What Is a Latte?

What Is a Latte

Coffee that ignites the feeling of  glamour, elegance, and a particular classiness after just one sip is, of course, none other than “Latte.”

If you are a fanatic coffee lover, then the chances are you already know what kind of delicacy latte is. Latte is the go-to coffee worldwide and is a constantly sought-out coffee item from small dinners to famous gourmet restaurants and brunches throughout America.

A latte is a meticulous form of coffee that is served with well-detailed ingredients of espresso, steamed milk, and a light layer of artful decoration of foamed milk/cream. The ratio of the espresso is 30-34%, steamed milk 65%, and foamed milk(to the likings of the drinkers) 0-1%. A classic velvety latte does have a nice punch of caffeine content, close to 10-12 ounces per cup.

Average American drinks at least 3 cups of coffee, or 25% of people take 2 cups of tea (Taken from Statista) a day to keep their bodies testosterone running and to keep them productive while keeping their fatigue away in their workplace or dealing with their daily life activities.

However, it may come as a surprise even though people drink it repeatedly; many don’t have the slightest bit of clue what latte truly is and from where it actually originated and started from initially.

Outrageous as it might be, but whenever we think about coffee and have a craving for a particular cup of joe, a latte is the first thing that will pop up in our minds.

The thickness of the whipped cream, the smoothness of the milk, and the final enriched kick from the caffeine is a blissful experience that anyone will endeavor frequently.

Whether you’re a regular latte drinker or thinking of shifting from other espresso-based coffee to this type of beverage, learning more about Latte is vital. Here’s all you need to grasp about this mesmerizing delicacy of an elixir and how to maximize your satisfaction with the famous coffee.

What is a Latte

What Is a Latte

A latte is the most sort-out coffee among the large number of people who prefer drinking coffee rather than tea or energy drinks. The two vital ingredients that make the foundations of a latte are the majestic mixture of espresso and steamed milk.

Latte is also recognized as “Caffe Latte,” which originates from Italy’s modern time’s high society and colorful cultural revolutionist. It was later shortened to ” Latte ” in English to make it catchy and accessible for familiar people.

The term actually emanates from the Italian “caffellatte” that is caffè e latte, literally meaning “coffee and milk.”

In addition, the latte is called in different terms in various countries such as in French, it is called grand crème and in German Milchkaffee or (in Austria) Wiener Melange.

The usual making process of latte is generally 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a hint of thin/thick layer of cream foam on the upper surface to constructing a creamy, velvety texture. The blend of this mesmerizing cup of joe can sometimes also be referred to as a “Wet Cappuccino.”

You can order a plethora of different variations to the said ratio as the maker can adjust the latte to your liking of your insisted quantity. However, the standard size of a latte ranges from 10-12 ounces. Plus, the calory count is close to 160 and the caffeine 154 mg.

This is what The Daily Meal said about Caffe Latte, “You can’t go awry with a classic latte. Espresso coated with foamy milk; heaven in a cup.”

Famous brunch restaurant Alysha Witwicki said, “A similar drink made with a component (such as rooibos or chai) other than espresso Walk into a coffee shop or skim Instagram, and you’re sure to have noticed a matcha latte.”

As well, self-proclaimed master barista Allison Fong stated, “We each stocked up on some unfastened leaf tea and bought some drinks—a vanilla rooibos latte with coconut milk and kombucha on tap.”

The Origins of Caffe Latte

The staggering presence of coffee and milk has left its mark in European cuisine since the start of the 17th century.

Caffe latte is a constant drink for families’ breakfast menus, thanks primarily to its surprising amount of calory and caffeine count.

Astonishing as it may be, but latte didn’t make it big in Europe and the US in its starting days. Stunned as you may be, there is no such mention of its terms till the 20th century entered the scene.

However, in the 2nd half of the 18th century, some of the Austrian coffee houses started to serve Kapuziner( later known as cappuccino ), which consisted of cream, spice, and sugar. Few adjustments to its ratios here and there, and voila, “Caffe Latte” was born.

The latte came long after to the US after Austria introduced it globally.

In America, the Latte/Café Latte as we know it today is alleged to have been developed in Berkeley, California, by the trendsetter of the century Caffe Mediterranean.

