Cold coffee is a refreshing drink and a great way to get a jumpstart on your day.
But with so many options, from cold brews to iced espresso, it can take a lot of work to tell each one apart.
This article will discuss two of the most popular iced drinks: an iced latte vs. an iced coffee.
But, in a nutshell, the main difference between them is that an iced latte is made with espresso and cold milk, while an iced coffee is made with brewed coffee.
Though, that’s just scratching the surface. Continue reading, and we’ll dive deep into all of their differences.
I even included a quick recipe for making iced lattes and iced coffees at home!
Table of Contents
What Is An Iced Latte?
An iced latte is a coffee drink made by mixing espresso, cold milk, and ice.
It is similar to a regular latte but is served over ice to make it cold.
The result is a refreshing and invigorating drink perfect for enjoying a hot summer day.
The proportions of espresso, milk, and ice can vary, so you can adjust the flavor and strength of the drink to your liking.
Adding flavored syrups or spices to iced lattes is a great way to give them a unique twist. When I was a barista, an iced vanilla latte was almost as popular as the hot version.
A personal favorite is an iced hazelnut latte. The combination of espresso, milk, and sweet nuttiness is just perfect. I also like adding a touch of maple syrup in the fall.
Pro tip: Iced cappuccinos and iced macchiatos are essentially the same as iced lattes. The only small difference is when the espresso is added to the mix. There isn’t steamed milk involved, so the differences are minimized.
How To Make An Iced Latte
Okay, let’s make an iced latte.
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Mixing glass (optional)
You need a good espresso coffee as the base for this drink, so having a good espresso machine is important. Or at least a machine that makes a tasty concentrated coffee.
Also, you can use any type of milk that you want. It can be anything from whole milk to almond milk to oat milk; just have something on-hand.
The mixing glass is optional. Sometimes I like to mix the espresso and milk before pouring it over ice. That way, it all gets mixed evenly, and you don’t end up with a mouthful of just espresso or milk.
And here’s how you make it:
- Pull your espresso shot. Remember, this can also just be a concentrated coffee. But an espresso coffee is the best.
- Fill a glass with a few ice cubes.
- Pour your milk over the ice cubes until about ¾ full.
- Once your espresso is finished, pour over the milk and serve.
And seriously, that’s all it takes.
It’s a very simple drink. There’s a reason it’s such a staple on coffee shop menus around the world.
What Is An Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is a coffee drink made by brewing coffee using hot water and then pouring it over ice.
The result is a refreshing iced drink similar to an iced latte but with a few key differences that separate them.
Iced coffee is similar to regular hot coffee, but it’s cold, which gives it a crisp flavor.
The strength and flavor of the iced coffee can vary depending on the type of coffee beans used and the brewing method so that you can adjust it to your liking.
Some people also like to add milk, sugar, or flavorings to their iced coffee to give it a unique twist. I find that just a splash of milk is usually enough to spice things up.
Pro tip: Iced coffee is different from a cold brew. While iced coffee is hot-brewed coffee poured over ice, cold brew is coffee brewed with cold water. It’s a minor but important distinction.
How To Make An Iced Coffee
Iced coffee drinks are easier to make- that’s mostly because iced coffees don’t require making an espresso.
Iced coffees are just made with brewed coffee, so you don’t need a fancy espresso machine. In fact, you can use your preferred brewing method for making any iced coffee.
Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Ground Coffee
- Brewing method or coffee brewer
- Ice, plus extra ice for serving
Now, iced coffee can be made with any type of coffee. However, I recommend using coffee that has a rich and bold flavor. That’s because iced coffee gets watered down in the serving process.
A coffee with a rich and bold flavor will hold up better once it gets a little watery.
And that’s why it’s different from cold brew coffee. If we were making cold brew, I would recommend a lighter and brighter coffee because, with the cold brew method, the coffee doesn’t get as watery.
Here’s how I make iced coffee:
- Brew coffee. As I said earlier, brew coffee however you’re most comfortable. I like using a French Press for iced coffees because it’s easier to control the taste.
- Fill a glass to the brim with ice. It’s important to use a lot of ice. The goal is to cool down the coffee quickly; the more ice you have, the quicker the coffee will cool down.
- Pour the freshly brewed coffee onto the ice. It is inevitable that some of the ice will melt- that’s normal.
- Fill to the brim with ice (if needed). Because some of the ice will melt when you pour the coffee, you can refill the glass with extra ice if you want.
- Serve. A splash of your favorite milk is a good way to add flavor to your iced coffee.
The Main Difference Between Iced Lattes Vs. Iced Coffees
The main difference between an iced coffee and an iced latte is the coffee used.
An iced latte is made with espresso and cold milk, while an iced coffee is typically made with brewed coffee poured over ice.
This gives the iced latte a richer, creamier flavor, while the iced coffee has a bold and more intense flavor.
An iced latte will have a smoother and creamier flavor and texture than iced coffee. That’s because an iced latte will have a higher ratio of coffee to milk than an iced coffee.
Iced coffee doesn’t need any milk if you don’t want any. Black iced coffees are still popular.
Think of it like this: Iced lattes are made with espresso, and iced coffees are made with filter coffee.
Can you use instant coffee to make iced coffee?
Yes, you can use instant coffee to make iced coffee.
To make iced coffee using instant coffee, mix the instant coffee granules with a small amount of hot water to dissolve them, and then add the mixture to a glass filled with ice.
You can also add milk, sugar, or flavorings to your iced coffee to spice things up.
Keep in mind that the flavor of iced coffee drinks made with instant coffee may not be as bold or intense as iced coffee made with freshly brewed coffee, but it is still a quick and easy way to make a refreshing iced coffee at home.
Does an iced latte have more caffeine than an iced coffee?
Yes, an iced latte typically has a higher caffeine content than an iced coffee.
An iced latte is made with espresso, which has a higher concentration of caffeine than brewed coffee.
A single shot of espresso typically contains about 64 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine on average.
This means that an iced latte will have more caffeine per serving than an iced coffee unless the iced coffee is made with a larger amount of coffee.
However, the amount of caffeine in your iced latte or iced coffee will depend on the type of coffee beans used, the brewing method, and the serving size.
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