As the weather gets warmer, many coffee lovers turn to chilled beverages to satisfy their caffeine cravings.
Two popular options are the iced latte and the iced coffee. While they may seem similar at first glance, these drinks have distinct differences in preparation, taste, and texture.
In this Coffee Expert guide, we’ll explore the key differences between iced lattes and iced coffees to help you make an informed choice the next time you’re looking for a refreshing coffee-based drink.
Iced Latte: Components and Preparation
An iced latte is an espresso-based drink made with chilled milk poured over ice. Here’s a breakdown of the components and preparation process:
The base of an iced latte is a shot or two of espresso, providing a strong coffee flavour and a caffeine kick.
Cold milk is used in an iced latte, which can be any variety, including whole, skim, or plant-based options like almond or soy milk. The milk creates a creamy texture and balances the intensity of the espresso.
The drink is served over ice, which keeps it cold and refreshing.
To make an iced latte at home, simply pour a shot of espresso over ice, then top it with your choice of cold milk.
Iced Coffee: Components and Preparation
Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made with brewed coffee that has been chilled and poured over ice. Here’s a breakdown of the components and preparation process:
Optional Sweeteners and Flavourings
Iced coffee can be served black or with added sweeteners like sugar, honey, or flavoured syrups, as well as cream, milk, or a non-dairy alternative.
Like the iced latte, iced coffee is served over ice to keep it cold and refreshing.
To make iced coffee at home, prepare a batch of brewed coffee and let it cool to room temperature or chill it in the refrigerator. Once it’s cold, pour it over ice and add any desired sweeteners and milk or cream.
Key Differences Between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee
The primary difference between an iced latte and iced coffee is the base of the drink. An iced latte uses espresso, while iced coffee is made with brewed coffee.
Taste and Strength
Iced lattes tend to have a smoother, creamier taste due to the milk content, while iced coffees can vary in flavour and strength depending on the brewing method and coffee-to-water ratio.
Iced lattes have a creamier texture due to the milk, whereas iced coffees can be lighter and less creamy, especially when served black.
Both iced lattes and iced coffees can be customised with different types of milk, sweeteners, and flavourings to suit individual tastes.
Tips for Making the Perfect Iced Coffee or Iced Latte
To ensure you get the best iced coffee or iced latte experience, follow these tips:
Use Quality Coffee
Cool Your Coffee
For iced coffee, make sure to let the brewed coffee cool down to room temperature or refrigerate it before pouring over ice. This will prevent the ice from melting too quickly and diluting the drink.
Experiment with Flavours
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your iced latte or iced coffee by adding different sweeteners, syrups, or even spices. Some popular options include caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Use the Right Ice
Use large ice cubes to keep your drink cold without diluting it too much. Alternatively, you can make coffee ice cubes by freezing brewed coffee in an ice tray to add an extra coffee kick to your drink.
For a unique twist on your iced latte, try making cold foam by frothing cold milk with a milk frother or hand mixer. This adds a rich, velvety layer on top of your iced latte, enhancing its texture and appearance.
Our Conclusion on the Iced Latte vs. Iced Coffee
When it comes to choosing between an iced latte and iced coffee, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you enjoy the smooth, creamy taste and texture of a milk-based espresso drink, an iced latte may be your best bet.
On the other hand, if you prefer the taste of brewed coffee and want more control over the flavour and strength, an iced coffee may be a better choice.
Whatever your preference, both iced lattes and iced coffees offer refreshing options for coffee lovers looking to beat the heat.