You can credit the hype and modern popularization of latte in the US entirely to Seattle, Washington. In the 1980s, they started to serve this creative yet delicious brand of coffee to the masses and grabbed a lot of attention, even popping up in elite newspaper’s front pages at that time.

Latte later spread its wing and started to appear in vast states in the US in the 1990s.

The creation of the modern commercial version of the espresso can be majorly credited to the American invention. Even so, Europeans have been consuming gallons of these espressos for a century.

Fast forward to 2021; still, the latte is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the US and worldwide. Sending the message loud and clear, “It will remain till the end of time with revitalizing itself to the liking of the masses.”

Who is Latte For?

The latte, in general, is a breakfast coffee for adults to early teens. However, many people do drink this delicious coffee later in midday and sometimes into the early evenings.

Who Is Latte For

Latte is mainly chosen over other coffee in breakfast due to the espresso’s high caffeine and calory count. In addition, this coffee can re-energize you in a heartbeat and will remain in your system for a significant amount of time.

Having that in mind, a perfect cup of latte is mainly enjoyed by individuals who are looking for a temporary energy enhancement.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what kind of job you are doing. Whether you’re an office worker or a traveler, or a construction worker, anyone wanting a rapid start to the morning may find themselves going for the latte over many coffee choices.

Furthermore, In the summer season, a large chunk of people shift to a colder variation of the coffee. Plus, the addition of syrup, whip cream, chocolate, and other ingredients are present for only taste purposes. So there is a lot of laying evidence that millennials are heavily opting for those additional choices of tastes.

As for the 21st century, born individuals tend to prefer a more sweet-based solid drink, almost cutting the espresso entirely. Some combine MM’s, Jelly Beans to their latte to signifying that as time is progressing, the latte is evolving.

A large chunk of Americans mainly fancies a Starbucks latte as it saves time and is mouthwatering, saying something regarding it being a commercial drink.

After all, a Starbucks latte is a fashion statement as well as a tasty and refreshing beverage.

Popularity of Latte Globally

Latte is well renowned in the whole world.

As of 2021, there isn’t a single nation that doesn’t offer these delicious and lucrative beverages. It all started from the land of Europe, where they first introduced the concept of mixing milk with coffee into creating something marvelously unique. It was a long-standing tradition that began the transaction of a global transformation in our breakfast menu.

Currently, only China and India top the US in the coffee consumption percentage and latte in general as both countries have an extremely sweet tooth.

Shocking as it may be south-asian countries drink an enormous amount of coffee. For example, India(1,393,409,038, second overall), Pakistan(225,199,937, fifth overall), Bangladesh(166,303,498, 8th overall).

In addition, on a per-person basis, Finland takes the crown as an average Finn adult drink about 4 cups a day. Coffee is taken so highly in Finland that they provide two mandatory coffee breaks for Finnish workers to boost their energy and decrease their fatigue and a latte is a perfect cup of joe for that. On a 3-cups basis, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, and more take the list.

To see your respective countries’ current coffee consumption, visit Country Ranking of Coffee Consumption to see your country’s standing in the race of caffeine consumption globally.

As we said earlier, even though it all started in Europe, it commercially blew off in the international market from Seattle, US.

The combination of espresso, cream milk, and whip cream products has been a champion in the domestic houses in the US ever since then and every commercial cafe and coffee shop from small towns to megacities.

One of the uncrowned kings of commercial coffee tycoons in the US is Starbucks.

Starbuck has since then researched the most popular drinks, which proved that the variants of the latte that are highly purchased hot drinks/beverages in California, Western Mountain Region, Texas, Mid Atlantic, Pacific Northwest, and Midwest.

Latte Drink Comparison With Others

Latte is diverse yet highly flexible in the ingredients department, adjustable to many variations. However, latte can easily be misjudged with other regular espresso drinks. Here is a list of the most well-known coffee beverages that can be unhinged with the adored latte.

