Cold Brew vs Latte Caffeine Showdown: The Ultimate Guide

Attention coffee enthusiasts! Are you ready for the ultimate caffeine showdown between two popular coffee drinks - cold brew and latte? In this ultimate guide, we're breaking down the caffeine content, milk, and brewing methods used in these two drinks. Get ready to discover which one will give you the energy boost you need to conquer your day. Let's dive in and find out!

Cold Brew Vs Latte: An Overview

What Is Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is a popular beverage that offers a smooth, flavorful, and mellow taste of coffee that appeals to many coffee enthusiasts. It is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours, resulting in a concentrated coffee solution that can be diluted with water or milk to create the perfect cold beverage.

Caffeine content in cold brew is typically higher compared to several other coffee preparations. The long steeping process for cold brew coffee ensures that the final product is not only strong in flavor but also rich in caffeine. Additionally, since the brewing method requires no heat, cold brew can be stored in the refrigerator and maintain its great taste for up to two weeks.

What Is Latte

Latte, on the other hand, is an espresso-based coffee drink that incorporates steamed milk and a small amount of foam, providing a balance of coffee and creamy milk flavors. An iced latte consists of a shot of espresso poured over ice, then mixed with cold milk, offering a sweeter, creamier taste with a hint of coffee flavor.

Lattes, unlike cold brews, have a lower caffeine content as they rely on the espresso shot for their caffeine. Espresso shots typically contain less caffeine than an equivalent amount of cold brew coffee, due to the extraction method and the shorter brewing time.

In summary:

  • Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours.
  • Cold brew has a smooth, flavorful, and mellow taste of coffee.
  • Cold brew has more caffeine than a typical iced latte.
  • Latte is made by combining espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam.
  • A typical iced latte tastes like sweet creamy milk with a hint of coffee flavor.
  • Lattes have comparatively less caffeine, primarily coming from the espresso shot.

For those deeply passionate about their coffee, the intricacies between a cold brew and latte might influence their coffee machine choices. While cold brews can be made without the need for specialized equipment, lattes demand precise espresso shots which are best achieved using a high-quality espresso machine. If you're looking to elevate your coffee game, especially for lattes, considering a commercial espresso machine could be the next step. Not only will it give you the consistency and quality you desire, but it also offers the durability needed for regular use. Whether you're planning to open a café or just want the best for your home, investing in a commercial quality espresso machine ensures that every cup is brewed to perfection.

Caffeine Content Comparison

Caffeine in Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. This process results in a smoother, less acidic, and less bitter coffee compared to traditional hot brewing methods. The caffeine content in cold brew can vary based on factors such as coffee bean type (Arabica or Robusta), the coffee-to-water ratio, and brewing time. On average, a cold brew contains about 26 milligrams of caffeine per fluid ounce (30 milliliters). It is important to note that the actual caffeine content may differ depending on the brewing method and specific brand of coffee used.

Caffeine in Lattes

A latte is a popular espresso-based drink consisting of one or more shots of espresso combined with steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam on top. The caffeine content in a latte largely depends on the espresso used, as well as the number of shots included in the drink. Generally, a single shot of espresso contains approximately 63 milligrams of caffeine, but can range from 47 to 75 milligrams per shot. The caffeine content in espresso also varies based on factors such as the type of coffee bean (Arabica or Robusta) and the roasting process.

Since a latte typically contains one or two shots of espresso, the caffeine content can range from 63 to 150 milligrams per serving, depending on the size of the drink and the number of espresso shots used. Keep in mind that adding more milk to a latte will dilute the caffeine concentration, resulting in a lower overall caffeine content per fluid ounce.

In summary, the caffeine content in cold brew coffee and lattes can vary widely based on multiple factors, such as the type of coffee bean, brewing method, and the specific ingredients and ratios used. To determine the exact caffeine content in a cold brew or latte, it's essential to consider these factors and refer to the specific brand or coffee shop for accurate information.

Taste and Flavor

Cold Brew Taste and Flavor

Cold brew coffee offers a unique taste and flavor profile compared to other coffee drinks. Due to its brewing process, which involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours, cold brew tends to have a smoother and less acidic taste than its hot counterparts. This is because the cold water extracts flavors slowly, reducing the bitterness often associated with hot-brewed coffee. The resulting taste is full-bodied, well-rounded, and sometimes even has a naturally sweet undertone.

The flavor of cold brew can vary depending on the type of coffee beans used, the roast level, and the brewing time. However, in general, it boasts a rich and robust taste with lower acidity levels. The texture of cold brew also contributes to its appeal, as it is smoother and silkier compared to hot coffee.

Latte Taste and Flavor

A latte, on the other hand, is characterized by its combination of espresso and steamed milk, topped with a small amount of foam. The taste of a latte is different from that of cold brew, as it features a more balanced interplay between the strong, slightly bitter flavor of the espresso and the sweet, creamy notes of the milk. Due to the steamed milk's higher temperature, the resulting beverage has a smoother, velvety texture.

