main content


The iconic latte is a beverage that’s loved in coffee shops all over the world. The subtle coffee taste and creamy flavouring makes it a coffee that’s universally cherished by even the most casual of coffee drinkers. With that being said, many don’t actually know what a latte is, the drink’s origin or the difference between a latte and a cappuccino. Keep reading to find out all you need to know…





What is a latte?

A latte or caffè latte is a milk coffee that boasts a silky layer of foam as a real highlight to the drink. A true latte will be made up of one or two shots of espresso, steamed milk and a final, thin layer of frothed milk on top. These elements combined result in a balanced milky coffee that possesses an aesthetically pleasing look and a smooth texture.


Latte origins

The origins of the latte aren’t very clear as people have been combining coffee and milk for centuries. However, the silky beverage that we know and love today is thought to originate in America, hitting the peak of popularity in Seattle during the 80’s.




Is a latte stronger than other coffees? 

Latte coffee is actually much weaker than regular coffee. This is because a latte is made up of a shot of espresso and steamed milk, therefore it has a higher milk-to-coffee ratio than regular coffee. So, if you are a fan of coffee that doesn’t have such a punchy taste, then this is definitely the coffee for you.



Differences between a latte and cappuccino

Despite the latte being such a popular choice, many often get it confused with a cappuccino as they’re both frothy coffees. They are very different drinks though as the latte is creamier, with espresso and steamed milk mixed together to create a more subtle taste. A cappuccino on the other hand is much stronger with equal parts steamed and foamed milk. It’s also customary in most places to serve a cappuccino with a dusting of chocolate on top.

Answered your question to what is a latte? Indulge your thirst for knowledge and find out what a cortado is, next.



Nescafé Azera My Way Latte


The new way to make an instant latte at home - use your favourite milk to make it your way.

Find out more
Gingerbread Latte Recipe Teaser

Gingerbread Latte

Get inspired. Try our NESCAFÉ coffee recipe today!

View the recipe



Is a latte hot or cold?

The latte is one of those wonderfully versatile drinks that can be enjoyed hot or cold. The only difference is in the preparation. When you're frothing the milk for your iced latte, don't heat it up! Cold milk will also froth well. You can use a whisk or milk frother for this. Then you simply pour the coffee through the cold, frothed milk, add some ice if you'd like it extra cold, and voila! A delicious iced latte, in a few simple steps, right at home.

Does latte mean milk?

The short answer? Yes. 'Latte' is Italian for milk, so if you're after a latte, make sure you ask for a caffe latte. That's the latte you're after! If you just ask for a latte, you might end up getting a plain glass of milk, which is nowhere near as satisfying as a smooth, foamy caffe latte.

Is a latte stronger than a cappuccino?

A latte and a cappuccino are very similar drinks, with the main difference being in the ratio of coffee to water to milk. Both drinks use an espresso base (for machine-made cappuccinos and lattes) or, in our case, instant coffee dissolved in hot or cold water. Because they use the same coffee base, neither one is stronger than the other, but it's likely that a latte will taste less intense because it uses more steamed milk than a cappuccino, which will cut through the intensity of the coffee.

Other articles you might be interested in

  • Coffee Flavours

    Flavoured coffees have become increasingly popular as people try to create the coffee shop experience at home. Discover our top coffee flavours.

  • What is an Americano?

    The americano is often mistaken for just a standard black coffee, but it's so much more than that.

  • What is a Frappé?

    A Frappé is an incredibly popular summertime drink in the UK, but what is it and where does it come from?