Latte vs Coffee: Which One Is Better For You?

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Coffee and lattes are two of the most popular drinks in the world.

Many people start their day with a cup of coffee or a latte, and they continue to enjoy these beverages throughout the day.

But have you ever wondered which one is better for you?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between coffee and lattes, from their taste and caffeine content to their health benefits and environmental impact.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of both drinks and be able to make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What is Coffee?

Coffee is a popular beverage made from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of the Coffea plant.

The drink is known for its rich flavor, aroma, and caffeine content, which makes it a favorite among millions of people worldwide.

Coffee has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 15th century, when it was first discovered in Ethiopia.

From there, the drink spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where it was cultivated and traded across the Middle East.

By the 16th century, coffee had made its way to Europe, where it quickly became a favorite drink among the upper classes.

Today, coffee is grown and consumed in many parts of the world, and it remains one of the most popular beverages around.

What is a Latte?

A latte, also known as a café latte, is a popular espresso-based drink that originated in Italy.

The drink is made by combining espresso with steamed milk and a small layer of frothed milk on top.

Lattes are known for their creamy texture and mild coffee flavor, and they’re often enjoyed with a shot of flavored syrup, such as vanilla or caramel.

The origins of the latte can be traced back to 17th-century Europe, where coffeehouses were popular meeting places for intellectuals and artists.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that lattes became a staple of American coffee culture, thanks in part to the rise of Starbucks and other coffee shop chains.

Today, lattes come in a variety of flavors and can be customized with different types of milk, sweeteners, and toppings.

Latte vs Coffee: Taste and Flavor

One of the main differences between coffee and lattes is their taste and flavor.

Coffee is known for its rich, bold flavor, which can range from slightly bitter to intensely smoky or chocolatey, depending on the roast and preparation method.

On the other hand, lattes are generally milder in flavor and have a creamy, smooth texture that’s created by steamed milk.

Lattes are often considered sweeter than coffee because of the added milk and any syrups or flavorings that may be used.

While some people enjoy the sweetness of lattes, others may find it too overpowering and prefer the bolder taste of coffee.

Latte vs Coffee: Caffeine Content

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that’s found in both coffee and lattes.

The amount of caffeine in each drink can vary depending on factors such as the type of coffee bean used, the brewing method, and the serving size.

Generally speaking, coffee contains more caffeine than lattes.

A standard 8-ounce cup of coffee contains around 150-200 milligrams of caffeine, while a 12-ounce latte made with one shot of espresso contains around 63 milligrams of caffeine.

However, it’s worth noting that some specialty lattes may contain more caffeine due to the addition of extra espresso shots or other caffeinated ingredients.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the amount of caffeine in your drinks and choose accordingly.

Latte vs Coffee: Health Benefits

Both coffee and lattes have been associated with several potential health benefits.

Here are some of the most noteworthy:

Health Benefits of Coffee:

  • May improve cognitive function and memory
  • May reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease
  • May protect against liver disease and liver cancer
  • May lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal and skin cancer

Health Benefits of Lattes:

  • May help improve bone health due to the presence of calcium in milk
  • May improve heart health due to the potential cholesterol-lowering effects of milk
  • May improve mood and reduce stress, thanks to the comforting and relaxing qualities of warm milk

When it comes to health benefits, both coffee, and lattes have their own unique advantages.

While coffee may have more potential benefits overall, lattes can offer specific advantages related to the milk content.

Ultimately, the health benefits of either drink will depend on factors such as the amount consumed, the frequency of consumption, and the individual’s overall diet and lifestyle.

Latte vs Coffee: Calories and Nutritional Information

When it comes to calories, coffee, and lattes can differ significantly.

Black coffee contains almost no calories, while lattes can be much higher in calories due to the added milk and any syrups or flavorings.

Here’s a breakdown of the calorie content of some common coffee and latte drinks:

  • Black coffee (8 ounces): 2 calories
  • Espresso (1 shot): 3 calories
  • Cappuccino (8 ounces): 80 calories
  • Latte (12 ounces, made with whole milk and no added flavors): 170 calories
  • Mocha latte (12 ounces, made with whole milk and chocolate syrup): 300 calories

In terms of nutrition, coffee, and lattes also have some differences.

While black coffee provides virtually no nutritional value, lattes made with milk can be a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients.

However, lattes can also be high in saturated fat and sugar, especially if made with whole milk and flavored syrups.

