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Latte vs. Coffee: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk, while coffee generally refers to a brewed beverage made from ground coffee beans.
Latte vs. Coffee

Key Differences

Latte is a specific type of coffee drink, characterized by its combination of espresso and steamed milk, usually with a small layer of foam on top. Coffee is a broader term that encompasses all types of brewed drinks made from roasted coffee beans, including plain black coffee, espresso, and various other coffee-based beverages.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
The preparation of a latte involves a precise ratio of espresso to milk, creating a balance between the strong flavor of the espresso and the creaminess of the milk. Coffee can be prepared in numerous ways, such as drip brewing, French press, or espresso, each method affecting the flavor and intensity of the final beverage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
Latte is often enjoyed for its smooth, creamy texture and the way the milk softens the intensity of the espresso. In contrast, coffee can range from mild to very strong, depending on the brewing method and the type of coffee bean used, offering a wider spectrum of taste experiences.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
The cultural context of latte is often associated with Italian espresso culture and the craft of barista-made coffee drinks. Coffee, on the other hand, has a more diverse and global heritage, with different cultures having their own traditional methods of preparation and consumption.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
In terms of caffeine content, a standard latte typically has less caffeine per serving than a similarly sized cup of brewed coffee, due to the larger proportion of milk compared to coffee in a latte.
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Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Espresso
Ground Coffee Beans
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Additional Ingredients

Steamed Milk, often with Foam
Water
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Flavor Profile

Creamy and Mild (due to milk)
Can vary from Mild to Strong
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Preparation Method

Espresso Machine Required
Various Methods (Drip, French Press, etc.)
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Nov 15, 2023

Origin

Italian
Globally Diverse
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Latte and Coffee Definitions

Latte

Latte can be flavored with syrups like vanilla or caramel.
My favorite is a caramel latte with extra foam.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Coffee

Coffee is a brewed beverage made from roasted coffee beans.
I can't start my day without a hot cup of coffee.
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Latte

A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk.
I ordered a vanilla latte at the coffee shop.
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Coffee

Coffee is often served black, but can be sweetened or lightened with milk or cream.
She likes her coffee with just a little bit of sugar.
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Nov 15, 2023

Latte

Latte is often topped with a small amount of foam.
She drew a heart in the foam of my latte.
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Coffee

Coffee varies in strength and flavor based on the beans and brewing method.
He enjoys experimenting with different coffee blends and brewing techniques.
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Latte

The term 'latte' is derived from the Italian 'caffè latte' which means milk coffee.
Every morning, she makes herself a strong latte to start the day.
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Coffee

The caffeine in coffee makes it a popular morning beverage.
Coffee is my go-to for a mid-afternoon energy boost.
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Latte

In a latte, the ratio of milk to espresso is higher compared to other espresso drinks.
He prefers lattes because they're smoother than regular espresso.
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Coffee

Any of various tropical African shrubs or trees of the genus Coffea, especially C. arabica or C. canephora, widely cultivated in the tropics for their seeds that are dried, roasted, and ground to prepare a stimulating aromatic drink.
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Latte

A caffe latte.
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Coffee

The beanlike seeds of this plant, two of which are found in each fruit.
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Latte

A drink of coffee made from espresso and steamed milk, generally topped with foam.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

The beverage prepared from the seeds of this plant
Likes to drink coffee with breakfast.
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Oct 19, 2023

Latte

A similar drink, where the espresso is replaced with some other flavoring ingredient such as chai, maté or matcha (green tea).
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Coffee

A serving of such a beverage
Ordered two coffees with sugar.
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Oct 19, 2023

Latte

Same as cafe latte; a type of espresso coffee served with foamy steamed milk, and usually served in a tall glass or mug.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

A moderate brown to dark brown or dark grayish brown.
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Latte

Strong espresso coffee with a topping of frothed steamed milk
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Coffee

An informal social gathering at which coffee and other refreshments are served.
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Coffee

