Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Iced coffee and iced latte may sound like similar drinks, but that’s not the case. If you’re a genuine coffee lover, then you might already know this. As for those who don’t, it’s time to get to the bottom of the topic – Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

First of all, both beverages don’t use the same ingredients. That means the flavors and characteristics are different. And since these two are the most favorite iced caffeine-infused drinks for the summer, it’s only natural to want to know the difference.

Let’s get started then!

Iced Latte - What Is It?

Iced Latte

It’s chilled and made using chilled milk and 1 or 2 espresso shots. Espresso is the base here, mostly frozen espresso is added because that eliminates all chances of the iced beverage becoming warm rather than remaining cold. And sometimes even ice blocks are used. You can even enjoy your iced latte with additional syrups or extracts.

Now let me tell you that iced latte and original latte are not the same either. The latter involves steamed milk. Another difference between an iced latte and an original latte is that the original version has milk foam. That means latte art is not a part of iced latte.

Iced Latte - What Is the Flavor Like?

The best word to describe the iced latte flavor is distinctive. The drink consists of huge amounts of milk, so it’s only natural for the sweetness of milk to stand out. This means the coffee flavor gets dialed down by all the milk. Resulting in a smooth flavor.

So if you love coffee but your sensitive tummy cannot tolerate its acidity and full strength, then iced latte is the best for you.

Even the texture of iced latte is different from iced coffee. It’s velvety and smooth. All thanks to the high quantity and thick quality of milk. So don’t expect your iced latte to be as runny or liquidy as iced coffee.

Iced Latte - How to Make It?

Needless to say, there isn’t a standard recipe for preparing delicious iced latte. But there is one that most iced latte lovers seem to enjoy.

That said, here is the ultimate recipe for the most exquisite iced latte…

  • Use a tall glass for the drink. Fill this glass with ice cubes.
  • Then add your freshly prepared espresso shot in the glass. You can add 1 or 2 shots; that’s entirely up to you.
  • Now use a shaker for blending milk with sugar or any other sweetener. Shake it well. Once there’s a thick, creamy foam layer at the top, you can stop shaking.
  • Then pour this mixture of milk and sweetener into the tall glass with ice cubes and espresso.
  • And then simply just devour your delicious iced latte.

The iced beverage, more often than not, tastes like the sweetened version of milk. The flavor, acidity, and strength of the coffee hardly come through. If you prepare your iced latte properly, the drink can even produce a caramel-like palate. And this might seem a bit surprising if it’s your first time drinking an iced latte.

Once again I mention that iced latte is the most suitable option for those who love coffee but simply cannot tolerate its high acidity, high strength, and overpowering flavor.

Hence, it’s a good choice for children too who want to indulge a bit. As long as you’re using decaffeinated instant coffee, it’s all good for your kid. That means very minimal to zero caffeine and plenty of healthy milk.

Iced Coffee - What Is It?

Iced Coffee - What Is It?

A broad variety of drinks are termed as iced coffee. But, for the most part, iced coffee refers to the chilled version of brewed or regular coffee. That means iced coffee consists of nothing but coffee mixed with ice cubes and water in a tall glass.

However, to be honest, it’s not as simple as that. Preparing good quality, delicious iced coffee can be a little more taxing. Because you have to keep in mind the optimal water, coffee, and ice ratio. Too much ice or water results in your coffee tasting plain. A tasteless drink is also a possibility.

Most people who go for iced coffee want to enjoy a strong flavor of coffee that’s served chilled.

You can prepare iced coffee with regular coffee or espresso. In the case of the latter, espresso is the base, right? That means iced coffee becomes an iced Americano. And, needless to say, you can enjoy your iced coffee with more than just one single shot of espresso. It all depends on how strong you want your coffee to be.

As for preparing iced coffee with regular coffee, the method gets slightly more complicated. You have to let regular coffee cool down for as much as 8 hours. And for brewing, the water temperature needs to be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

All that said, it’s obvious that iced coffee contains no milk. But you can add milk if that’s how you like it. Many coffee lovers add sugar or other sweeteners as well. Even some cream is preferred by many.

