With so many different espresso drinks like lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, and americanos, it can be tough to remember what’s in each one. For example what exactly are lattes? and do they have any coffee in them?
Because lattes are part espresso, and espresso is a type of coffee, lattes do have coffee in them, usually around 40g worth. The espresso in lattes can be made from any type of coffee bean, although it is common to use a darker roast. The rest of a latte is made of steamed milk and a small layer of milk foam on top.
In this article I’ll quickly cover what a latte is, and then go over why a latte is made with coffee and how much coffee is in it. Let's get started!
What is a Latte?
A latte is a hot coffee drink made from a combination of 2 ounces (or shots) of espresso, 10 ounces of steamed milk, and a thin layer of foamed milk on top.
Sometimes lattes are confused with cappuccinos, which are also made of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. The difference between a cappuccino and a latte is that a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, while a latte has much more steamed milk and only a thin layer of milk foam on top.
Let's go over each of the 3 ingredients that make up a latte.
Espresso is a type of coffee that is served in small shots and is made by forcing pressurized hot water through very finely ground and tightly packed coffee beans. Although espresso is made from the same types of beans as coffee, its unique brewing process makes it much stronger, richer, and higher in caffeine than regular coffee.
Steamed milk is created by slowly combining milk with hot steam to create a silky, textured, creamy, warm and heavy milk with tiny bubbles in it
Foamed milk is like steamed milk, but has a lot more air in it, making it more light, foamy, and dry than steamed milk. Some baristas will pour the foamed milk into the latte in patterns to create designs such as leaves, flowers, animals, hearts and more.
This combination of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk in a latte creates a drink with a mostly creamy taste and a subtle/light coffee flavor.
Does a Latte Have Coffee in It?
Lattes are partially made of espresso, and since espresso is a type of coffee, lattes do have coffee in them.
Espresso can actually be made from the same beans used to make regular drip coffee, even if those beans aren't a dark roast. A good way to think about it is that all espresso is coffee, but not all coffee is espresso.
How Much Coffee is in a Latte
Once you've found out that there is coffee in a latte, your next question might be “how much?”
A latte is typically made with 2 shots (or ounces) of espresso. The amount of coffee beans used to pull these two shots can vary based on the type of bean, grind, espresso machine, and personal preference. But on average, there are about 40g or 2 tablespoons of coffee in a latte
How much Caffeine is in a Latte
Figuring out the amount of caffeine in a latte is pretty simple.
As I said above, most lattes are made with 2 shots of espresso. And since 1 shot of espresso has around 65mg of caffeine in it, a latte made with 2 shots has around 130mg of caffeine in it.
A decaf latte, made with 2 shots of decaffeinated espresso, will usually have between 6-30mg of caffeine in it.
For reference, a regular cup of coffee is around 100mg of caffeine.
So because lattes have 2 shots of espresso in them, and espresso is a type of coffee, lattes do have coffee in them. Usually about 40 grams worth of beans that amount to around 130mg of caffeine.
If you’d like to learn more about lattes, coffee, and other espresso drinks, be sure to check out the rest of my website! Have a great day!