Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: Know All The Differences

Updated on: April 21, 2022
If you click on a product while reading this article and decide to buy it, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for all your support!
Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee Get To Know All The Differences 2

You're probably in the market for new iced drinks and you're wondering what is the difference between the Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee drinks, that everyone is talking about before you finalize your decision!

One thing to keep in mind is that iced coffee is a bit of an umbrella term. There are many types of iced coffee out there, so you probably won't be surprised to know that iced coffees and iced lattes aren't exactly the same thing.

Even though some might use those two names interchangeably!

So, the main difference between the iced latte vs iced coffee is the substitution of drip coffee with espresso coffee and the addition of milk. However, some might argue that it's much more than just that.

Keep reading and you will learn all the differences between those two drinks.

What Is An Iced Coffee?

An iced coffee is simply a cold coffee version of your regular hot coffee. It's made by pouring boiling water through ground coffee beans into a glass or ceramic cup and then adding ice cubes.

Easier than you thought, right?!

The result is a cooled brewed coffee drink that has a crisp texture and is served chilled. Perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day!

Make sure you don't confuse an iced coffee with a cold brew. A cold brew is made differently and it involves steeping ground coffee in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. In this article, we will be discussing iced coffee and not cold brew coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee

What Is An Iced Latte?

An iced latte is similar to an iced coffee, except that it uses espresso coffee instead of drip coffee and cold milk is added to the drink. This means that when making the beverage, you'll need to pull the espresso shots first before adding the milk.

It's pretty much the same as a regular hot latte, but the milk is not frothed or steamed milk...

Once everything is mixed together, the resulting drink will be smooth, creamy, and revitalizing!

How Do They Taste?

When it comes to taste, many people consider iced coffees and lattes to be very similar. However, they’re actually quite different.

Although sugar can be added to any type of coffee, if you buy a store-bought iced coffee drink, it may be sweeter than regular coffee because of its added sweeteners. This is done because iced coffee tends to be stronger than regular hot coffee and the sugar or sweetener helps improve the flavor!

Depending on what kind of coffee you choose, you might also notice a slight hint of bitterness. 

In general, we recommend using light roast coffee beans. These lighter roasts give off less of a bitter flavor, which makes them perfect for iced coffees. 

Light Roast Medium Roast and Dark Roast

As for the iced latte, the same applies when it comes to store-bought drinks. They tend to have syrups or sugar added to them because the iced version of a regular latte tends to be a little less sweet since the milk is neither frothed nor steamed. But you can opt to have an iced latte without any sugar or sweetener added.

Did you know?
When you steam or froth milk, it gets sweeter because the heat breaks down and caramelizes the sugar in the milk!

Make sure you don't scald the milk as that would ruin the flavor completely.

Which One Has More Caffeine?

When it comes to iced coffees and iced lattes, the type and amount of coffee being used are different, so it is a little hard to decipher which one has more caffeine.

For example, one ounce of brewed coffee has around 14mg of caffeine, but one ounce of espresso coffee has around 63mg of caffeine. So from first glance, it appears that the iced latte has more caffeine, right?


Although espresso has more caffeine than brewed coffee, the amount of coffee being used in each drink is different.

A medium-sized iced coffee has about 12 oz of brewed coffee in it, which equates to 168mg of caffeine. While a medium-sized iced latte has 2 espresso shots, which is 2 ounces of espresso coffee and that equates to 126mg of caffeine!

So you can clearly see that iced coffees typically have more caffeine in them.

Espresso Coffee

Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte: What's The Difference?

As you can probably already tell, there are a few differences between an iced coffee and an iced latte. Here are some of the most important ones:

Drip Coffee Vs Espresso Coffee

One of the biggest differences between an iced coffee and an iced latte is the brewing technique. The drip coffee method is often used to make iced coffee and simply put, it’s the process of using a drip coffee maker or a pour-over

To get more technical about it, drip coffee relies on thermal pressure to push up through the head of the machine, and then out through the grounds.

You can make iced coffee with a drip pot at home, by substituting around 40% of your water for ice, and grinding your coffee slightly finer than you normally would. 

Espresso is much more concentrated and bitter than most drip coffee - that’s why it’s favored in lattes. Espresso is best made using an espresso machine or something similar, like an AeroPress.

This is what gives espresso its highly concentrated, ‘bounce off the walls’ appeal. 

Espresso Machine vs Drip Coffee Maker


The next difference between iced coffee and iced latte is their ingredients. Iced lattes include milk and espresso shots, whereas iced coffee only requires drip coffee. 

Caffeine Content

As we mentioned earlier, one drink deceivingly has more caffeine than the other! So if you want to get an iced latte but want more caffeine, then ask for an extra shot of espresso, or two.

Be warned though, too many shots of espresso and you could be flying off walls or flying through them, depends on how caffeine hits you... Haha!

Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: Which Is Better?

The answer to this question really depends on who you ask. Some people enjoy their iced coffees more than their iced lattes, while others prefer the opposite. However, if you're looking for something new and different, we recommend trying out both of them and experimenting with different flavored syrups and toppings.