If you’re looking to cut down on calories or improve your nutritional intake, it’s worth considering the types of milk and flavorings you add to your coffee or latte.

Latte vs Coffee: Preparation and Brewing

Both coffee and lattes can be prepared in a variety of ways, each of which can affect the taste and quality of the final product.

Preparation Methods for Coffee:

  • Drip coffee: This is the most common method of brewing coffee, in which hot water is poured over ground coffee beans and filtered through a paper or mesh filter.
  • French press: Also known as a press pot, this method involves steeping ground coffee in hot water and then pressing the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.
  • Pour-over: This method involves pouring hot water over a filter containing ground coffee, allowing the water to slowly drip through and extract the flavor.

Preparation Methods for Lattes:

  • Espresso machine: Lattes are typically made with a shot or two of espresso, which is extracted using an espresso machine.
  • Milk frother: The milk used in lattes is typically steamed and frothed using a milk frother, which can create a creamy and velvety texture.
  • Manual frothing: It’s also possible to froth milk manually using a whisk or a French press, although this method can be more time-consuming and may not produce consistent results.

When it comes to preparation, lattes require more specialized equipment and expertise compared to coffee.

While coffee can be brewed using a variety of methods with basic equipment, lattes typically require an espresso machine and a milk frother to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

Latte vs Coffee: Price

Coffee and lattes can vary widely in price depending on the type of drink, the location of the cafe, and other factors.

Comparison of Price:

  • Coffee: A basic cup of coffee is typically the cheapest option at most cafes, with prices ranging from $1 to $3 depending on the size and quality of the coffee beans used.
  • Lattes: Lattes are often more expensive than basic coffee due to the additional cost of milk and any syrups or flavorings used. Prices for lattes can range from $3 to $6 or more depending on the size and complexity of the drink.

Why Are Lattes More Expensive? There are several reasons why lattes are often more expensive than coffee.

First, the cost of milk can add up quickly, especially if the cafe uses high-quality or organic milk.

Second, lattes often require specialized equipment such as an espresso machine and milk frother, which can be costly to maintain and replace.

Finally, lattes may also be priced higher due to their popularity and perceived value as a more indulgent or luxurious drink compared to basic coffee.

Latte vs Coffee: Caffeine Sensitivity

Caffeine sensitivity refers to an individual’s sensitivity to the effects of caffeine, which can vary widely depending on genetics, age, and other factors.

Some people may experience negative side effects from consuming caffeine, such as jitters, anxiety, or sleep disturbances, while others may not notice any significant effects.

How Caffeine Sensitivity Affects the Choice Between Coffee and Lattes

For individuals with caffeine sensitivity, the choice between coffee and lattes may depend on the type and amount of caffeine in each drink.

Lattes typically contain less caffeine than coffee, as they are made with a shot or two of espresso rather than a full cup of coffee.

This can make lattes a better option for those who are sensitive to caffeine or who want to limit their intake.

However, it’s important to note that lattes can still contain a significant amount of caffeine depending on the size of the drink and the number of shots used.

For those who are very sensitive to caffeine, decaf coffee or decaf lattes may be a better choice.

Latte vs Coffee: Drinking Preferences

Personal drinking preferences can play a significant role in choosing between coffee and lattes.

Some individuals may prefer the stronger, more bitter taste of coffee, while others may prefer the creamier, sweeter taste of lattes.

How Drinking Preferences Affect the Choice Between Coffee and Lattes

For individuals who prefer a stronger, more intense coffee flavor, a plain cup of coffee or espresso shot may be the best choice.

However, for those who prefer a milder taste with added sweetness and creaminess, a latte may be the better option.

Lattes can be customized with a variety of syrups and flavorings to create a drink that perfectly suits an individual’s taste preferences.

Why Some People Prefer Lattes

There are several reasons why some people may prefer lattes over plain coffee.

First, lattes are generally considered to be a more indulgent or luxurious drink due to their creamy texture and added flavorings.

Additionally, lattes can be a good option for those who want to limit their caffeine intake, as they contain less caffeine than a full cup of coffee.

Finally, some individuals may simply prefer the taste and texture of lattes over plain coffee.

Latte vs Coffee: Social Factors

Social factors can also play a role in the choice between coffee and lattes.

For some individuals, the choice between the two may be influenced by social norms, cultural practices, or other external factors.

How Social Factors Influence the Choice Between Coffee and Lattes

In some cultures or social settings, coffee may be the more traditional or expected choice, while lattes may be viewed as a more modern or trendy option.

