Difference Between Latte and Coffee

Latte and coffee are the most common type of brewed beverages across the globe. The industry of latte and coffee has skyrocketed to billions of dollars. Though both the drinks sound similar, but are quite different from each other in taste, texture, preparation, and finishing.

Latte vs Coffee

The main difference between latte and coffee is that latte is prepared with the ingredients like espresso, steamed milk, and foam milk while coffee is prepared with hot water and grounded coffee beans. Latte has originated in Italy while Coffee has originated in Africa and South Arabia.

Latte Vs Coffee

Latte word was first used in an English essay called ‘Italian Journeys’ in 1867. Latte is a creamier version of coffee. It is not as strong as regular coffee. Latte is costlier than coffee. Latte involves displays of art by forming various patterns like trees, hearts, flowers, and love on the top of the coffee.

While coffee was a popular part of the Sufi shrines in the 15th century. Coffee is less creamy than a latte. It is stronger than a latte and has proven to act as a stimulant. Coffee can be consumed in several ways like black coffee, milk coffee, filtered coffee, brewed coffee, and various other types.

Comparison Table Between Latte and Coffee

Parameters of comparisonLatteCoffee
OriginItaly Africa and South Arabia
Word derivationDerived from an Italian word ‘Caffe latte’ which means coffee and milk Derived from the Dutch word ‘koffie’ which is a borrowed word from Turkish ‘kahve’ and Arabic ‘qahwa’
Preparation methodsBy taking a standard shot of espresso and filling it with steamed milk and a layer of foam milk on top, which can be approximately 12 mm thick By adding hot water to the ground and roasted beans and milk (optional)
Variants Latte is available in various variants and flavors like vanilla, caramel, mocha, pumpkin spice, hazelnut, coconut, lavender, mate, and others Espresso, instant, latte, brewed, filtered, decaf brewed, and plunger
Effect on healthReleases stress hormones like epinephrine, cortisol, glucocorticoids, norepinephrine which also accelerate aging The caffeine acts as a stimulant, relaxes air passages of asthmatic patients, and also reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

What is Latte?

Latte is the short term for caffè latte. It is a milk coffee which can be served hot as well as cold. It has originated in Italy. The word is derived from the Italian word ‘Caffe latte’ which means coffee and milk. Drinking latte was initially common only in affluent urban populations but has now spread to every corner of the world.

The various flavors of latte are chocolate-flavored mocha, masala chai (Indian), matcha, mate, rooibos, or variation in milk like almond milk or soy milk. Though latte has been a part of European cuisine since the 17th century, the term was used for the first time by William Dean Howells in ‘Italian Journeys’ which was published in 1867.

Latte is prepared in a glass of standard shot of espresso which is filled with steamed milk and a layer of foam milk on top, which can be approximately 12 mm thick. Latte is often confused as a cappuccino but cappuccino has a thicker milk foam.

There are various styles to serve latte in different parts of the world. Like in Scandinavia, it is served in a bowl while in Southeast Asia, the latte is served in a glass on a saucer and a napkin to hold and even have local variants which are known as ‘tea latte’.

What is Coffee?

Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from roasted coffee beans and seeds. It has caffeine content which has the potential to act as a stimulant to the human brain. It can be served hot as well as ice-cold. It has originated in Africa and South Arabia.

To turn the seeds into a consumable product, the seeds are separated from the coffee fruit. The raw green coffee seeds are then roasted and later ground into a powder form. The most popularly grown Coffee beans are C. Arabica and C. Robusta and are primarily grown in Southeast Asia and the African continent. Coffee has been consumed right from the 15th century in the Sufi shrines by Yemen.

Back in the 16th century, coffee beans were smuggled to the Indian subcontinent from the Middle East and planted in Mysore. The Dutch East India Company was the first company to import coffee worldwide on a huge scale.

Coffee grows well between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and is known as the bean belt. It is planted usually at the beginning of the rainy season. It is also intercropped between beans, rice, and corn. The coffee industry has reached billions of dollars but has several negative impacts on the environment and the disproportionate wage disparity among the farmers.

Main Differences Between Latte and Coffee

  1. Coffee can be prepared with hot water and coffee powder while latte is prepared with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a later of milk foam.
  2. Coffee is derived from a Dutch word which is a borrowed word from Arabic and Turkish while latte is derived from an Italian word.
  3. Coffee is less expensive and less creamy while latte is a creamier version of coffee at a costlier price.
  4. Coffee has originated in Africa and South Arabia while latte has originated in Italy.
  5. Coffee was first consumed in the 15th century in the Sufi shrines by Yemen while latte was a popular part of European cuisine since the 17th century.


Both the brewed beverages have different preparation methods and have different tastes, textures, and styles of presentation. Both the drinks are available in various flavors and variants.

Coffee is a simple and stronger drink while Latte is creamier, includes several ingredients, and is presented with various shapes on the top.

Whether it is a latte or a cup of coffee, everyone loves both of them. They are considered the best way to start the day or take a break from the hectic schedule.


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/BFJ-07-2020-0612/full/html
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-459X.2011.00366.x
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