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

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Have you ever wondered about the difference between an iced coffee and an iced latte? Both types of drinks have similarities in both taste and appearance. So what’s the real difference? Read our article on Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte to learn more!

Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte: What's the Difference?
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Although you might consider yourself a coffee aficionado, it’s pretty common to get confused between an iced coffee and an iced latte. No one can blame you—they both have ice, they both have caffeine content, and they both have milk. 

As a coffee drinker, it is nice to learn about the difference between iced coffee and iced latte so you’ll know which one to order on your next visit to Starbucks or other favorite coffee shop. And although they may look similar, both coffee drinks are actually very different from each other. Let’s dive into the ingredients and major differences!

What is an Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is the chilled version of brewed or regular coffee. You can drink it as is—over ice, which is also called “black” or you can mix it with milk or a sweetener. Simply put, iced coffee is the term that is generally used when referring to coffee beverages that are served cold. 

Even without an espresso machine, you can easily make iced coffee by using a french press or using a cold brew coffee or pour-over method. As long as you have coffee beans, a good grinder, water, and ice cubes, you’re good to go! 

Iced Coffee Recipes

Caramel Iced Coffee

Fizzy Iced Coffee

Vegan Iced Coffee with Oat Milk

German Iced Coffee

Instant Iced Coffee

Hazelnut Iced Coffee

What is an Iced Latte?

Iced latte is a cold coffee drink which is made up of ice, a shot of espresso, and cold milk. Since this is an espresso-based drink, you’ll be needing an espresso machine for this. If you are not familiar with espresso, it is made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground beans. Hence, some people prefer using frozen espresso for iced lattes to keep the drink cold. You can freeze espresso in ice cube trays for this purpose.

You can also customize your iced latte and add more flavor by adding flavored syrups and trying out a large variety of different recipes.

Iced Latte Recipes

Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Latte

Iced Vanilla Latte

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Iced Vanilla Latte

The Differences Between an Iced Coffee and an Iced Latte

The main difference between the two is that iced coffee uses brewed coffee while an iced latte uses espresso. The brewing method for both iced drinks highly affects the amount of coffee that is produced, which also determines the amount of milk needed. Since iced lattes use a shot or two of espresso, more milk is added which gives it a smooth and velvety texture. On the other hand, iced coffee has a more liquid texture since it has more water and less milk.

In terms of taste, iced coffee provides a more prominent and stronger taste of coffee and it can also sometimes be acidic, bitter, or slightly sweet depending on the type and amount of the coffee beans that you use. An iced latte, since it uses a huge amount of milk, tones down the taste of the coffee which results in a milky, yet smooth, flavor. If your stomach cannot tolerate the acidity and strength of coffee, iced latte is a better option. You might actually love how the milk compliments the taste of the espresso. 

Which is Healthier: Iced Coffee or Iced Latte?

The question of which is healthier can be subjective! Depending on your recipe, the amount of milk you use, the syrups and other flavorings you add, you can determine which is healthier.

But, if we simply look at a regular iced latte vs a regular iced coffee recipe, iced coffee tends to be healthier as it usually contains less milk which makes it lesser in calories. For a regular iced latte, the milk ratio is usually ¾ . 

You can lessen your calorie intake by using milk options that have a lower calorie content like skim milk and almond milk. But, if you would really like to consume the least possible amount of calories, opt for iced black coffee and avoid using sweeteners.

Which is Stronger: Iced Coffee or Iced Latte?

Since espresso is concentrated, it has more caffeine content than regular brewed coffee. An ounce of espresso in an iced latte has 30 mg of caffeine, while an ounce of brewed coffee in an iced coffee has 8 mg of caffeine. This is why espresso is served in smaller amounts and is mixed with a huge amount of milk when making an iced latte. This is to avoid you from consuming too much caffeine!

Basically, the strength of iced coffee and an iced latte can be the same, but can also vary. For instance, if you want to awaken yourself, you may choose to add a double shot of espresso in your iced latte to make it stronger. So, whether iced coffee or iced latte is stronger depends on the amount of coffee that you put in your beverage.

What Are Some Other Iced Coffee Drinks?

If you feel like exploring other types of coffee, you can level up your coffee experience by trying other beverages like iced macchiato, iced cappuccino, or an iced mocha

Iced macchiato, like iced latte, uses a combination of milk, espresso, and ice, but has more espresso and less milk. It is usually served in a clear glass to show the layers of milk and espresso. Some even prefer topping the iced macchiato with a syrup to make it sweeter and to add flavor. One of the most popular is an iced caramel macchiato (one of my personal faves!).

Iced cappuccino is a mixture of milk and espresso, and is topped with a milk foam. Milk foam can be created by using a simple handheld milk frother.

For those who love chocolatey drinks but also want coffee, an iced mocha is the perfect option. It is a combination of coffee, milk, and chocolate sauce. You can also top it with whipped cream for an extra treat!

In Conclusion

Iced coffee is a delicious drink that can be easily made to keep yourself awake and going throughout the day. It’s not too complicated as it is simply coffee and milk over ice. Although there are different ways and technicalities in creating this iced beverage, always remember that a good cup of coffee is the coffee that you most enjoy drinking!

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