Latte vs. Cappuccino


Considered the alpha and omega of the coffee world, the fight between the two avid coffee lovers has been going on for ages. Even though both beverages use 1-2 shots of espresso, there are many noticeable differences between the two popular coffees, such as:-

  • A cappuccino has an even distribution of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. In retrospect, a latte has a smaller quantity of espresso along with a large chunk of steamed milk and a light layer of foam.
  • A cappuccino’s espresso is layered separated entirely, whereas, in a latte, the espresso and steamed milk are mixed together.
  • A cappuccino is a much smaller drink in general than a latte. Close to 6 ounces where 3 ounces are espresso and 3 ounces are the blend of foamed and steamed milk. In contrast, latte a regular latte ranges from 10-12 ounces.

If you prefer a bit more milk foam, then cappuccino might be your jam as that is the main reason people prefer cappuccino over other coffee.

The caffeine content in both coffee is quite a neck and neck (154mg exact). However, thanks to the hidden layer of espresso, Cappuccino narrowly beats Latte in that department.

Americano vs Latte​


An americano is deemed a rustic yet classic coffee in the eyes of the masses. Typically, adults in a higher age frame mainly drink americano. Here are some key differences between a latte and americano –

  • A latte is made with a combination of espresso and steamed milk with a hint of the layer of foamed wheres in americano is made with espresso and hot water.
  • A latte has a rich, velvety, and creamy flavor in nature, whereas americano is raw, bold, and intense in flavor.
  • A latte has a thicker consistency and americano has a thin consistency as it is watery, which is generally served black.

Thus it’s safe to say that Americano has way more caffeine content than latte thanks to its higher espresso ratio.

Latte vs Cafe Au Lait

Cafe Au Lait

Considered the ancestor of caffe latte, cafe au lait may be exactly the same thing if you look from a distance, like looking at a mirror as the makeup of the latte is identical to the pairing of coffee and milk.

The main difference between a latte and cafe au lait is the primary kind of coffee used in them. As in the making process of drip coffee, it utilizes a higher proportion of water in contrast to coffee in the brewing stage. Plus, drip coffee possesses a significant amount of caffeine count in its arsenal. However, the caffeine presence isn’t as much as the usual amount of caffeine that is found in a cup of espresso.

If you consider the recipe, everywhere for cafe au lait has close to 50% drip coffee and 50% steamed milk, and some additional ingredients to the customers’ liking. As for a latte, unlike cafe au lait, we generally substitute the drip coffee for espresso and go for a ratio of 33.33% espresso and 66.66% steamed milk.

Thus, solidifying that Cafe Au Lait has significantly less caffeine than Latte.

Latte vs Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato

The long-lost brother of the latte and macchiato family, you might call it. The latte macchiato is the wild combination of latte and macchiato.

Latte and macchiato are precisely alike but a bit different structure-wise, like looking from an upside-down universe.

In latte, the first thing we do is pour the espresso first into the glass, and then we follow it up with steamed milk right on the top of it.

However, for latte macchiato, the process is completely reversed. Firstly, the milk is steamed into a silky and smooth consistency of foam, which we will pour into the glass, and then 33.33% espresso is carefully poured right into the top of it. This creates a profoundly constructed beverage layer with a hint of espresso zinged into it, also known as “Macchia.”

The glaring difference between the latte macchiato and latte is the sorting order of ingredients, along with the reverse amount of espresso.

Thus, we can say that Latte Macchiato has significantly less caffeine content than Latte.

Different Variations of Latte

If you are not into the traditional latte, no worries, as there are countless different variations available to suit the customers’ needs, such as; in winter, you can go for an iced latte or masala chai(tea). Plus, the classic popular lattes, for example-

  • Vanilla Latte
  • Caramel Latte
  • Mocha Latte
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Hazelnut Latte
  • Pistachio Latte
  • Coconut Latte
  • Cinnamon Latte

Additional Facts About The Latte

Latte is celebrated all over the globe and influenced many cultures. To celebrate the contribution of this exquisite beverage called latte, two days are reserved to honor its impact on our lives. They are –

  • October 7th is National Latte Day.
  • December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day.


John Reeves

Kevin Pietersen

Hello, Kevin here, Wispy Pick’s Co-Writer. We go through and guide you through various Coffee Machines and Accessories for a great morning.

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