The flavor of a latte can also be influenced by the type of milk used, the espresso's bean origin, and any additional flavorings such as syrups or spices. Nevertheless, a latte generally has a milder, milkier taste in comparison to cold brew coffee.

To summarize, both cold brew and lattes offer distinct taste and flavor experiences:

  • Cold brew: smooth, less acidic, full-bodied, and rich in flavor.
  • Latte: balanced interplay of strong espresso and sweet, creamy milk, with a velvety texture.

Both beverages cater to different preferences when it comes to taste, flavor, and texture. Consequently, coffee lovers can enjoy and appreciate the unique characteristics that each one offers.

Brewing Methods

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is made using an immersion brewing method. This process involves coarsely ground coffee beans mixed with cold water and steeped for an extended period, typically anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. The coffee grounds are then strained, resulting in a mellow and low-acidity beverage. The following are the steps to make cold brew coffee:

  1. Coarsely grind your preferred coffee beans
  2. Combine the coffee grounds and cold water in a container
  3. Let the mixture sit for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally
  4. Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve or filter to remove the grounds
  5. Serve the cold brew coffee over ice, or store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

The caffeine content in cold brew coffee can vary depending on the coffee-to-water ratio and the length of the steeping process. Generally, cold brew contains higher caffeine levels compared to other brewing methods.

How to Make a Latte

A latte is a popular espresso-based beverage that combines steamed milk and a small amount of foam. The creation of a latte typically requires an espresso machine or a stovetop moka pot for the extraction of a concentrated coffee. Here are the steps to make a latte:

  1. Prepare the espresso by grinding coffee beans to a fine consistency
  2. Brew the espresso using an espresso machine or a moka pot, following the manufacturer's instructions
  3. Steam the milk by heating it in a saucepan until it reaches the desired temperature, and then froth it using a milk frother or whisk
  4. Pour the espresso into a cup or glass
  5. Slowly add the steamed milk to the espresso, maintaining a layer of foam on top

The caffeine content in a latte is determined by the amount of espresso used, which is generally lower than in cold brew coffee. Lattes can be customized with different types and flavors of milk, and various toppings, such as cinnamon or cocoa powder.

In summary, cold brew and latte have distinctive brewing methods, tastes, and caffeine levels. While cold brew is made through an immersion process and provides a smoother, less acidic taste, lattes involve preparing espresso and steamed milk to create a creamy and rich texture. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preferences and desired caffeine content.

Variations and Additions

Iced Coffee Vs Cold Brew

Cold brew and iced coffee are two popular alternatives to enjoy coffee during warm weather. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours, resulting in a smooth, flavorful, and mellow taste with a higher caffeine content compared to a typical iced latte. On the other hand, iced coffee is simply regular hot coffee, brewed at a stronger concentration, and poured over ice.

Common Latte Variations

  1. Cappuccino: A cappuccino is made by combining equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, creating a rich and creamy coffee beverage. This is the main difference when comparing it to a latte, which usually contains more steamed milk and less foam.

  2. Americano: An Americano is a simple variation made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, diluting the intensity and making it similar to a regular brewed coffee. It does not contain any milk or foam, unlike a latte.

  3. Macchiato: A macchiato is an espresso-based drink with a small amount of milk foam on top. Unlike a latte, which has a larger proportion of steamed milk, the macchiato retains a more intense espresso flavor.

  4. Flat White: A flat white is similar to a latte, as both contain espresso and steamed milk, but with a slightly thinner layer of foam. The flat white provides a velvety texture, creating a more assertive coffee flavor while remaining balanced with the milk.

  5. Mocha Latte: A mocha latte combines chocolate syrup, espresso, and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream for a sweeter and more indulgent experience. This coffee variation caters to those who prefer their beverages on the sweeter side.

  6. Nitro Cold Brew: Nitro cold brew is a unique variation of cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas. This process gives the cold brew a creamy, velvety texture similar to a stout beer, and also slightly increases the caffeine content.

In summary, there is a wide variety of coffee beverages that cater to different taste preferences and caffeine requirements. One can choose from cold brew, iced coffee, or various latte variations depending on personal preferences and desired taste profiles.

Health Benefits and Considerations


One aspect to consider when comparing cold brew and latte is their acidity levels. Cold brew coffee is known to be less acidic than regular coffee, which can be beneficial for those who are sensitive to acidity or suffer from gastrointestinal issues. On the other hand, lattes made from regular hot brewed coffee may have higher acidity levels. This difference in acidity may influence a person's choice depending on their personal preferences and health concerns.

Calories and Sugar Content

When it comes to calorie and sugar content, cold brew and latte coffees can differ significantly. A black cold brew is generally lower in both calories and sugar content compared to a latte. The cold brew coffee alone has almost no calories and contains no fat or sugar. Lattes, however, are made with steamed milk, which adds significant calories, sugar, and fat content.

