Difference Between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee


All over the world, there’s substantial confusion over the nomenclature pertaining to coffee. There’s simple coffee, simple latte and there are many variants, just like the single, double and triple shot espresso. Some people simply don’t want to know the difference as long as they get served what they like. That is a saner approach because there’s so much to know about food and beverages, it is almost impossible for anyone to know everything about the stuff we eat and drink.

Latte and coffee are essentially the same and yet they are different. Iced latte and iced coffee are similar in many ways and different owing to many attributes. Before we delve into the substantial difference between iced latte and iced coffee, let us explain what they are.

Iced Latte: Explained

There is no standard recipe for iced latte that is endorsed or practiced all around the world. Since recipes vary, let us confine our discussion to what is popular in the United States. Iced latte will comprise an espresso shot blended with chilled milk. The mixture will be poured onto ice. You may wonder what a hot latte is since there is an iced latte. In case of hot latte, the same mixture of espresso and milk is used but the latter is steamed instead of chilled. Many baristas use frozen espresso to make iced latte to avert any chance of the coffee being warm.

It must be noted that there are differences in the recipes of iced latte across the country as well. The quality of the espresso, whether you use beans or coffee powder, what kind of coffee and what type of milk you use, everything may vary. Even the quantity of ice against the quantum of coffee may vary from one barista to another. Iced latte comes in myriad flavors courtesy syrups and flavoring extracts.

Iced Coffee: Explained

Iced coffee is nothing but water and coffee with some ice in a glass. While that may sound extremely simple, it is not so easy. For good quality iced coffee, you need to know the perfect ratio. Usually, for one cup of water you would require about one and a half tablespoons of strong coffee powder or granules. You need to heat water till it is warm to about ninety degrees (F). Pour the water while there’s some steam onto the coffee and cover it with a wrap. You need to leave this mixture overnight or for eight hours. Once the mixture is set, you can pour it into a pitcher through a filter or sieve. Take some ice, as much as you want, in a glass and pour the coffee mix into it. You have iced coffee. You can use flavors of your choice. You may choose to add some milk, extra sugar or any other suitable ingredient that suits your palate.

Difference Between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee

• Iced latte cannot be made without milk. It needs cold or chilled milk. Iced coffee has no such requisite. This wouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone who knows Italian or the origin of latte. In Italian, ‘latte’ is ‘milk’.

• Iced latte can be made with any type of coffee, including instant coffee. Iced coffee needs granules. Instant coffee or even beans wouldn’t work really well for instant coffee.

• Iced latte can be made in a few minutes. Iced coffee will require the overnight or eight hour long natural blending. You cannot speed up the natural blending process in any way. Intervention of any sort will simply mess up the recipe. Since there is no other ingredient, especially milk, in iced coffee, you need to rely on the ratio of the water and coffee resulting in the blend to give you that kick. Ice will only make the drink cooler.

Iced latte is thus a drink you can make quickly and have it on the go. You can also have iced coffee on the go, provided you have worked the previous night and have the blend ready. This is not a concern or an uphill task for anyone who loves coffee. Just preparing the blend before going to bed is as easy as turning off the lights just before you crash.

Iced latte and iced coffee are both very popular beverages. Those who don’t like milk would almost always settle for iced coffee when there is a choice between these two. Those who love milk or are not lactose intolerant can always go for iced latte but may choose iced coffee instead. Many people don’t like the idea of consuming more calories in the form of milk.

At the end of the day, the choice of beverage is personal. It would just help to know the actual difference so we can appreciate the drink a little more.