The coffee shop culture is an integral part of many a morning, afternoon, and evening in the Western world. It’s hard to imagine starting the day without espresso or hitting traffic without a latte.
In this post, we look at what defines these two drinks and discuss why you should consider ordering them differently (if not both).
We’ll also (guess what this is) tell you a little bit about the history of coffee and the differences between these two drinks.
Both drinks are similar in terms of taste, but there are several ways to order them and factors you should consider when choosing one over the other. Let’s start with what defines them and why they’re different.
In this Article
What is Espresso?
Espresso is the first hot water process in the coffee industry. It’s popular all over the world, but especially in Europe and Latin America.
Latte differs from an espresso in that it's a low-pressure milk-based mixture, usually topped with frothed milk, served at high pressure, and usually iced.
In the U.S., the most common espresso drinks are: Americano, latte, cappuccino or macchiato. To distinguish between them, let's take a look at each of the drinks.
What is Latte?
A latte is similar to an espresso but steamed milk is added to give it a milkier flavor than its counterpart. It might be served cold, but that's just iced coffee.
A latte is created by the simple mixing of these two components to create a drink that has less caffeine than espresso does, without losing any taste at all.
You can make your own latte at home if you have coffee and steamed milk in your house, or you can also find it in some of the best cafes around the world.
When you order a latte at a coffee shop, you can customize it by choosing your milk substitutes, the temperature of the milk, or request no foam at all.
Another popular option is adding syrups. Common syrups are vanilla and chocolate, but there are also fewer sweet options like strawberry and caramel.
Some coffee shops prepare the latte with simple syrup, while others prepare it with sweetened condensed milk.
Does Espresso Have Variations?
Yes and no. There are fewer available options and additions, but you can customize how the shot is pulled if you want something different than the default. You can also choose a single shot, double shot, or decaffeinated.
You might still want to try both and find out why they're different and which one suits your mood more if you are the kind of person who likes coffee or if you're simply curious about coffee culture.
To help you decide which one is more suited for you, we’ll discuss what each variety has to offer and the differences between them so that you can make an informed decision.
Espresso vs Latte: The Difference
There are many differences between espresso and latte. When you compare the two, you'll probably notice that espresso shots are much stronger than the steamed milk that is used to create a latte.
The differences between espresso and latte don’t only lie in their taste, but also in their preparation methods and ingredients. Let’s take a look at each of these components separately!
Because there are differences in production, the process for making each beverage is different as well. This is one of the most important aspects that separates these two beverages.
Latte is a steamed milk beverage that uses higher amounts of milk foam to add extra flavor and sweetness to the drink and make its flavor more notable.
Espresso is a drink that uses less sugar because of the strength of the espresso itself. It also doesn’t use a lot of milk foam.
Another difference between these two beverages is that the latte is prepared in a special way that allows the flavors to be absorbed into the drink.
In order for this to occur, you need to stir the milk and espresso together at least 3 times. Depending on how strong the beverage is, you can occasionally stir it up more than 3 times during making.
A combination of hot water and steam is then used to extract the espresso from the coffee beans. The steamed milk is then pushed through the espresso using a special wand.
Another difference between the two choices is that lattes are prepared with more milk foam and sugar for flavoring. This makes the drink thick and sweet tasting.
The Espresso, on the other hand, uses more of an American-style preparation without as much milk foam. The sugar content is also reduced in a cappuccino, making it taste less sweet than a latte.
Which one has more caffeine, espresso, or latte?
If you’re on a diet or don’t want to have too much caffeine, you might be wondering which of these drinks has more caffeine.
The answer is that it depends on the number of espresso shots that are used. A latte is generally less caffeinated than an espresso shot does because it uses a higher percentage of milk.
However, if both drinks are prepared the same way without any changes or without specifying your preferences in how strong you drink it, both drinks will contain about two shots worth of caffeine in them.
Is espresso better than a latte for weight loss?
One of the biggest claims that you’ll find about espresso is that it’s a better option for weight loss than a latte. When it comes to weight loss, lifestyle changes are what matter most, not just the foods you eat.
There are no wonder foods that will help you lose weight overnight or specific food that can make you lose weight if used in excess.
We’ll tell you straight up: there’s no evidence suggesting that either of these drinks will help you lose more weight compared to another beverage.
As far as calorie value is concerned, Latte does have more calories than espresso due to added milk.
So, which one is the best?
That's hard to say. If you're after a milky beverage, Latte will win every time. If you enjoy a smaller coffee and aren't too fussed on milk, then you might prefer an Espresso.
The differences between the two are enormous and go beyond taste. The two beverages also have different caffeine contents, so if you’re trying to reduce your intake of caffeine or need a drink that won’t keep you up all night, you should probably choose an Espresso over a Latte.
However, if you're looking for a true coffee experience to wake you up or want to consume more caffeine than some milder options will offer, an Espresso will give you that extra boost of energy without any of the side effects.