(uncountable) A beverage made by infusing the beans of the coffee plant in hot water.
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Coffee

(countable) A serving of this beverage.
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Coffee

The seeds of the plant used to make coffee, called ‘beans’ due to their shape.
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Coffee

The powder made by roasting and grinding the seeds.
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Coffee

A tropical plant of the genus Coffea.
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Coffee

A pale brown colour, like that of milk coffee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

The end of a meal, when coffee is served.
He did not stay for coffee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

Of a pale brown colour, like that of milk coffee.
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Coffee

Of a table: a small, low table suitable for people in lounge seating to put coffee cups on.
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Coffee

(intransitive) To drink coffee.
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Coffee

(transitive) To give coffee.
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Coffee

The "beans" or "berries" (pyrenes) obtained from the drupes of a small evergreen tree of the genus Coffea, growing in Abyssinia, Arabia, Persia, and other warm regions of Asia and Africa, and also in tropical America.
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Coffee

The coffee tree.
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Coffee

The beverage made by decoction of the roasted and ground berry of the coffee tree.
They have in Turkey a drink called coffee. . . . This drink comforteth the brain and heart, and helpeth digestion.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

A cup of coffee{3}, especially one served in a restaurant; as, we each had two donuts and a coffee; three coffees to go.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

A social gathering at which coffee is served, with optional other foods or refreshments.
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Oct 19, 2023

Coffee

A color ranging from medium brown to dark brown.
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Coffee

A beverage consisting of an infusion of ground coffee beans;
He ordered a cup of coffee
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Coffee

Any of several small trees and shrubs native to the tropical Old World yielding coffee beans
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Coffee

A seed of the coffee tree; ground to make coffee
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Coffee

A medium to dark brown color
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Coffee

Coffee culture encompasses various traditions and customs worldwide.
Visiting local coffee shops is a key part of their travel experience.
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Nov 15, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is coffee?

Coffee is a beverage brewed from roasted coffee beans.
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Is coffee always made with espresso?

No, coffee can be brewed in various ways, not always requiring espresso.
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How is a latte different from regular coffee?

A latte contains espresso and a higher proportion of milk than regular coffee.
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Nov 15, 2023

How much caffeine is in a latte compared to coffee?

Lattes generally have less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee due to the higher milk content.
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Nov 15, 2023

What is a latte?

A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk.
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Nov 15, 2023

What kind of milk is used in a latte?

Typically, whole or reduced-fat milk is used, but alternatives like soy or almond milk can also be used.
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Can you make a latte without an espresso machine?

While traditionally made with an espresso machine, alternative methods can be used at home.
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Is latte an Italian invention?

Yes, the latte is based on the Italian "caffè latte."
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Can lattes be flavored?

Yes, lattes can be flavored with syrups like vanilla or caramel.
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What are the health benefits of coffee?

Coffee can offer benefits like increased alertness and potential antioxidants.
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What is the origin of coffee?

Coffee has a global heritage, with origins often traced back to Ethiopia.
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Can I make coffee without a coffee maker?

Yes, methods like French press or stove-top brewing don't require a standard coffee maker.
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How does the roast of coffee beans affect flavor?

Darker roasts tend to be bolder and more bitter, while lighter roasts are often more acidic and nuanced.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can lattes be iced?

Yes, lattes can be served over ice for a cold beverage.
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What is the best milk for frothing in a latte?

Whole milk is often preferred for frothing due to its fat content.
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Nov 15, 2023

What is the traditional size of a latte?

Traditionally, a latte is served in a larger cup than espresso, usually around 8 to 12 ounces.
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How is espresso for a latte prepared?

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee under pressure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Can you add sugar to a latte?

Yes, sugar or sweeteners can be added to a latte to taste.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is decaffeinated coffee completely caffeine-free?

No, decaffeinated coffee still contains small amounts of caffeine.
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Is a latte or coffee better for someone sensitive to caffeine?

A latte typically has less caffeine than regular coffee and may be better for those sensitive to caffeine.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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