Iced coffee vs iced latte – what's the difference? Iced coffee and iced latte are not the same thing. Learn the difference between iced coffee and latte, including the type of coffee and milk used. You’ll also learn about the calories and caffeine in iced latte and iced coffee. Plus, get info on coffee drinks at Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin, and Tim Horton’s.
- Difference Between Iced Coffee and Iced Latte
- What is iced coffee?
- What is an iced latte?
- How to Make Iced Coffee
- How to Make Iced Latte
- Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Starbucks
- Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte McDonald’s
- Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Dunkin
- Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Tim Horton’s
- 📋 Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Calories
- Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Caffeine
- Is an iced latte stronger than iced coffee?
- Is iced coffee or iced latte sweeter?
- Is iced coffee or iced latte healthier?
- 👩🏻🍳 Iced Coffee Recipes
Difference Between Iced Coffee and Iced Latte
Both iced coffee and iced latte are iced coffee drinks, but that is where the similarities end. Iced coffee is made with regular brewed coffee, while iced latte is made with a shot of espresso or two. Also, an iced latte contains around 3 parts milk and 2 parts espresso, while iced coffee may or may not have milk.
What is iced coffee?
What is considered iced coffee? In general, the basic ingredients for iced coffee are just brewed coffee over ice.
You can add creamer, sugar, or another sweetener to iced coffee, just like you would for hot coffee. You can use drip coffee or pour-over coffee for iced coffee.
The main difference between iced coffee and latte is that a latte is mostly milk by volume. They also differ in the type of coffee used.
What is an iced latte?
An iced latte is commonly milk with 2 espresso shots. It’s easy to tell iced latte vs iced coffee apart, because the latte is a much lighter color from the milk. Some cafes don’t stir the espresso and milk together before serving for a nice visual effect.
If you’re vegan or dairy free, it’s easy to find iced lattes in the US made with almond milk or oat milk. You can make lattes with flavored syrups for added sweetness, and some cafes add frothed milk or whipped cream on top.
How to Make Iced Coffee
Making iced coffee is easy! Start by brewing a pot or K-cup of hot coffee.
Add granulated sweeteners while the coffee is still hot, so they fully dissolve. Then allow the coffee to cool and chill.
You need cooled brewed coffee for iced coffee, so the ice doesn’t melt too quickly in it. Melting ice dilutes iced coffee, reducing the strength and flavor of the drink. You can avoid this issue by using ice cubes made of coffee frozen in ice cube trays instead of regular ice cubes.
After cooling the coffee and putting it over ice, you can add cream, syrup, or whatever you usually add to coffee.
Does iced coffee have milk?
Iced coffee can have milk, but it doesn’t have to. Iced coffee typically only contains a little milk. If the drink is mostly milk by volume, it’s more likely to be called a latte.
How to Make Iced Latte
To make an iced latte (source), dissolve the sweetener you’re using in 2 shots of hot espresso. Here is how to make espresso at home. You’ll need an espresso machine and a coffee bean grinder, since coffee needs to be very finely ground for espresso.
After making the espresso and stirring in sweetener, add the sweetened coffee and ice to a glass. Pour cold milk into the glass to nearly fill it, stir, and enjoy.
A ratio I often see is to use 2 ounces of espresso (60 mL) and 3 ounces of milk (100 mL) per iced latte. (One shot of espresso is about one ounce or 30 mL; a double shot of espresso is 60 mL.) The Starbucks iced latte recipe calls for 4 ounces espresso plus 6 ounces of milk, the same coffee to milk ratio.
Is a latte hot or cold?
The first lattes were hot. These days, you can find lattes served hot or cold.
Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Starbucks
What is the difference between an iced coffee and iced latte at Starbucks? Starbucks iced coffee is made with brewed coffee with optional milk, while the iced latte is mostly milk with espresso mixed in. (Yes, the iced coffee v iced latte differences at Starbucks are the same as everywhere else.)
What is Starbucks iced coffee called? Starbucks calls their regular iced cold coffee “iced coffee,” as you’d expect. Here is a list of Starbucks iced lattes and iced coffees (source):
- (Pictured) Iced Coffee
- Iced Coffee with Milk
- Iced Espresso
- The famous PSL- Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Iced Caffe Latte
- Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Latte
- Iced Café Americano (iced espresso with more water)
- Iced Caramel Brulee Latte
- (Pictured) Iced Chestnut Praline Latte
- Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte
- Iced Starbucks Blonde Dolce Latte
Please note that availability of some of these drinks are seasonal, and may vary by location. Starbucks also offers other cold coffees, like the iced caramel macchiato and iced cold brew. I’ll cover these in the FAQs below.
Frappuccino vs iced latte – what's the difference?
Frappuccino is a Starbucks cold drink that may or may not contain coffee. Though the name “frappuccino” comes from frappe + cappuccino, it can contain a coffee or a crème base. Unlike an iced latte, which may or may not have added sweetener, a frappuccino almost always uses sweetener.
Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte McDonald’s
What is the difference between McDonalds iced coffee and iced latte? McDonald’s iced coffee is made with brewed Arabica beans (roasted coffee beans), coffee syrup, and cream. McDonald’s iced latte is made with espresso, coffee syrup, and whole milk.
A small iced coffee from McDonalds is 140 calories, while a small iced latte from McDonalds is 180 calories. The difference isn’t very great because McDonald’s adds cream and sweetened coffee syrup to its iced coffee by default.
