What Are the Differences Between Iced Coffee and Iced Latte?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide and one of the reasons behind its popularity is the fact that coffee can be turned into various types of drinks that have different flavors which attracts the attention of different types of people.

Hot coffee is the most common variation of coffee beverages, especially as an effective method to get rid of tiredness or drowsiness in the morning. But many people enjoy cold coffee and cold latte, especially during the summer season to cool themselves off after a hectic day.

Iced coffee and iced latte are both fantastic variations of coffee but they have some differences between them. These differences are based on the ingredients, preparation, taste, texture, caffeine content, etc.

These differences are discussed thoroughly in the following chapters so that you can order accordingly when you desire a cold refreshing coffee drink the next time you are at a cafe.

How Is an Iced Coffee Made?

Iced coffee does not have any particular recipes that it must follow. Iced coffee is usually brewed with hot water in espresso machines. One or two shots of espresso are mixed with hot water or steamed milk and then chilled in the refrigerator or with ice cubes. 

Then it is sweetened to the liking and ice cubes are added to make it colder and more appetizing.

Finally, it gets served in a glass with some toppings. I like to put whipped cream, foamed milk, or cocoa powder on the top to enhance the flavor.

Different cafes prepare and serve their iced coffee in different ways. As stated before, there are no specified or exact recipes that one must follow to make iced coffee. Different flavors are also added to the iced coffee such as vanilla, chocolate, etc. to bring variation to the taste. I prefer adding sugar and condensed milk to my cold coffee.

The only thing common between the different recipes is that the beverages are always chilled with ice cubes to give them their distinctive flavor.

How Is an Iced Latte Made?

The iced latte is the chilled version of the classic latte. Latte is made with espresso shots, steamed or foamed milk, sugar, syrup, and water. Espresso shots are made with an espresso machine. I use a Moka pot to make coffee at home that is similar to espresso because I do not have a machine.

A regular latte usually has only one shot of espresso but sometimes it is made with two. The ratio of espresso shot to steamed or foamed milk is 1:2 meaning you take steamed or foam milk that is double the volume of the espresso and mix them together.

This mixture is then sweetened with sugar or syrup and then chilled with ice cubes or put in a refrigerator. Then it gets served with more ice cubes to chill it even more and topped with whipped cream, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, and so on.

What Are the Differences Between Iced Coffee and Iced Latte?

The differences between iced coffee and iced latte are shown in the table below.

FactorsIced coffeeIced Latte
RecipeThere are no fixed recipes for making iced coffeeThere are fixed recipes for making iced latte
MilkIced coffee can be made with or without milkIced latte must contain milk
caffeineIced coffee has more caffeine than iced latteIced latte has less caffeine than iced coffee
sugarIced coffee has less sugar than iced latteIced latte has more sugar than iced coffee
tasteIced coffee tastes less sweet and more bitterIced latte tastes sweeter compared to iced coffee
calorieiced coffee contains less calorieIced latte contains more calorie

Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte: What Are the Main Differences?

Iced coffee and iced latte are both chilled coffee beverages that are made with coffee, milk, water, flavors, sweeteners, and ice cubes but they also have differences between them. These differences are described below.


Iced coffee does not have any fixed or exact recipe that needs to be followed. Any beverage made from coffee and sufficiently chilled can be called iced coffee because it includes all types of these beverages. An iced latte, on the other hand, has to be prepared following an exact recipe.

A coffee beverage that has the exact 1:2 ratio of espresso shot to steamed or foamed milk can be called a latte and then this latte has to be chilled in the refrigerator or with ice cubes to prepare an Iced latte.

So, a big difference between iced coffee and iced latte is that iced coffee does not have a fixed recipe but latte does.


Iced coffee contains espresso shots, steamed or foamed milk, water, sugar, syrup, etc. Milk and sugar are optional for a lot of the recipes of iced coffee and they only use espresso shots, ice cubes, and water.

An iced latte, on the other hand, must contain steamed or foamed milk because otherwise, it will not be a traditional latte. An iced latte contains espresso shots, steamed or foamed milk, sugar, syrup, and flavor.

The biggest difference between the ingredients used to make an iced latte and iced coffee is the presence of milk. Milk is sometimes present and sometimes absent in a cup of iced coffee but it is a must for an iced latte.

Caffeine Content

Iced coffee usually contains more caffeine because it is made to be stronger and more bitter than a latte. Using more than one shot of espresso is common for making iced coffee but iced coffee is usually made with only one or two espresso shots.

This is why iced coffee contains more caffeine than iced latte but this is not always correct for all cafes because different cafes use different numbers of espresso shots to make their iced coffee and iced latte. I prefer iced coffee when I need to stay awake and iced latte when I am just drinking for refreshment.


Iced lattes usually have a sweeter taste when compared to iced coffee because iced lattes contain more sugar and more milk. However, some cafes can put extra sugar in the iced coffee to make it sweeter. I have generally found that most iced lattes to be sweeter than iced coffee.

Calorie Content

An iced latte contains more calories because of the added sugar and milk when compared to a regular cup of iced coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Iced Latte Stronger Than Iced Coffee?

No, iced coffee usually contains more espresso shots and hence more caffeine than iced latte which means that iced latte is weaker than iced coffee.

2. Is an Iced Latte Sweeter Than an Iced Coffee?

Yes, an iced latte contains more milk and sugar than an iced coffee so it tastes sweeter than iced coffee.

3. Can I Make Iced Coffee or Iced Latte at Home?

Yes, you can easily make iced coffee or iced latte at home. You only need a coffee press, coffee maker, Moka pot, or an espresso machine to make the espresso shots. Then you can add more hot water and chill it with ice cubes or in the refrigerator to make iced coffee or you can add steamed or foamed milk, and sugar, and chill it to make an iced latte.

4. What Kind of Milk Goes Best With an Iced Latte?

Whole milk is the best option for making an iced latte because it has the perfect amount of fat, protein, sugar, and water to complement the bitterness of the coffee. You can also use other plant-based milk such as soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk but it will not provide the best result.

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