Coffee Type Calories Sugar
Black Cold Brew negligible 0g
Latte (w/ milk) varies; ~150-250 ~9-16g

It's important to note that these numbers can vary depending on factors such as milk type, additional flavorings, and portion size. To maintain the relative healthiness of cold brew coffee or a latte, consider using unsweetened milk alternatives and avoiding added sugars and artificial flavorings.

While it may be tempting to compare cold brew and latte solely based on their calorie and sugar content, several other health benefits should be taken into consideration:

  • Cold brew coffee may boost metabolism due to its caffeine content, thus assisting in weight management.
  • A higher antioxidant content is found in hot-brewed coffee, which includes lattes. Antioxidants help protect the body against cellular damage and can prevent various diseases.
  • Consuming moderate amounts of coffee, regardless of the type, has been associated with a reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

However, individuals with dental issues may need to be cautious about their coffee intake. Acidity, sugar, and dark-colored beverages can all contribute to dental problems such as cavities, staining, and enamel erosion. To minimize these risks, opt for a lower-acidity cold brew and avoid adding sugar or consuming coffee excessively.

Popularity and Availability

Cold Brew in Popular Culture

Cold brew coffee has gained significant traction in recent years, becoming a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for its unique flavor profile and lower acidity. With its smooth and velvety taste, cold brew attracts a diverse range of coffee drinkers, including those who may not typically enjoy regular coffee. Its popularity is evident in the variety of cold brew options available at coffee shops and cafes, including major chains like Starbucks, which offers a range of cold brew options, such as Nitro Cold Brew and Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. Additionally, the Chameleon Cold Brew brand has become a popular choice for bottled cold brew beverages, further showcasing cold brew's rise in popular culture.

Latte's Global Presence

Lattes, on the other hand, have held a long-standing global presence, originating from Italy and gaining immense popularity worldwide. Lattes are a versatile coffee beverage that can be customized with various flavors and milk options, making them a preferred choice for many. In Italy, lattes have evolved into the famous "café au lait," a popular morning beverage featuring equal parts espresso and steamed milk. Many countries, including the United States, have embraced the latte as a staple at local coffee shops, such as Starbucks' renowned Pike Place location. Starbucks has played a significant role in popularizing lattes globally by offering an extensive range of latte options, with both classic flavors and seasonal, innovative concoctions.

When comparing the caffeine content between cold brew and lattes, it's essential to consider several factors. Cold brew coffee is made by combining coarse coffee grounds with water, typically steeped for 8 to 24 hours, resulting in a stronger caffeine concentration. In contrast, lattes consist of espresso, which may have less caffeine content overall compared to cold brew. The exact caffeine amount in each beverage can vary depending on the coffee beans, brewing method, and serving sizes.

Coffee Type Approximate Caffeine Content
Cold Brew 26 mg/fl oz
Espresso (used in lattes) 63 mg/fl oz

While cold brew may appear to have less caffeine per fluid ounce, its usual serving sizes may result in higher overall caffeine content compared to lattes. However, keep in mind that individual preferences and caffeine sensitivity can play a significant role in the ideal choice between cold brew and lattes.

By understanding the differences in popularity, availability, and caffeine content between cold brew and lattes, coffee drinkers can make a more informed decision about which beverage best suits their taste preferences and lifestyle.

Cold Brew Vs Latte: The Decision

When comparing a cold brew and a latte, several factors come into play that can affect your decision on which one to choose. These include their taste profiles, caffeine levels, brewing methods, and the overall experience of each drink.

In terms of preparation, cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for up to 24 hours. This method extracts the flavors slowly, resulting in a smoother and less acidic taste. On the other hand, a latte combines espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam, giving it a creamy texture and rich flavor.

The strength of each drink varies, with cold brew typically being brewed as a concentrate, having a higher coffee-to-water ratio of between 1:4 and 1:8. This higher concentration results in a stronger caffeine content compared to a standard cup of coffee. Conversely, a latte's caffeine content is primarily determined by the espresso shot, which usually contains less caffeine per ounce than cold brew.

As for energy and refreshing qualities, cold brew is known for providing a steady energy boost without the jitters that can sometimes accompany espresso-based drinks like lattes. The cool temperature and smooth taste make cold brew an especially invigorating option on a hot day.

Roast level can also play a part in your choice between a cold brew and a latte. Lighter roasts generally have more caffeine, which is beneficial when making cold brew as their subtle flavors are also highlighted. However, lattes often use a darker roast, as the robust flavors are better suited to the espresso brewing method and complement the milk in the drink.

To help you decide, consider the following aspects:

  • Taste: Cold brew offers a smooth, less acidic flavor, while lattes are creamy and rich.
  • Preparation: Cold brew is steeped for hours, while lattes combine espresso and steamed milk.
  • Strength: Cold brew has a higher caffeine concentration due to its brewing method.
  • Energy: Cold brew provides steady energy without jitters, making it a refreshing choice.

Remember that personal preferences play a significant role in the decision between a cold brew and a latte. Some may prefer the boldness of a latte, while others might appreciate the smoother taste of a cold brew.

Latte information
Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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