Gibraltar Coffee vs Latte

 Hey coffee addicts! Today, we're gonna talk about two espresso drinks that are totally worth trying: the Gibraltar coffee and the latte. We'll break down the flavors, textures, and how they're made, so you can decide which one you wanna sip on. So, grab a cup and let's get brewing!

Gibraltar Coffee Vs Latte


Gibraltar Coffee and Latte are both espresso-based drinks that use steamed milk to enhance their flavor profiles. They are commonly enjoyed in cafes and coffee shops and are known for their rich, creamy taste.


  • Both Gibraltar Coffee and Latte have an espresso base. Espresso is a concentrated coffee brewing method that uses pressure to extract the coffee's flavors and create a strong brew.
  • Both drinks use steamed milk to create a smooth, velvety texture. This milk is warmed and frothed to achieve the right consistency and temperature.
  • Both Gibraltar Coffee and Latte can be adapted to suit different dietary requirements, with non-dairy milk substitutes, such as oat or almond milk, often used.


  • Gibraltar Coffee is essentially a shorter latte. It is made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk. The typical ratio for a Gibraltar Coffee is 2 ounces of espresso to 2 ounces of steamed milk.
  • Latte, on the other hand, has a larger milk component. The standard ratio of a Latte is 1/3 espresso to 2/3 steamed milk. This creates a milder coffee flavor compared to Gibraltar Coffee.
  • Gibraltar Coffee is traditionally served in a 4.5 oz Libbey Gibraltar glass, which gives it its name. This glass enhances the presentation of the drink and provides a sturdier vessel for enjoying the espresso and milk combination.
  • In comparison, a Latte is typically served in a taller cup, often with a handle. This emphasizes the larger volume of steamed milk in the drink and makes it easier to handle when hot.
  • Gibraltar Coffee has a slightly cooler temperature than a Latte due to the lesser milk content. It is typically steamed to around 130°F, whereas a traditional Latte is steamed to around 140°F.
Gibraltar Coffee Latte
Espresso 2 ounces 1/3 of drink
Steamed Milk 2 ounces 2/3 of drink
Temperature 130°F 140°F
Serving Glass Gibraltar Glass Taller cup

In conclusion, Gibraltar Coffee and Latte are both delightful espresso-based drinks, but they differ in terms of milk content, serving vessel, and temperature. Both options showcase the richness of coffee and the creaminess of steamed milk, making them popular choices for coffee enthusiasts.

Components of Gibraltar and Latte

Espresso Shots

Gibraltar coffee and latte both use espresso shots as their base. Gibraltar typically utilizes a double shot of espresso, providing a strong and intense coffee flavor. Lattes can use single or double espresso shots, depending on personal preference, the size of the cup, or how strong a coffee taste is desired. Espresso provides the robust foundation for both drinks, allowing coffee lovers to appreciate the rich depth of the coffee beans.

Milk and Foam

The primary difference between Gibraltar and latte lies in the milk and foam. Gibraltar coffee consists of equal parts espresso and steamed milk, creating a balanced coffee-to-milk ratio. The milk is steamed to create a velvety, smooth texture but does not produce much froth or foam.

In contrast, a latte is made from espresso and steamed milk as well, but it has a larger proportion of milk to coffee. Lattes contain approximately 4 parts steamed milk to 1 part espresso. The milk in a latte is steamed to achieve both a creamy liquid consistency and a layer of airy foam on top. This results in a lighter coffee experience compared to Gibraltar.

Ratio and Texture


  • Equal parts espresso and steamed milk
  • Minimal milk foam
  • Rich, balanced coffee-to-milk texture


  • 1 part espresso to 4 parts steamed milk
  • A layer of airier milk foam on top
  • Creamier, lighter texture with a more pronounced milk presence

The main differences between Gibraltar and latte are the milk-to-espresso ratios and the presence of foam. Gibraltar offers a balanced, rich coffee experience with minimal foam, while latte provides a creamier, less-intense coffee experience due to the larger amount of milk present and the foam on top. These differences in ratio and texture cater to various tastes and preferences, giving coffee lovers the opportunity to choose the drink that best suits their personal preferences.