Iced Coffee - What Is the Flavor Like?

Typically speaking, the flavor of iced coffee is more prominent and stronger. The exotic flavor of coffee with all its acidity, bitterness, and slight sweetness.

And in terms of texture, iced coffee is much like any liquid drink. Since there’s no use of milk, the only-water content doesn’t change the texture.

Iced Coffee - How to Make It?

Is it as simple as taking the ingredients, putting them in a tall glass, and stirring? Fortunately and surprisingly, the answer is YES. But only for those who don’t want to blend the coffee for 8 hours.

So here are the simple, quick instructions…

  • You start by brewing regular coffee. Make sure this is strong coffee since most of it is going to get diluted later on. 
  • You can feel free to add cream or milk; that’s your choice.
  • Add the ice cubes and sugar or sweetener.
  • And that’s about it.

No doubt, this is a stronger version of coffee. That explains why so many people add some milk into the beverage for balancing out the high strength of the coffee.

One thing you should keep in mind is to savor the drink before the ice cubes melt completely. Otherwise, the coffee becomes very diluted and starts to taste weird.

So if your tummy can handle the acidity and your taste buds can enjoy the bitterness, then iced coffee is the way to go. But you know there is a way to reduce the bitterness of your coffee in case you’re not so fond it.

So, to sum it up, iced coffee is the most preferred iced beverage for summer days.

Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Pouring Milk in Cold Brew Coffee

Milk

For preparing iced latte, the milk foam is necessary. It’s the special ingredient responsible for making the beverage creamy. There’s no latte if there’s no milk.

On the contrary, iced coffee is prepared without using any milk. Those who love stronger-tasting coffee, don’t even think of adding milk. But if you wish to balance out the stronger flavor, then there’s no harm in making your iced coffee with a little bit of milk.

Type of Coffee

An espresso shot or instant coffee is used for preparing iced latte. It’s the best iced version for coffee drinkers who don’t have the time or patience to brew.

As for iced coffee, granulate coffee is a must. Coffee beans are much-needed in this case, which means instant coffee doesn’t do the trick. You have to brew regular coffee for making iced coffee. And if you’re skipping this part, then what you’re preparing is not really iced coffee.

Blending

With an iced latte, you only need a few minutes. After all, you just have to add coffee, milk, and ice cubes. Then stir and that’s it.

But iced coffee takes more time to prepare. I mean 8 hours of blending is a long time. That means making your drink at night. And then allowing it to settle while you’re sleeping. So you can wake up to ready-to-drink iced coffee in the morning.

But that’s only if you’re a genuine coffee lover. Most people just prepare iced coffee in a few minutes. Much like any version of a latte.

Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee - Which Has More Caffeine?

This entirely depends on the coffee you’re using. If you’re brewing the regular way, then it’s more difficult to determine the caffeine level of your drink. And that’s because the method of cold brewing tends to work slower with caffeine.

Another factor to consider is how strong or light you want your coffee to be. That said, I can give you a general idea. Normal espresso contains about 120 to 170 milligrams of caffeine. So if you’re going with just one espresso shot, then your iced latte contains that much amount of caffeine.

What about iced coffee? Every 2 teaspoons of filter coffee contain around the same level of caffeine as a single shot of espresso. That is between 120 and 170 milligrams. The caffeine content here can be slightly higher because the coffee stays in contact with water for a longer time.

But if you’re using half a cup of filtered coffee for your iced coffee, then the caffeine level gets cut down by half the amount mentioned.

Also, Arabica coffee is infused with less caffeine in comparison to Robusta coffee beans. The latter contains double the amount of caffeine than the former. This means Robusta is less sweet and more bitter.

The End Note

In the end, I would just like to say that both iced latte and iced coffee are very delicious caffeine-infused beverages. The only similarity is that both consist of cold coffee with ice. But the rest of the ingredients are different.

An iced latte is a more palatable and sweeter choice because it’s got milk. And it doesn’t tend to upset the tummy as much as iced coffee that offers a stronger flavor, more bitterness, and high acidity. So it all boils down to your personal preferences.

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