more complicated depending on your latte order.
As I mentioned, you can get a doppio, or double shot, which increases the amount of caffeine to an average of 130 mg. If you get three shots in a latte, expect about 195 mg of caffeine.
Also, several factors influence how much caffeine a single shot of espresso contains.
First, the volume of espresso in a shot varies from cafe to cafe. The region, bean varietal, and roast will also impact bean boost.
Coffee beans from some countries have more caffeine, often depending on the species. Robusta coffee beans have more caffeine than Arabica beans. And light roasts have a bit more than dark roast coffee.
You also need to consider the caffeine content of flavor add-ins. Sprinkling cinnamon on your latte won’t change the drink’s caffeine levels. But adding chocolate syrup will.
How Much Caffeine Is in a Decaf Latte?
A popular myth is that decaf coffee is caffeine free. It’s not. Even in the best decaf coffee, you will still find some caffeine.
The amount of caffeine in a decaf latte can start at 10 mg. If you’ve ordered a double shot, expect 20 mg. And if your decaf latte has three shots you can expect about 30 mg of caffeine.
These measurements may seem tiny compared to regular coffee. But if you’re sensitive to caffeine, know that you can still get a boost from decaf coffee. That includes even a weak decaf latte.
Are Lattes Strong?
In terms of flavor, a latte is the weakest coffee beverage you can get. Especially in single-shot lattes, the milk will overwhelm the coffee taste.
Your caffeine intake from that kind of latte will also be low.
If you’re looking for a stronger drink similar to a latte, you might want to try a cappuccino.
A cappuccino contains the same volume of coffee as a latte but uses foam rather than steamed milk. So you’ll get less creaminess and more coffee taste.
But if you want a creamy beverage rather than a coffee-forward drink, no judgment. Order a latte for easy drinking.
How much caffeine a latte contains depends on how much espresso it uses.
If you start with one shot in your latte, your caffeine intake may be as little as 65 mg.
But three shots would boost the caffeine content of your latte to around 200 mg. That would cap how many lattes you can safely enjoy at about two a day, depending on your caffeine tolerance.