For instance, sprinkling cinnamon or chocolate shavings on top of an iced latte would taste just heavenly. Or maybe adding brown sugar syrup to an iced coffee could add a nice twist to an otherwise boring summer drink!

Iced Caramel Macchiato
Iced Latte with Caramel Drizzle (Source: Starbucks)

Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee: Calorie Difference

If you're watching your waistline, this may be the most important question.

What’s the biggest difference between your iced coffee and your iced latte? It's the milk!

And so lattes are notoriously more calorific than your standard iced coffee.

Coffee contains virtually no calories until milk or sugar are added. Your latte will undoubtedly come with plenty of milk - and it’s this that can sneak its way onto your waistline. 

Remember: the number of calories in your iced coffee or latte will also depend on what type of milk you use, whether you take sugar, and whether you want any extra flavorings like vanilla or caramel.

In most cases, coffee-shop syrups include extra calories, unless you ask for a sugar-free syrup. And if you want to make your coffee at home, shop around for those sugar-free syrups, which come with minimal or no extra calories (yes, they exist, and they're still just as delicious!).

Keep on reading to learn how to make these iced coffee recipes!

How To Make An Iced Coffee At Home

How To Make An Iced Coffee At Home

I'm sure most coffee enthusiasts would agree that iced coffee tends to taste better when you pick it up from your favorite coffee shop.

However, if you're a keen coffee drinker, this expense can add up fast. So, why not try making your own iced coffee at home? 

Here's how to make an iced coffee at home:

Step 1: Brew

Your first step should be to brew your coffee using your preferred method or type of coffee maker. This could be a drip-coffee maker, pour-over coffee, or any other technique you like.

Step 2: Add To Glass

Now, you can go ahead and add your brewed coffee to your cup. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a great time to add sugar. Again, you can use either granulated sugar or flavored syrup. Either option works just fine. Experiment to find what suits your taste buds!

Step 3: Add Ice

Now, it’s time to add your ice. Pop this in the glass with your coffee and if you like, you can add milk on top for taste. You can even top your coffee off with some whipped cream or even better some homemade cold foam if you're feeling a little adventurous!

Remember: Lattes HAVE to be made with milk. However, iced coffee can be made without milk - we've just included it because it's a popular addition. So, feel free to skip the milk if you're watching your waistline, lactose intolerant, or on a health kick. 

Interesting Read: Fact or Fiction: Is Iced Coffee Illegal in Canada?

How To Make An Iced Latte At Home

How To Make An Iced Latte At Home

You'll be pleased to know that making an iced latte at home is just as simple as making an iced coffee! Here's how to make an icy latte at home:

Step One: Pull Your Espresso Shots

First things first, start by pulling your espresso shots using an espresso machine and espresso cups. However many you choose is up to you, but we recommend no more than a double shot. If you don't own an espresso machine, then make really strong brewed coffee instead.

Step Two: Add To Glass or Mug

Next up, you'll want to add your freshly pulled espresso shots to a tall glass or mug. Again, if you’re craving something sweet, this is a good time to add in any extra sugar or sweetener you might like. 

Step Three: Add Milk

Now it’s time for your most important ingredient - milk. Start gently pouring some fresh milk into your mug until it almost fills the glass. Just remember to leave a little room for the ice, otherwise, you’ll have a very messy kitchen counter to contend with. Stir the mixture thoroughly.

Step Four: Add Ice

Now, go ahead and add some ice to your creation, and there you have it! 

Can You Make Iced Coffees And Iced Lattes With Oat Milk?

If you don't drink cow's milk, then you'll be pleased to know that you can make your favorite iced coffee or iced latte WITHOUT cow's milk. In fact, oat milk is actually a perfect substitute for regular milk when it comes to making these drinks.

Here's why:

  • Oats contain beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol levels (1)
  • They also help reduce blood pressure (2)
  • They're packed full of fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller longer (3)

So, next time you're craving an iced coffee or iced latte, try using some oat milk instead of regular milk. We promise you won't regret it!

If you don't like oat milk, you can also try adding almond milk or soy milk to your iced coffee or iced latte. Just remember to keep the ratio of milk to coffee/latte around ⅓ espresso and ⅔ milk. 

Final Thoughts

Making iced coffees and iced lattes at home is easy! If you love iced coffee or iced lattes, then you'll definitely enjoy making them yourself.

And, since they're both super easy to make, you can whip them up in no time.

And, if you love buying these drinks from Starbucks, but want to try and save some money. Then you can still make the same delicious iced coffee or iced latte at home. Just follow our step-by-step instructions above, and you'll be good to go!

Felipe is a tea expert with an engineering background! He loves to drink and learn all about tea and coffee. His love for tea was discovered while living in Japan and his favorites are Sencha & Pu'er!

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

Copyright © 2023. Your Coffee and Tea Essentials. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. 
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you. is a participant in the GoAffPro Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to the partner site.