Here is the list of McCafe Iced Coffee drinks (in the US, source):
- Iced Coffee
- Iced Mocha
- Caramel Frappe
- Iced Caramel Mocha
- Iced Caramel Latte
- Mocha Frappe
- Iced Vanilla Latte
- Caramel Iced Coffee
- Iced French Vanilla Coffee
- Iced Caramel Macchiato
Iced Caramel Macchiato vs Iced Caramel Latte
According to McDonald’s, the iced caramel macchiato is like the iced caramel latte but has an extra caramel drizzle. A small iced caramel macchiato is 210 calories, while a small iced caramel latte is 180 calories.
Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Dunkin
When talking about iced coffee vs latte, we can’t forget about Dunkin Donuts. The Dunkin iced coffee is simply plain brewed coffee over ice that you can customize however you wish. The Dunkin iced latte is made with brewed espresso and milk, and you can customize the type of milk, flavor shot, and sweetener.
Here is the beverage list of iced coffees available at Dunkin (source):
- Iced Coffee
- (Espresso plus water) Iced Americano
- Iced Latte
- Signature Iced Latte
- Iced Macchiato
- Iced Cappuccino
The iced signature latte includes seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin spice, caramel craze, and cocoa mocha.
Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Tim Horton’s
Tim Horton’s is a donut and coffee shop that’s more popular in Canada, but you can find locations in the US. Here are the iced coffee drinks you’ll find (source):
- Iced Coffee
- Iced Capp
- Mocha Iced Capp
- Caramel Iced Capp
- Oreo Iced Capp
- Iced Latte
- Flavored Iced Latte Supreme
- Iced Mocha Latte
The iced coffee is a blend of coffee, cream, and sugar over ice. The iced latte is an espresso-based drink made with milk. All of the eateries covered here also offer hot lattes and other hot drinks.
📋 Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Calories
Here are the calories and nutrition information for popular iced coffee and iced latte drinks in the US:
|Iced Drinks||Calories||Carbohydrates (g)||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Caffeine (mg)||Sugar (g)|
|Starbucks Iced Coffee (12 oz)||60||15||0||0||120||15|
|Starbucks Iced Caffe Latte (12 oz)||100||10||6||3.5||75||9|
|McDonald’s Iced Coffee||140||24||2||5||n/a||22|
|McDonald’s Iced Caramel Latte||180||28||6||5||n/a||26|
|McDonald’s Iced French Vanilla Latte||210||32||7||6||n/a||25|
|Dunkin Iced Coffee||5||0||0||0||198||0|
|Dunkin Iced Latte (coconut milk)||35||2||0||3||118||0|
|Tim Horton’s Iced Coffee (16 oz)||70||8||1||4||130||7|
|Tim Horton’s Iced Latte (16 oz)||210||28||10||6||40||28|
Nutrition information was correct at the time of writing and is subject to change. Information is for small sized drinks and only includes sweeteners, milk, etc. they come with as a default. Adding flavor shots, syrups, etc. or another type of milk will alter the nutrition info above.
Iced Coffee vs Iced Latte Caffeine
Does iced coffee or iced latte have more caffeine? As you can see in the chart above, iced coffee has higher caffeine content than a regular iced latte of the same size.
Is an iced latte stronger than iced coffee?
Some may disagree, but IMO iced coffee is stronger than iced latte for two reasons. First, the large amount of milk in latte mellows out any strong coffee taste. Second, iced coffee has more caffeine than iced latte, if “stronger” in this case means amount of caffeine.
Is iced coffee or iced latte sweeter?
Are lattes sweet? If neither drink has added sugar, iced latte tastes sweeter than iced coffee because of the natural sugar in milk. In US coffee shops, both iced coffee drinks typically have sugar or syrup added to make them very sweet.
In theory, you could make an iced coffee sweeter than a latte if you added enough sugar. Usually though, the latte will be more sweet and creamy than the coffee.
Is iced coffee or iced latte healthier?
Iced coffee is usually lower calorie than an iced latte, but the latte will contain more protein and calcium from milk. As with all things nutrition, the one that is “healthier” depends on what you’re looking for. For fewer “empty calories,” choose a drink with low sugar or no sugar added.
Unlike regular iced coffee, cappuccino is an espresso-based drink made with steamed foamed milk. The difference between iced latte and iced cappuccino is that the cappuccino typically contains a smaller amount of milk to coffee. Another iced latte vs iced cappuccino difference is that a latte doesn’t have to include steamed milk foam, but cappuccino traditionally does.
Unlike regular coffee, caffe macchiato is an espresso-based drink made with a small amount of milk. In the US, the iced macchiato vs iced latte differences are typically small, with the espresso and milk layers in the macchiato often left unblended. Sometimes these are called a “latte macchiato” since they contain as much milk as a regular latte.
The difference between iced latte vs iced mocha is chocolate! An iced mocha is typically an iced latte with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup added. Delicious!
An iced latte is made with hot espresso that is chilled. Cold brew coffee is made with coffee beans steeped in room temperature water for a long period of time. Another iced latte vs cold brew difference is that the milk is optional in cold brew, but imperative in a latte.
Though both often include dairy and sweetener, Thai coffee and Vietnamese coffee use different brewing methods. Vietnamese iced coffee is more likely to include chicory and sweetened condensed milk. Thai iced coffee may include corn or soy, and may use milk and sugar as sweetener.