Cold Brew Vs Latte - A Guide For Coffee Lovers!

Cold Brew Vs Latte – A Guide For Coffee Lovers!

When you weigh up the benefits of Cold Brew Vs Latte you need to be impartial, accurate and honest and fairly consider both beverages.

This is exactly what you will get in this article. Intentionally I have not stated which is better for you as you can make your own decision based on your own coffee preferences and tastes.

Keep reading for the low down on both cold brew and a latte.

Cold Brew Vs Latte Taste Test

Since these two coffee beverages are different, very different, the result is that they taste very different. Let’s talk about how these two coffees taste from the point of view of an avid coffee drinker.

What Does A Cold Brew Taste Like?

A well-made cold brew is a great cup of coffee  with a rich sweetness and smooth flavor and light, gentle acidity with literally no bitterness.

Cold brew is missing the rich aromas that you would expect from a hot brewed coffee.

The reason behind this is the aromatic oils, when they are hot they evaporate quickly giving off the rich aromas. Cold brew coffee just does not reach the temperatures required to evaporate the oils.

Cold Brew Vs Latte
Cold Brew Tastes Great

Read: Starbucks cold brew concentrate caffeine content

What Does A Latte Taste Like?

A latte is a mild tasting coffee due to having a greater milk content than other espresso-based beverages. With the wrong roast, the distinctive coffee taste can be lost and fail to cut through the milk – especially with lighter roast profiles. A good dark roast is needed.

For this reason, when I want a strong latte I always request a strong dark roast. Overall a latte is a milky coffee with a luxurious mouthfeel due to the steamed milk, which gives a silky rich texture.

A cold brew coffee has more caffeine than a latte, a lot more. Let’s see how the two drinks compare in terms of caffeine content.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Latte?

For a matter of accuracy and eliminating variables in this comparison I am comparing the two cups of coffee from the same coffee shop, Starbucks.

Starbucks was chosen as they use the same beans in their coffee drinks. It is a set menu if you like. The only time they change is when you request specific beans.

For a matter for clarity, as standard Pike Place is used as their standard coffee beans for their latte’s.

The caffeine content in their lattes for their drink sizes are as follows.

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Latte: 75 mg.
  • Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) Latte: 75 mg.
  • Venti 24 Oz (720 ml) Latte: 150 mg.
  • Trenta 31 Oz (930 ml) Latte: 150 mg (225 mg UK and Europe).

In the United Kingdom and Europe, a Trenta has 3 shots of espresso while in the US and Canada only two shots are used.

What Has More Caffeine A Latte Or A Cold Brew
A Café Latte

Read: Does cold brew have more caffeine?

How Much Caffeine Is In A Cold Brew Coffee?

A cold brew, brewed in a very different way, it is brewed with cold water – we will get into the details in a minute. Cold brew coffee has more caffeine than not just a latte; it has more caffeine than all other coffee drinks.

The coffee used to make cold brew at Starbucks is their breakfast blend.

Let’s look at the amount of caffeine in a cold brew coffee at Starbucks:

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Cold Brew: 150 mg.
  • Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) Cold Brew: 200 mg.
  • Venti 24 Oz (720 ml) Cold Brew: 300 mg.
  • Trenta 31 Oz (930 ml) Cold Brew: 330 mg.

Clearly there is a considerable difference in caffeine content between these two drinks, with cold brewed coffee having a lot more for all drink sizes.

Cold Brew Vs Latte Calories – The Nutritional Details

Besides the calorie count, I’ll detail the sugar content and fat content too. The figures are without adding sweetener, as not everyone adds a sweetener and the type of sweetener used varies.

It is worth knowing that at Starbucks there are 5 grams of sugar and 10 calories per pump of simple syrup, regardless of it being a flavored syrup or not.

The cold brew has been taken as a naked cold brew with nothing added.

Drink Size Sugar (Latte) Sugar (Cold Brew) Calories (Latte) Calories (Cold Brew) Fat (Latte) Fat (Cold Brew)
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 13 g 0 150 5 6 g 0
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 18 g 0 190 7 7 g 0
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml) 22 g 0 240 10 9 g 0
Trenta 31 Oz (930 ml) 28 g 0 310 15 12 g 0

Clearly cold brew coffee has less sugar, fewer calories and less fat than a latte. If you are on a diet or watching your figure, a cold brew as it is with nothing added is a better choice.

Coffee on its own, has next to no calories – an insignificant amount and no sugar or fat. It is what you put in your coffee that adds the calories, sugar and fat.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Making a cold brew coffee is easy and requires the use of very little equipment other than what you may already need.

The brewing method is one of immersion. It is a very patient brewing method as the brewing time can take from 12 hours to 24 hours.

Equipment Needed

There is very little equipment needed to make cold brew coffee. Here is what you will need:

  • A ceramic conical burr grinder.
  • A glass container with an airtight lid.
  • A metal coffee filter.

A ceramic conical burr grinder is the type of grinder that will get you the best results as they produce a quality and consistent grind size and doesn’t have the heat transfer problem due to the ceramic burr.

Ingredients Required

You need only two ingredients to make a great cold brewed coffee. The ingredients are:

  • Coarsely ground coffee beans.
  • Water – Filtered or mineral water.

When you are making a cold brew, use the best quality coffee beans that you can to get the best results. At Latte Love Brew we believe in the chef’s principle of the best ingredients getting the best results. This includes your water. The better your water, since coffee is 99% water the better the result will be.

The Method And Technique

Consider how much of this coffee that you want to make. Make more than what you think you need as the brew time can be as long as 24 hours. Since it lasts for 3 to 5 days, consider making 3 days worth to enjoy this coffee.

