Iced Coffee vs Latte: (Which One is Better In 2023?)

Want to know the difference between Iced Coffee vs Latte? Here we explain the difference between Iced Coffee vs Latte and show you how to make them.

As one of the most popular hot beverages in the world, coffee has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a great beverage to warm up and get your day started. Coffee is not just a morning drink: It’s also available all day long in many different variations and styles, from iced coffee to iced latte to iced mocha.

While iced coffee and iced latte are both variations of iced coffee, they each have their own unique benefits. iced coffee is made with cold brewed coffee and sugar, while iced latte has milk, ice, and sugar added to the hot liquid.

In this article, we will compare Iced Coffee vs Latte and give you the details on how they are different.

What is an Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is the chilled version for hardcore caffeine enthusiasts who want a cold but not milk-infused coffee.

It’s made by brewing any coffee, an espresso, Americano, or even instant coffee and pouring it over ice. Milk or cream can be added afterwards.

The origins of iced coffee date back to 1840, when it was initially known as “coffee syrup” and cold water. The popularity of iced coffee increased in the US around 1920, largely due to chains like Starbucks introducing it. Today there are various definitions for what constitutes an iced coffee across different countries and regions.

What is an Iced Latte?

Iced latte is the cold relative of the traditional latte, which is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk.

In the iced version, you pour the shot of espresso in a cup filled with ice and add frothed milk on top. You can add a flavoring syrup too.

Contrary to the hot latte, which originated in Europe somewhere between Vienna and Italy, the iced latte is said to have originated in America before its Civil War. The idea of it came from coffee enthusiasts residing in warmer regions within America who couldn’t stand drinking a hot cup of joe on an extremely warm day.

Iced Coffee vs Latte: Difference Between

Iced Coffee vs Latte

The Main Different Between Iced Coffee and Latte both drinks is the coffee to milk ratio in each. Iced coffee is made using cooled brewed coffee and is usually served with a splash of milk. On the other hand, an iced latte is made using strong espresso shots instead of brewed coffee and is made using a much larger amount of milk.

Iced LatteIced Coffee
3/4 Milk
1/4 Espresso
Optional: Milk & Sugar
Brew Method:
Any way you make your espresso (e.g. espresso machine, moka pot, aeropress)
Brew Method:
Any way you prefer to brew your coffee (e.g. coffee machine, french press, pour over)
Very milky with coffee flavorCoffee is the dominant flavor
3 visible layers.
Coffee (base), milk (middle), & ice (top). Froth can be added on top.
2 visible layers.
Coffee (base) & ice (top). Milk can be added after.
High in calories due to milk contentVery low in calories if additives are omitted
Iced Coffee vs Latte

Brewing Method

The brew method is what distinguishes the two drinks the most. Iced latte is prepared with espresso, and you’re free to use any type of espresso-making machine, including Moka pots and an Aeropress.

Iced coffee doesn’t require espresso, and you can make your coffee in a french press via pour-over, etc.


Iced latte is made the same way as a regular latte, except there’s a lot of milk involved. An iced latte has 3/4 milk content and only 1/4 espresso, while the hot version has 2/3 milk and 1/3 espresso.

Iced coffee, on the other hand, doesn’t include milk in the preparation process, but you can add some later.


The iced latte has three layers: coffee at the bottom, milk in the middle, and ice on top. Milk foam can also be added to an iced latte. Iced coffee has only two visible layers – a layer of coffee with ice on top. Milk is optional and it can be added after preparation.


The calories in both coffees depend on what you chose to add. For example, if you like flavoring syrups or milk types or any other additive, then the caloric value of your coffee will change accordingly. As a rule of thumb, iced coffee is lower in calories since the original recipe doesn’t contain anything extra.

Iced Latte Calories

  • Starbucks (Grande, 2% milk): 130 cals
  • McDonalds (Medium, whole milk): 120 cals
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (Medium, whole milk & sweetener): 270 cals

Iced Coffee Calories

  • Starbucks (Grande, sweetener): 80 cals
  • McDonalds (Medium, light cream & sweetener): 180 cals
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (Medium, whole milk & sweetener): 130 cals


The two flavors have wildly different tastes. Iced latte, made with milk and ice, has a mild milky flavor with just the slightest hint of coffee. It’s to be expected when you consider all the ingredients added: milk and ice.

