Coffee Types

Latte Coffee (Explained) – What is a Latte & How’s it Made

Latte is one of the most popular coffee drinks made with espresso and steamed milk. Also known as a cafe latte, it’s basically a creamy and delicious beverage. The name cafe latte comes from 2 Italian words – coffee and milk.

The origin of cafè e latte dates back to the 17th century in the European region, where it was a common breakfast drink. As of today, latte or cafe latte has become a common coffee type that is served in coffee shops all over the globe.

What is a latte coffee? This is a question that many people have asked, and it can be difficult to find a precise answer. The word “latte” means milk in the Italian language. Simply put, a latte coffee is an espresso with added milk and foam. However, this drink has many variations, each with its unique recipe.

At CoffeeDeets, we’ll discuss how to make a latte and some of its popular variations for coffee lovers.

Latte coffee has its origins in Italy, where it was first made as a way to add flavor and texture to espresso. It is made with espresso, steamed milk, and foam on top. Some variations may include additional flavors like chocolate syrup or cinnamon. In some countries, it is also called Café Au Lait.

Due to different variations, the latte is often thought to be an American invention. In the United States, a small latte coffee often includes one-part espresso and two parts steamed milk, with a light layer of foam on top.

What goes in a latte?

If we have to answer what is a hot latte made of, then there are just 3 things that are required, as explained below.



Expresso is basically strong coffee and is often used as the base for other drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. For the best espresso, you may need espresso machines.

Steamed Milk or Froth Milk

Steamed milk is a type of milk that has been heated to a high temperature and then quickly cooled. This process produces milk that is thick, creamy, and full of flavor. It’s a popular ingredient in lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffee drinks.

How to make steamed milk at home:

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the steaming pitcher. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place the steaming pitcher inside. Cover the pot and let it sit for 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and lift out the steaming pitcher. Pour the milk into a container and refrigerate for later use.

Frothed milk and steamed milk may look the same, but they are actually quite different. Frothed milk has big air bubbles that make it light and fluffy, while steamed milk only has small air bubbles.

Milk Foam

To make milk foam (sometimes also called foamed milk), first, pour milk into a blender. Turn on the blender and blend on medium-high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The milk will start to froth and form bubbles. Once it has reached a thick foam consistency, stop blending. You can now use it in your favorite coffee drinks! You may also use a milk frother for this purpose.

How to make Café Latte at home

Let’s help you make a professional barista at home – the perfect latte.


To make a latte coffee, first, the espresso is brewed. Usually, freshly ground beans are used for maximum flavor. The fresh grounds are put into an espresso machine filter, and hot water is forced through it at high pressure to make the espresso shot. This can be done at home by using any decent coffee maker.

The espresso coffee shot is then combined with steamed milk or heated milk. The steaming milk process produces rich, creamy foam that gives the cafè latte its signature texture and flavor.

Although whole milk is typically used, skimmed and non-dairy alternatives can also be used. A milk frother is often used in this step to produce frothed milk. Please note that if you use less milk, your coffee will be more like a cappuccino and not a latte.

If you are in the mood to drink a light coffee, you may add a little more steamed milk and milk foam to make your latte smooth. This drink (with added extra milk) would be quite similar to flat white.

Finally, a layer of foam is added on top of the drink to make it creamy and delicious. The foam will also help to bring out the flavors of your espresso and milk. There are variations on this recipe, though; for example, some people may add a shot of flavored syrup or a sprinkle of cinnamon for added flavor.

Finally, milk foam or some syrup is used to make latte art so that the coffee looks beautiful and is ready to be served in a latte cup. This will give you a coffee shop-like latte drink.

What is an Iced latte & How to make one?


An iced latte is quite similar to a cold coffee and uses the same ingredients. It is made up of a shot of espresso mixed with cold milk and ice. The major difference is that a cold coffee may use some instant coffee, and an iced latte uses espresso. You may decide on using a single or double shot of espresso for a stronger taste, along with chilled milk for your coffee.

For a cup of hot cafe latte, we use steamed milk but to make iced lattes at home, you may simply use cold foamed milk.

FAQs on latte coffee

It is quite important to understand latte and how it differs from other coffee drinks like cappuccino, americano, macchiato, etc.

Cafe Latte vs cappuccino vs latte macchiato

All these kinds of coffee are made with basic ingredients, namely espresso, froth milk, and foam. However, the way of mixing these ingredients differs for each one of them.

A cappuccino is made of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. A latte has 1 part espresso and 2 parts of steamed milk, with a thin layer of foam on top. Whereas a latte macchiato is just espresso without frothed milk, but it has a layer of foam on top.

Can a latte be made without foamed milk?

The simple answer here is no. Foamed milk and steam milk both make important ingredients for a cafe latte. Without foamed milk, a latte will not be a latte but will be similar to other espresso drinks.

Brewing coffee requires proper techniques, and the difference in how you brew your coffee makes different types of coffee. So, for a latte cup, you need to add foamed milk.

What milk should be used in the latte?

Although whole milk is recommended, people often use other types of milk depending on their taste and availability. Almond milk or coconut milk is used by many coffee lovers. Some latte drinkers also prefer soy milk in their coffee. Simply put, a proper latte may be made with different milk types.

Is a latte stronger than regular coffee?

Black or espresso is the most strong type of coffee.

Latte is, in fact, less powerful than normal coffee. Latte is composed of espresso and hot milk and therefore has a higher milk-to-coffee ratio compared to regular coffee.

The caffeine content in a latte is less as compared to a cappuccino.

How do coffee shops make lattes?


A coffee shop that serves coffee drinkers would ideally have a cafè latte machine. Many coffee houses have pre-made espresso base that they use as a base to make drip coffee, latte, flat white, cappuccino, or other espresso drinks.

Coffee houses also have a milk frother and a steamer attached to their machines for injecting air into the coffee. This way, their lattes always get the perfect blend and the same taste. Moreover, the latte art on top is done to make you smile and enjoy your drink.

How much does latte cost?

At Starbucks, Cafe Latte Tall costs $2.95, while Grande and Venti cost $3.65 and $4.15, respectively.

Latte is more expensive than regular coffee because of the espresso that is used as the base. Espresso is made with high-quality Arabica beans, which are more expensive than the Robusta beans used to make regular coffee.

In addition, making a latte requires more milk and foam than a regular cup of coffee, so it costs more to produce.

Finally, latte art – the beautiful designs that are often added to lattes – takes time and skill to create, so baristas who can make perfect latte art often charge a premium for their drinks.

Wrapping up

Latte coffee drinks are popular because they are delicious and creamy. They can be easily made at home and require only basic ingredients. Another good thing about latte is that you can have a hot latte or an iced latte as per your mood.

Ajay Deep

Like many of you, I start my day with a cup of coffee. My love for this beverage grew when I started experimenting with different types of roasted beans at my co-working space. I created to help others explore and experience the best coffee. I am an author and an entrepreneur. Whatever I do, coffee will always remain a passion. You may reach me at

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