For example, in some European countries, espresso shots or plain coffee are more commonly consumed, while in North America, lattes and other flavored coffee drinks are popular.

Additionally, the choice between coffee and lattes may be influenced by the social context in which the drink is consumed.

For instance, lattes may be associated with social gatherings, brunches, or other leisurely activities, while coffee may be viewed as a more utilitarian or functional drink.

Why Lattes Are Often Associated With Social Gatherings

Lattes are often associated with social gatherings or leisurely activities due to their creamy texture, added flavorings, and perceived indulgence.

They are often consumed in cafes or coffee shops, which are popular gathering places for socializing or catching up with friends.

Additionally, lattes can be customized with a variety of syrups and toppings, making them a fun and customizable drink option for social occasions.

Environmental Impact

The production and consumption of coffee and lattes can have a significant environmental impact.

From the energy used to roast and grind the coffee beans, to the waste generated by disposable cups and packaging, there are many factors to consider when evaluating the environmental sustainability of these drinks.

How to Make Eco-Friendly Choices

To make eco-friendly choices when consuming coffee or lattes, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose organic and fair-trade coffee beans: Organic coffee is grown without harmful pesticides or chemicals, and fair-trade certification ensures that the coffee is produced under fair labor practices. By choosing these types of coffee beans, you can support sustainable and ethical farming practices.
  2. Bring your own cup: Instead of using disposable cups, bring your own reusable cup or mug. This can reduce the amount of waste generated by coffee consumption.
  3. Use a French press or pour-over method: These methods of coffee brewing use less energy than traditional drip coffee makers, and they also produce less waste.
  4. Avoid flavored syrups and sweeteners: Flavored syrups and sweeteners often contain artificial ingredients that can harm the environment. Instead, try adding natural flavors like cinnamon or cocoa powder to your coffee or latte.
  5. Recycle or compost: When disposing of coffee grounds, cups, or packaging, be sure to recycle or compost whenever possible. This can help reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of coffee and latte consumption.

Popular Variations

Both coffee and lattes have a wide range of popular variations that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Some popular variations of coffee include:

  1. Espresso: A concentrated shot of coffee that is typically served in small quantities.
  2. Cappuccino: Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam, cappuccinos are a popular choice for coffee lovers who enjoy a frothy texture.
  3. Americano: A simple and straightforward coffee drink made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso.
  4. Cold brew: Made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, cold brew coffee has a smoother and less bitter taste than traditional coffee.

Similarly, lattes also have a variety of popular variations, including:

  1. Mocha latte: Made with espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup or powder, mocha lattes are a sweet and indulgent coffee drink.
  2. Vanilla latte: Flavored with vanilla syrup or extract, vanilla lattes are a popular choice for those who prefer a sweeter coffee drink.
  3. Chai latte: Made with black tea, spices, and steamed milk, chai lattes have a warm and spicy flavor.
  4. Matcha latte: Made with matcha powder and steamed milk, matcha lattes are a popular choice for those who enjoy the earthy flavor of green tea.


Coffee and lattes are two of the most popular beverages in the world.

Coffee has been a favorite for centuries, with its energizing effects and rich flavor.

It’s a staple in many cultures and has become an essential part of many people’s daily routine.

Coffee is also incredibly versatile, with a wide range of variations that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Lattes, on the other hand, have gained immense popularity in recent years, particularly in Western countries.

Lattes are often associated with specialty coffee shops and are seen as a trendy and indulgent beverage.

They offer a creamy and frothy texture, with the addition of steamed milk and a variety of flavors.

The popularity of lattes can also be attributed to their photogenic nature, with many people posting pictures of their latte art creations on social media.

The Debate

The debate between coffee and lattes is a common one, with passionate arguments on both sides.

Some people argue that coffee is the superior beverage, citing its rich and complex flavor, high caffeine content, and long-standing tradition.

Others argue that lattes are the better choice, pointing to their creamy texture, variety of flavors, and ability to be customized to personal tastes.

The debate exists because both coffee and lattes have their own unique characteristics and appeal to different people for different reasons.

Some prefer the simplicity and strong taste of coffee, while others enjoy the indulgence and variety of lattes.

Latte vs Coffee: Key Differences

While coffee and latte may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two.

