What is a latte?
The iconic latte is one of those classic types of coffee 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 caffeine indulgers. 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 about this well-loved drink.
What is a latte?
A latte, also known as a caffè latte, is a milky coffee originating in Italy, served with a silky layer of foam. They're similar to cappuccinos, but there are some obvious differences - mostly in the ratios of milk, water, and coffee, coming together to create a perfectly balanced milky coffee that possesses an aesthetically pleasing look and an irresistible texture.
Origins of the Latte
Europeans have been inventing different kinds of coffees for centuries but the origins of the latte aren’t very clear. The silky beverage that we know and love today is thought to originate in America, hitting the peak of popularity during the 80’s. Known for it's highly textured milk and creative latte art to top, it is a one of the most popular coffee beverages around the world.
Differences between a latte and a cappuccino
A lot of people get the Cappuccino and the Latte mixed, and it’s easy to understand why. They’re made of the same ingredients – espresso, and steamed milk. The difference between a latte and cappuccino is in the milk. A cappuccino has 20mm thick layer of steamed milk foam on top. Lattes, on the other hand, are brewed and poured into a cup prepared with steamed milk, which gives this beverage a much thinner, more delicate layer of foam. Lattes are also versatile – they’re delicious when they’re hot, and refreshing when they’re iced.
How to make a latte at home
Like the cappuccino and the macchiato, it's super easy to make a latte at home without an espresso machine. Here's what you need to get you started on making this iconic coffee drink in the comfort of your own kitchen.
- 1 heaped teaspoon (3g) NESCAFÉ Gold Instant Coffee
- Water heated to 80 degrees Celsius
- Milk of your choice
- Sugar to taste (optional)
- A tall glass
- A handheld or electric whisk, or an empty jar with a tight-fitting lid
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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, but since it's cold milk, you can even froth it up by putting it in an empty jar (like your empty NESCAFÉ jar, for example), tightly closing the lid, and shaking it up until you get the froth you want. 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.