What Does Latte Taste Like Read This And Find Out!

What Does Latte Taste Like? Read This And Find Out!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 21:32

If you are curious and wondering what does a latte taste like then this article is for you as I dive down and to the details of what is one of the most popular coffee drinks.

If you are in a rush here is the quick answer:

A latte is milky, with a prominent creamy and rich silky mouthfeel with a very light taste from the underlying coffee. It’s a coffee beverage that is dominated by the milk content.

Keep reading for the curious and humble history of a latte and the extensive variations of the beverage that you can try.

What Does Latte Taste Like?

A latte is very light, mild and milky. Dominated by the creaminess of the milk and the high ratio of the milk to espresso. The undertones of the espresso pierce the milk lightly. It’s rich, creamy and with a silky mouthfeel.

What Is A Latte?

A latte is tasty, milky coffee that is also known as a caffé latte and a café latte, It is one of the most popular coffee drinks with the meaning of latte in Italian translating to “with milk”. Depending on the drink size and location, it is either made with a single shot of espresso or a double shot with full fat whole steamed milk and a thin layer of froth on top.

It is the beverage that inspired regular latte art and 3D latte art.

The coffee used usually a dark roast of a French or Italian roast to cut through the creaminess of the milk. The coffee and steamed are in a ratio of 1:2 with the steamed milk giving the beverage a rich silky texture.

What Does Latte Taste Like
A Great Tasting Latte!

Read: What is the difference between a latte and a mocha?

What Ingredients Are In A Latte?

There are very few ingredients to making a latte. What is needed is a strong coffee beans to cut through the milk, which is why the two strongest coffee roasts of a French roast or Italian roast are commonly used.

It is needed so that the espresso base can cut past the milk.

The type of milk used traditionally is full fat whole milk due to the extra fat content helping to protect the milk proteins as the steamed milk is made and helps to give the drink a richer silkier texture.

The milk helps to take away the bitterness and acidity of the shot of espresso thanks to the natural sweetness of the milk. The skill of making the perfect espresso is more than just pulling the perfect shot; it is in perfecting the pour to get the perfect distribution of the sweetness and creaminess of the milk.

Latte Variations

There are many variations of a latte, including the French café au lait, which despite its literal translation is not quite a latte as the base of the drink is drip coffee and heated milk. The French love it as a breakfast coffee and serve their café au lait in a wide brimmed bowl like mug for dipping the croissant in.

The Spanish café con leche is a very close variation, probably the closest with the drink being made with a shot of espresso and scalded milk instead of steamed milk.

Thanks to the third wave of coffee, this humble cup of coffee has had a magnificent makeover with countless coffee shops over the globe serving lattes with various non-dairy milks, including:

  • Almond milk.
  • Oat milk.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Soy milk.

A wide range of spices can be added to a latte, including cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cloves and allspice to name a few.

Your latte can also be flavored with any flavored syrup or flavored coffee beans. Popular options are caramel, salted caramel, vanilla, pumpkin spice, ginger bread, butterscotch and turmeric.

Latte Variations
You Can Spice Up Your Latte!

Read: What is a breve latte?

The Origins Of A Latte

The origins of a latte and its history is very humble. As the legend goes, a group of American while enjoying an Italian classic, a cappuccino, found the coffee to be a little too strong tasting, added extra steamed milk and viola, that was that, and the latte was born.

Thanks to the explosion and rising popularity of gourmet coffee shops, the humble latte had a radical makeover and has become very popular due to the various flavors, milks, traditional latte art and 3D latte art.

Does Latte Taste Like Coffee?

There is only a light coffee taste that pierces through the creaminess and milkiness of the steamed milk. There is a very light and mild coffee taste from the espresso base.

Latte Pronunciation

A latte is pronounced in two syllables, Lah-Tay. Check the video for the correct and perfect pronunciation.

Latte Vs Mocha

Both these coffee beverages are great tasting and good for beginner coffee drinkers and coffee fans that don’t enjoy a strong tasting coffee where the coffee flavor dominates the beverage.

  • Latte: Made with an espresso shot and steamed milk using an espresso to milk ratio of 1:2. A latte has a fine cap of foamed milk.
  • Mocha: Made with a shot of espresso which is 1/3 of the drinks, 1/3 steamed milk and the final third is chocolate sauce. A mocha has a foamed milk topping.

The two beverages taste very different with a latte being very light, mild and milky with a mocha having a stronger coffee taste which is matched with the chocolate flavor.

 Latte Vs Cappuccino

A latte and a cappuccino may both look fairly similar, but in reality they are two very different drinks and taste very different.

  • Latte: An espresso shot with steamed milk in a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2 and thin layer of microfoam on top.
  • Cappuccino: An espresso-based drink with the shot of espresso, steamed milk and a fluffy pillow of microfoam in equal amounts.

The two drinks are different tasting as a latte is dominated by the steamed milk, making it a milky beverage with a light coffee taste. A cappuccino, due to the espresso and steamed milk in an equal amount, has a more dominating presence of the espresso. The fluffy pillow of microfoam results in a light and airy mouthfeel.

Read: Latte Vs Mocha

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Latte Taste Like

A latte should taste milky, creamy and with a light taste of coffee cutting through the milk. You should be able to taste the nutty, caramel and chocolatey tastes of coffee. The milky taste is due to the high ratio of the milk to espresso, which is a 2:1 ratio, twice as much milk as there is espresso.

Expect a sweet taste due to the milk sugars.

A latte should have at least a hint of sweetness regardless of how many shots of espresso due to the high ratio of steamed milk used to make this coffee drink. The milk sugars tone down the bitter espresso taste.

There should be a note of coffee flavor and a rich creamy texture. It is not supposed to taste like a hot milk drink.

If your latte is tasting too milky, it might be due to the roast that you have made your delicious espresso base with is not strong enough to cut through the milk. Always use a medium-dark to a dark roast for a latte and other milk-based espresso drinks.

Yes, a latte and an iced latte are two of the most beginner-friendly coffee drinks due to the milk toning down the bitter taste of the espresso shot. You can experiment with honey and various types of sugars like coconut sugar, brown sugar and alternative sweeteners like stevia to get the sweetness and taste that you enjoy.

Another milky coffee that is good for beginners is a cappuccino.

A latte is made from a shot of espresso and steamed milk with a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2. It also has a small layer of foam. There is no added sugar to a latte, but the amount of milk used typically has 18 grams of milk sugar in the form of lactose in a Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) serving.

A latte has a reasonable amount of caffeine with an average caffeine content of 75 milligrams of caffeine per cup. A larger latte made with a double espresso has a notable 150 milligram jolt of caffeine.

Final Thoughts – What Does Latte Taste Like?

Now that you know in detail what does a latte taste like and how it compares to other drinks like a cappuccino and a mocha you can head out and try one. I suggest that you try it naturally as it is and then, if you enjoy it, start to think about the variations, what spices, milk, flavorings that you can try to get that perfect latte.

Join our cool coffee community and take part by sharing what type of latte you enjoy! How do you flavor your latte? Do you have any special spices, flavoring or milk combinations? Let us all know! Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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