Iced coffee has a strong coffee taste that’s just a tad softer because of the ice.

How to make iced coffee

How to make iced coffee

To make iced coffee, first decide on a method. We recommend using one of the many French presses we have shared here that are used to make recipes like our cayenne pepper iced coffee and bubble tea drinks for example. Next, add ice to a tall glass and pour brewed coffee into it with sweeteners an stir well. That’s how you take your enjoyable cold cup of joe!

When we make our iced coffee, we like to let the coffee cool down after brewing and wait for it to be room temperature before adding it to the ice. If not, the ice cubes will dissolve almost immediately and the iced coffee will be super diluted – that’s not what we want to drink! 

At times when we do pour in the coffee immediately after brewing due to lack of time or other reasons, we recommend using coffee ice cubes. This just involves freezing coffee (preferably with the same brewed coffee we’re using for the iced coffee we’re preparing) in ice cube trays for a few hours and you can also be creative and use flavored coffee ice cubes.   

How to make iced latte 

How to make iced latte 

A latte is a coffee with milk. So it’s one part espresso, three parts steamed milk and a layer of foam on top which can be added in latté art (a regular hot latte involves only steamed milk). What about iced lattes? Well, because of the ice from an iced drink we don’t steam our milk for this kind of drink.

We make our iced lattes at home by pulling a shot of espresso with an espresso machine. We then put that shot in a cocktail shaker along with milk, ice and syrup, give the ingredients some shake time and pour it into a tall glass. That’s how to make an iced latte!

Even if you don’t have an espresso machine at home, it’s possible to still make a iced latte. You can use an Aeropress or moka pot instead of an espresso maker. Or brew a concentrated coffee using the French press!

You don’t have to use the cocktail shaker method and can just mix all the ingredients in a tall glass. We like using it with our barista blend milk alternative, which is formulated to froth so we can have little foam on top of iced lattes! After pulling the shot of espresso, pour it into a tall glass filled with ice. Add cold milk or any type of sweetener you want and enjoy your drink!

Since the milk is cold, the ice won’t melt immediately but we still like to add coffee ice cubes in place of water based ice cubes so the iced latte doesn’t dilute. 

So this is how you make an iced coffee and an iced latte.

Is an iced latte stronger than iced coffee?

An iced latte is not stronger than an iced coffee, because of the amount of milk added. Coffee tastes more balanced with a mellow taste and has less caffeine content. On the other hand, an iced coffee uses much more coffee which will leave you with a strong tasting cup of ice-coffee.

This all comes down to the ratio of coffee to milk you like to use. As mentioned above, the ratios can differ significantly per person.

Some people prefer to drink their coffee with a good amount of milk added and a bit of sweetness from sugar or sweet sugar syrup, while others might enjoy their coffee without any extra add-ins.

Iced Coffee vs Latte: (Which One is Better?)

Iced Coffee vs Latte. Which One is Better

Now that you know the difference between these two coffee drinks, it is important to know which one is better for you. I suggest the following depending on your preference:

  • Order an iced coffee if you want more caffeine and a stronger tasting cup of cold coffee.
  • If you prefer to have a more balanced coffee with a good amount of milk, optionally with a sweetener, I suggest ordering an iced latte.

I think the above-listed notes will help you order your favorite coffee the next time around.

I prefer drinking iced coffee in the summer months, as it is just a bit more refreshing for me, but I appreciate an iced latte from time to time when I feel like making an easy — yet delicious coffee.


This was a fun comparison between two excellent summer-ready coffees. I’ve listed every difference you need to know about when choosing your next favorite iced coffee drink.

If you’re interested in trying out a few coffee recipes based on iced coffee, you can have a look below. I’ve listed some amazing recipes that are perfect for sipping on slowly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is iced coffee and iced latte the same thing?

 Iced coffee is made using cooled brewed coffee and is usually served with a splash of milk. On the other hand, an iced latte is made using strong espresso shots instead of brewed coffee and is made using a much larger amount of milk.

Is a latte stronger than coffee?

Regular coffee is stronger than a cafe latte as it comes with more caffeine content. The milk added in a cafe latte makes it sweeter thereby reducing its perceived strength as well. If a latte is made with two espresso shots, then their caffeine levels will be greatly improved.

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