What Are The Most Popular Types of Latte Flavors?
One of the many cool things about coffee is that you can customize your drink to suit you.
Whether you want it to be a natural expression of the coffee’s origin or you like adding something to make it sweet— there is no wrong way of doing it.
For those in the latter camp, one of the most popular choices is a flavored latte. Using a splash of flavor syrup, one can make their latte taste like pretty much anything! From chocolate and caramel to pumpkin spice and pistachio, the possibilities are almost endless.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of latte flavors.
Popular Types Of Lattes
There are a bunch of different latte recipes and ways of flavoring a latte.
Some cafes like to use simple syrups for their various latte flavors. These syrups are usually added to the espresso before pouring in the milk.
Other baristas might prefer powdered flavors, mixing a scoop of chocolate in the coffee drink.
The really high-end cafes often take it a step further, creating milk infusions. Vanilla-infused milk poured into a latte can be a heavenly experience for the taste buds!
Related read: flat white vs latte
Vanilla is one of the more subtle and probably most popular latte flavor. It adds some sweetness without being overwhelming. It also helps that vanilla has a more natural taste when compared to some other latte flavors.
While not all vanilla syrups are as natural as one might hope, certain brands do not add nonsense flavors. Some even offer a sugar-free version of their syrups.
You can easily make your own vanilla latte flavor by heating vanilla pods, sugar, and water. Another cool option is to infuse your milk with vanilla pods, creating a luxurious coffee drink.
When picking latte flavor syrups, you’ll probably see different variations of vanilla flavors; regular vanilla and French vanilla. Regular vanilla is what we’ve just spoken about— that straight-up vanilla taste.
French vanilla flavors are deeper, richer, and often sweeter versions of the original.
In the past, ordering a hazelnut latte would get you a regular latte made with dairy milk and a splash of hazelnut flavoring. Although, you can always swap the milk for almond if you like – your choice.
Basically, adding a hazelnut flavored syrup, sugar-free or regular, to either the milk or to the espresso coffee.
Nowadays, there are loads of awesome companies creating plant-based milk, many of whom create hazelnut milk. If you go into a specialty coffee shop and ask for a hazelnut latte, you’ll probably walk away with a drink made using one of these dairy alternatives. Almond milk is also pretty tasty.
The method you choose to ‘hazelnut your latte’ depends on the flavors you’re after. If you want it sweet, go with some latte flavor syrup. If you want some nuttiness without the overwhelming hazelnut flavor and the added sugar, give hazelnut milk a try.
Caramel is another of those flavors that just go so well with coffee. Along with vanilla, the caramel latte is one of the most popular latte flavors worldwide.
Adding a deep, buttery, caramel candy kind of vibe to coffee, caramel syrup is rich and sweet.
You can make a caramel latte by adding a splash of store-bought caramel syrup to your espresso, or you can make caramel yourself. Just heat up butter, sugar, and cream.
After a while of mixing, you’ll have yourself a glorious golden sauce, perfect for a latte, a cake…popcorn…whatever you want!
Most cafes use flavor syrups for these. If you wanted to get crazy and try the low-calorie version at home, try infusing your milk with cinnamon sticks, or add some powder directly to your espresso for a spicer, more intense drink.
Unlike the other latte flavors on the list, mocha latte recipes usually use powder rather than chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup can be used, for sure, but powder typically tastes the best.
For best results, the powder should be added to the milk before steaming. The act of steaming the milk and the flavor powder together creates velvety, rich milk that is just divine with a couple of shots of espresso.
This latte recipe can be made using regular cocoa powder, white chocolate, or even dark chocolate. Dark chocolate can be a good flavor for those wanting a sugar-free cafe mocha.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
In this cult classic, we find a couple of normal latte ingredients; steamed milk and espresso.
But among those are a few less common flavors— cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and even pumpkin…Sounding more like a dessert than a flavored latte, but hey— why not!? There are no rules when it comes to drinking coffee.
The pumpkin spice latte has one of the more complicated recipes on our latte list. It’s not a difficult drink to make, but it does use a few more ingredients than just flavored syrup.
Use a pumpkin spice flavor mix to speed things up if you’re in a hurry.
Coconut and coffee might not be the paring of the century— it’s no coffee and cocoa. But the flavors can work well when done right.
The best way to make a coconut flavored latte is by using coconut milk rather than coconut syrup.
Coconut syrup, for some reason, always tastes super artificial and just kind of odd. Coconut milk is naturally sweet and creamy.
It adds a subtle coconut flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the coffee like syrup tends to do.
Best of all, lattes made with coconut milk are comply dairy-free— perfect for those who prefer to go plant-based.
You’re no doubt familiar with pistachios as a nut.
Maybe you’ve even treated your taste buds to the wonder that is pistachio gelato? Among the list of pistachio flavored things are the rare and the curious pistachio flavored lattes.
The pistachio latte is another of those limited-time-only Starbucks things.
While you can make your own using pistachio favoured syrup, the Seattle coffee giant does theirs with a combination of salted brown butter and pistachio flavor, as well as a decent amount of sugar, no doubt.
If you make a pistachio latte at home, you could pick up sugar-free syrup, no problem.
With a subtle roasted nut flavor and plenty of sweetness, a pistachio latte has a much gentler nut flavor than the hazelnut latte.
What type of lattes does Starbucks have?
Love em’ or hate em’, Starbuck is undoubtedly the king of the favored lattes.
They have an entire research and development team whose job is to design new latte flavors. The pumpkin spiced latte wasn’t just a happy accident, nor was it a coincidence— it was a formulated latte recipe.
Not all of the beverages that Starbucks creates are on the everyday menu. Many are limited edition drinks that are only available seasonally. Their standard menu includes:
- Caffe Latte. Just a standard latte.
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Cinnamon and butter flavor latte, topped with whipped cream.
- Reserve Latte. This is a latte made using shots of ‘small-lot reserve’ espresso from the coffee machine.
- Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte. Here we have ‘reserve’ coffee combined with steamed, hazelnut-infused milk.
- Blonde Vanilla Latte. This is a latte made using ‘blonde’ roasted coffee beans combined with steamed milk and vanilla syrup.
- Caramel Macchiato. Though they call it a macchiato, it’s a flavored latte. Espresso and vanilla syrup combined with steamed milk, topped with caramel sauce.
- Caffe Mocha. Though the mocha isn’t technically a latte, it does use latte-style milk, so we’ll make an exception. This drink is a classic flavor combination of chocolate sauce, espresso coffee, and steamed milk. Usually, the caffe mocha comes topped with whipped cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ghetto latte?
The idea behind the ‘ghetto latte’ is saving some cash! So, ‘ghetto lattes’ come in many different forms.
It’s basically this: you go into a chain coffee shop and order a few shots of espresso over ice. Once you have your drink, head over to the condiments stand, and you should find a pitcher of milk (it’s free).
Go on and top up your cup with milk or cream, and you have yourself a half-priced iced latte! Add the flavors you want for free!
What is the most popular latte?
A caffe latte is the most popular coffee order in the US. Ask any barista, and they’ll verify.
But when it comes to latte flavors, the popularity is split between vanilla and caramel. Both can be made at home, and both can be done using sugar-free flavoring.
Specialty Coffee Expert (Ex-Barista & Coffee Trainer)
Beau is a writer and coffee professional with over 10 years of specialty coffee experience. From starting as a barista to becoming a coffee trainer across the last decade. If he’s not thinking about or brewing coffee, he’s probably gone skateboarding!