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Beans & Grounds | Blog

Iced Latte VS Iced Coffee: What’s Different?

As a coffee lover, I have spent close to a lifetime experimenting with different cold coffee drinks. This ranges from a refreshing iced caramel macchiato to a classic iced cappuccino.

What’s your favorite iced coffee drink? A regular iced coffee or an iced latte?

An iced latte is a personal love of mine and is always a classic at cafes worldwide.

Iced coffee is more of a general category of different coffee drinks involving ice. These are both refreshing choices with the power to jumpstart your mornings.

What’s the difference though? Is it just milk? Read on to check out our guide on iced coffee vs iced latte.

iced coffee vs latte

Key Takeaways: Iced coffee VS Iced latte 

  • An iced latte contains milk, so it has more calories.
  • You do not need espresso or milk to make iced coffee drinks.
  • Iced lattes contain less caffeine than iced coffee since less coffee is used.
  • The number of calories in your cup depends on the milk and sugar added.

What Is An Iced Coffee?

An iced coffee includes any kind of regular brewed coffee cooled with ice. It is a good idea to allow your coffee to cool close to room temperature before adding ice. Cooled brewed coffee tastes less diluted. Another suggestion is to fill ice cube trays with coffee.

Otherwise, your cup of coffee may be too diluted and lacks a strong coffee flavor.

Some coffee aficionados enjoy adding sugar, milk, or other additives. If you find iced coffee to be too bitter, feel free to add your favorite coffee syrup to balance out the flavor.

Your favorite coffee shop should have plenty of options.

It is possible to add a splash of condensed milk for a hint of sweet creaminess. For example, it is common in tropical countries like Thailand and Vietnam to add condensed milk to their favorite coffee. You should do this before adding ice to the drink.

It is a good idea to experiment and learn about different brews. You can brew iced coffee with a V60 pour over, Chemex, or any kind of drip coffee maker. Coffeemakers that produce regular coffee work too.

Is cold brew the same as iced coffee?

Cold brew is not made with drip coffee. Cold brew coffee is made in a process where coffee grinds are immersed in water for 12+ hrs.

To make cold brew coffee, immerse coffee beans in water for 12-24 hours in a Toddy or other cold brew coffee maker.

However, with iced coffee, you can serve it as soon as the coffee is brewed.

If you like planning your coffees, you might like cold brew more than iced coffee. Why? Because you can make up to a week’s worth of cold brew in advance!

iced latte

What Is An Iced Latte

As its name suggests, an iced latte is made with espresso coffee and milk. Unlike a cafe latte, you might not want to use steamed or frothed milk. You can add the cold milk directly without additional steps.

An iced latte follows a general rule of thumb of a 1:3 coffee to milk ratio. This means two espresso shots to every 3/4 cup of milk. This resulting cup of coffee may be weak or diluted. If so, then you can add more coffee or less milk.

Although the process may seem intimidating, it’s easy to produce the same resulting delicious bold flavors from your favorite café in a home environment.

Almond milk and oat milk are two healthy options compared to whole milk.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, you might be able to achieve that iced latte taste with an AeroPress. An AeroPress makes concentrated coffee with a similar level of strength as an espresso. An immersion brewing method, like the French Press, works well too.

However, you may want to experiment with different iced latte recipes. There are plenty of iced coffee drinks to experience and enjoy.

Do you enjoy working with different coffee syrups and flavors? Then, an iced latte might be great for you.

For a twist, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, chai, and brown sugar to your iced latte. Some other delightful options include whipped cream and milk foam. The options for customization are endless.

The resulting mixture is energizing, bold, and zesty!

Another tip is to make coffee ice cubes of whatever brewed coffee you like to use. Then, drop this right into your iced drink. You will find this helps eliminate the issue of dilution.

These frozen coffee cubes are great in other iced espresso drinks, like an iced mocha.

Iced coffee VS Iced latte: The Differences

The most significant difference between an iced coffee vs iced latte is the coffee brewing process. Iced coffee can be produced with a drip or immersion brew, while an iced latte only takes espresso.

You also undergo a similar process to make an iced macchiato or iced cappuccino.

An iced latte must contain espresso.

Espresso coffee is a more concentrated form of coffee when compared to drip-brewed coffee. The added milk is used to offset the bitterness which comes from the espresso.

The ratio of coffee and milk also differs when looking at an iced latte compared to iced coffee. The amount of steamed and foamed milk in a latte is more than equal to the amount of coffee added.

On the other hand, iced coffee has at most 10% milk or other coffee syrups.

Some coffee lovers might find iced coffee to be more bitter as it contains more coffee vs an iced latte.

Related Reads: Iced Coffee VS Cold Brew, Iced Americano VS Coffee

 Is Iced Coffee Stronger Than An Iced Latte?

Espresso is typically considered stronger than drip coffee, so iced lattes are sometimes thought to be stronger. However, this is untrue.

For example, a Starbucks Grande Iced Coffee contains 165mg of caffeine. While the Starbucks Grande Iced Latte contains two espresso shots with 150mg of caffeine. If you choose to add a third shot of espresso to your iced latte, you will end up with 225mg of caffeine.

Ultimately, the caffeine content is dependent on the amount of coffee used. If you like to make your iced latte stronger, make it a double shot. What you might find great about these two iced drinks is the number of options available to you.

cold latte with ice

Is An Iced Coffee Healthier?

A Starbucks Grande Iced Latte contains 130 calories. The number of calories directly correlates with the amount of milk and sugar you add to your iced latte. Now, compare that to a Starbucks Grande Iced Coffee with only 80 calories.

You could even cut even more calories if you were to ask for no syrup. For instance, a Starbucks Grande Cold Brew only has 5 calories!

Iced lattes are notoriously calorie-heavy due to the milk added. You can experiment with alternative forms of milk, such as oat, almond, or coconut milk, to consume fewer calories.

Also, flavored syrups also add calories. For example, the Starbucks Grande Reserve Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte has 280 calories.

Worried about your sugar intake? You might choose to explore some different sugar-free syrup options.

So, what’s healthier? A regular coffee or a regular iced latte?

An iced coffee can be much healthier than an iced latte as it does not need sugar, syrup, or milk. Black coffee and ice have no calories.

As noted above, the total calories in your coffee are dependent on whatever you add in. The amount of milk, sugar, or syrup added can significantly affect the total number of calories.

Generally speaking, a cold brew is a great cold coffee alternative if you want to minimize your calorie intake.

Wrapping Up: Difference Between Iced Latte And Iced Coffee

Iced coffee and iced lattes are both great ways to beat the heat and enjoy a creamy, delicious cup of coffee.

The biggest difference between an iced coffee vs iced latte is what coffee brewing process you us,e and what gets added in.

While both coffees are strong, there is more caffeine in an iced coffee due to the beans used in the brewing process.

Whether you prefer espresso or drip coffee, there is an iced concoction for you.