For 1 liter – 33.3 Oz of coffee, you will need to weigh 125 grams (4.16 Oz) of coffee beans. It is better to weigh your coffee grounds prior to grinding them. The mass is the same and the end weight when ground is the same, the benefit of delaying the grinding is keeping them fresher for a little longer.

Grind your beans to a very coarse and even grind size and put them in your glass container. Add fresh, ice-cold water and brew in your fridge for 12 to 24 hrs. Check up on your coffee after 12 hours to find out if it is hitting the sweet spot for you in terms of taste.

If it doesn’t, test again after 2 or 3 hours and continue to do so until you get the perfect taste for you.

When your coffee is ready, filter out your coffee grounds as it will continue to extract and eventually become over brewed.

Use a metal filter; a sieve will be fine. A metal filter will leave all the coffee oils in the coffee and result in a more flavorful and full-bodied coffee.

How To Make A Latte

A latte has a completely different brewing process and requires specialist brewing equipment; without it, you simply cannot make the espresso shot required. A moka pot is not a home espresso device as it lacks the required pressure to be able to do that.

An Aeropress, if you use it well, may get you a good espresso shot. To get it right and the ideal pressure of 9 bar (130 PSI) you need a home espresso machine, ideally one with a milk steaming wand.

Ingredients Needed

There are only two ingredients needed to make a great latte:

  • Freshly roasted dark roast coffee beans.
  • Whole Milk.

The Method

To make a great espresso shot for your latte, use a 1:2 coffee to water ratio. Weigh 30 grams of coffee beans and grind them to a very fine grind of 200 microns.

Test the water from your home espresso machine to ensure that it is within the required water temperature of 92C to 96C (195F to 205F). Ideally nearer the higher end of the temperature range.

Tamp your grounds firmly and evenly, but not too firm. Tamping is a skill.

Put your portafilter on your home espresso machine and have your digital coffee scale on the drip tray below your coffee cup and press tare to reset the scales. Pull your double shot and stop when you reach 60 grams as measured by your coffee scale.

It should take 25 second plus or minus 5 seconds to pull your shot. If your shot takes longer to pull, you will need to adjust your grind size and make it slightly larger to allow the hot water to run through the bed of coffee easier.

If your brew time is too quick, it is a sign that your grind size is too large, and you will need to use a smaller grind size to ensure greater contact of the water with the grinds.

Once your double shot of espresso has been pulled steam your milk.

Steaming your milk is easy.

Add your whole fat milk to your milk jug. A quick side note, whole fat milk makes a better quality steamed milk due to the high fat and protein content.

Dip the nozzle of your milk steaming wand about half an inch below the surface of your milk and start steaming it. Ensure your jug is tilted at an angle and move your jug up and down through the depth of the milk.

Watch out for a whirlpool effect and a screeching sound. Once you hear that your milk is ready.

To make the milk foam simply dip your milk steamer about half an inch below the surface and steam it until you see enough froth being formed.

Pour approximately 4 Oz (120 ml) of milk into your cup with the double shot and scoop a small amount of milk froth for good measure.

Latte
A Latte Is Easy To Make

Which Is Right For You?

Coffee is a very personal thing and being a barista for a number of years I can tell you that coffee can be ordered in multiple different ways and everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

If you like a smooth well-rounded coffee that is less acidic, or if you have an upset stomach, then a cold brew coffee will be a better choice. A slight downside of cold brew is that it doesn’t draw out the subtle flavors of specialty coffee beans as well as hot brewing methods.

If your preference is to enjoy top quality single origin coffees and the unique location specific tastes, then a latte will be the better choice for you. Just make sure you use a dark roast to cut through the milk and make a double shot of espresso for more of a coffee taste.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew Vs Latte

Coffee is very subjective and is a personal thing, what you love and find to be better may not be the opinion of someone else.

I’ll state the facts here, leaving out my own personal preference. Cold brew is less acidic and is a smoother and less acidic coffee, so if you have a sensitive palate, dental issues or gastric problems, going on a cold brew will be a better choice for you.

A latte will be the better choice for you if you enjoy the subtleties and nuances of the flavor that a good espresso brings.

What Is Stronger Iced Latte Or Cold Brew?

And iced coffee (iced latte) is a strong balanced coffee and has quite a caffeine push, but it is not as strong as a cold brew for any of the popular and common drink sizes.

Drink Size Caffeine Content: Iced Latte  Caffeine Content: Cold Brew
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 75 mg 150 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 150 mg 200 mg
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml) 225 mg 300 mg
Trenta 31 Oz (900 ml) N/A 330 mg.

It is literally no contest: in all drink sizes there is a notable difference in the caffeine content.

An iced latte is sweeter than a cold brew. This is due to a latte being brewed at a higher temperature than a cold brew coffee and having a greater ability to extract the sugar content and natural sweetness from the coffee beans.

The same is true for an iced latte as an iced latte is brewed with hot water and over ice. The brewing process involves hot water which is then “flash” cooled as it is brewed into a mug with ice.

The more coffee that is used, the more caffeine the drink has. Due to the highly focused ratio of coffee to water ratio of 1:8 the drink becomes more caffeinated.

However,

it must be pointed out that the low temperature of brewing does not increase the amount of caffeine in the beverage. If cold brew was brewed with hot water and then flash cooled by dripping it over ice then it would contain more caffeine. This is how Japanese flash cold brew coffee is made.

Final Thoughts – Cold Brew Vs Latte

In the coffee battle of cold brew coffee vs latte, you know which coffee meets your requirements more than the other, and you should be able to make an excellent one of each. 

Which what I suggest that you do – try both and find your preference. 

What one is better for you, a latte or a cold brew? 

Why?

Join our coffee community on Facebook/Meta and let us know, or better still, share a pic of your excellent coffee creations and tell us all what you made and how! 

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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