Here are some of the most significant differences:

  1. Ingredients: The primary difference between coffee and latte is the ingredients. Coffee is made with water and ground coffee beans, while a latte is made with espresso and steamed milk.
  2. Preparation: Another significant difference between coffee and latte is the preparation. Coffee can be brewed using various methods, such as drip coffee or French press, while a latte requires an espresso machine and steaming wand to froth the milk.
  3. Caffeine Content: Depending on the preparation method and serving size, coffee typically contains more caffeine than a latte. This is because espresso shots used in latte contain less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee.
  4. Taste and Flavor: While both coffee and latte have a distinct coffee flavor, a latte is creamier and smoother due to the steamed milk. The milk can also add sweetness to the latte, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a sweeter coffee.
  5. Price: Lattes are generally more expensive than coffee due to the additional ingredients and preparation required.

Latte vs Coffee: Which Should You Choose?

When deciding between coffee and lattes, there are several factors to consider.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Taste: Coffee and lattes have different tastes, so you should choose the one that appeals to your taste buds. Coffee has a stronger, more bitter taste, while lattes are creamier and sweeter.
  2. Caffeine Content: If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, coffee typically has more caffeine than a latte. However, the amount of caffeine can vary depending on the type of coffee or espresso used in your latte.
  3. Cost: Lattes are generally more expensive than coffee due to the added milk and preparation process. If cost is a factor, you may want to choose coffee instead.
  4. Dietary restrictions: If you’re lactose intolerant or have other dietary restrictions, a latte may not be the best choice for you. However, you can make a latte with alternative milk options such as almond, soy, or oat milk.

Tips for making the decision:

  1. Consider your taste preferences and caffeine needs. If you prefer a sweeter, creamier drink with less caffeine, a latte may be a better choice. If you like a strong, bitter taste and need a caffeine boost, coffee may be the way to go.
  2. Think about your budget. If cost is a factor, coffee may be the more affordable option.
  3. Consider any dietary restrictions you may have. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may want to choose coffee or a non-dairy latte option.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try both! You may find that you enjoy both coffee and lattes for different reasons, and it’s okay to switch between the two based on your mood or needs.


Is a latte stronger than a coffee?

A latte is typically not stronger than a cup of coffee, as it is made with espresso shots that are diluted with steamed milk.

Espresso shots are generally more concentrated than regular coffee, but a latte typically contains only one or two shots of espresso, whereas a cup of coffee can contain significantly more caffeine depending on how it is brewed.

How is a latte different from coffee?

A latte is made by combining a shot of espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of frothed milk on top.

Coffee, on the other hand, is made by brewing ground coffee beans with hot water.

Is a latte just coffee with milk?

A latte is not just coffee with milk, it is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk.

The espresso provides a strong and bold flavor while the steamed milk adds a creamy texture and subtle sweetness to the drink.

Does a latte have more caffeine than coffee?

No, a latte typically has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.

A shot of espresso contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, and a latte usually only has one or two shots of espresso combined with steamed milk.

Which is healthier, coffee or latte?

It depends on the individual’s dietary needs and preferences.

Both coffee and latte can have health benefits when consumed in moderation, but lattes may have more calories and sugar due to the addition of steamed milk.

Black coffee, on the other hand, is low in calories and sugar and can potentially boost metabolism and brain function.

Which is healthier, cappuccino or latte?

Cappuccino and latte are both espresso-based drinks with steamed milk, but a cappuccino has less steamed milk and more frothed milk than a latte.

This results in a stronger and drier texture for a cappuccino, and it generally has fewer calories and less sugar than a latte.

What is the weakest coffee?

The weakest coffee is usually a coffee that has been brewed with a low coffee-to-water ratio or has been diluted with additional water or milk.

However, the strength of coffee can also depend on the type of bean, roast, and brewing method used.

How healthy is a latte?

A latte can have health benefits when consumed in moderation, but it can also have more calories and sugar than black coffee due to the addition of steamed milk.

However, steamed milk in a latte can also provide calcium and protein to the diet.

Does a latte keep you awake?

Yes, a latte can keep you awake due to the caffeine content in the espresso.

However, the effects of caffeine can vary based on an individual’s sensitivity and tolerance.

How many shots of coffee are in a latte?

A latte usually has one or two shots of espresso, depending on the size of the drink.

Do lattes have sugar?

Lattes can have sugar depending on the recipe and the type of milk used. Some coffee shops may also add sweeteners or syrups to the drink.

However, unsweetened lattes made with plain milk and espresso do not have added sugar.

Can I drink a latte every day?

It is safe to drink a latte every day in moderation.

However, it is important to be mindful of the calorie and sugar content in the drink and to consider alternative options such as black coffee or tea.

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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