Brewing Methods and Equipment

Espresso Machine

An espresso machine is a crucial component in the process of making both Gibraltar coffee and lattes. These machines have been a staple in coffee culture since their invention in 1901. Espresso machines work by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, resulting in a concentrated coffee shot, which serves as the base for various espresso-based drinks, including Gibraltar and latte.

Investing in a high-quality espresso machine ensures consistent and rich coffee flavors. There are various types of espresso machines available on the market, ranging from manual machines to super-automatic models. Each has unique features and capabilities, so it's essential to choose one that best aligns with your preferences, experience, and budget.

Cortado Glass

The Cortado glass, also known as the Gibraltar glass, is a specific type of drinkware used for serving Gibraltar coffee. This glass has a capacity of 4.5 ounces, slightly less than a standard coffee mug, which typically holds 4.75 ounces. The Gibraltar drink was created in 2005 by the owner of the Blue Bottle Coffee Company, and it is named after the Libbey Gibraltar rock glass, in which it is served.

Serving Gibraltar coffee in a Cortado glass not only affects the presentation but also adds flair to the coffee drinking experience. It allows the drinker to appreciate the rich colors and well-blended qualities of the espresso and steamed milk, enhancing their enjoyment of the beverage.

Milk Frother

Milk frothers are essential tools in creating the perfect Gibraltar coffee or latte. These devices are designed to aerate milk, transforming it into creamy, frothy consistency ideal for complementing espresso-based drinks. Frothed milk adds both texture and flavor to your coffee, resulting in smoother and more satisfying beverages.

There are various types of milk frothers available, including manual frothers, handheld electric frothers, and standalone electric frothers. Each has its advantages and drawbacks, but they all serve to create frothy, creamy milk for your Gibraltar coffee and lattes. Selecting the right milk frother depends on factors like convenience, control, and desired froth quality.

In summary, the espresso machine, Cortado glass, and milk frother are essential tools in creating delicious and visually appealing Gibraltar coffee and lattes. These pieces of equipment can help you achieve consistent coffee drinks that are as enjoyable to drink as they are to create. If you're looking to take your coffee creations to the next level or expand your business offerings, investing in a quality machine is paramount. Consider browsing our Commercial espresso machine collection to find the perfect fit. Whether you're on the lookout for a "Commercial quality espresso machine" or aiming to "Purchase a commercial espresso maker", we have a comprehensive range to suit your needs. The right tool can truly elevate the coffee experience.


Origin and Variations

San Francisco Connection

The Gibraltar coffee, also known as Cortado, is an espresso drink that has its roots in Spanish coffee culture. In San Francisco, the Gibraltar name took off at the Blue Bottle Coffee Company and gained popularity among other coffee shops in the city. The drink consists of equal parts espresso and steamed milk, making it a perfect balance of strong and smooth flavors. It is traditionally served in a 4.5 oz Libbey Gibraltar rock glass, which gives it a distinct appearance compared to other espresso-based drinks.

Spanish Coffee Culture

In Spain, the Cortado has been a staple in coffee culture for many years. The term "cortado" translates to "cut" in Spanish, indicating that the espresso is cut with milk. This beverage is typically served in smaller-sized cups, as it's intended to be enjoyed in a few sips. It's popular in Spain for its simplicity and approachability, providing a less-intense alternative to a straight espresso shot.

Ratio Cup Size
Gibraltar one double-shot of espresso + 2 oz of milk 4.5 oz Gibraltar Glass
Latte 1/3 espresso + 2/3 steamed milk 8-12 oz Cup

Starbucks Influence

While the Gibraltar coffee has not made its way into Starbucks' menu as a featured item, it is still possible to order it at the popular franchise. To do so, request a Cortado or a smaller-sized latte with equal parts espresso and steamed milk. The drink's similar components to a latte might make it an attractive option for those looking to try something new yet familiar.

  • Gibraltar Coffee: Equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, served in a 4.5 oz Libbey Gibraltar rock glass
  • Latte: A combination of espresso and steamed milk, with a layer of foam, typically served in larger-sized cups

In conclusion, the Gibraltar coffee and latte share similarities in their core ingredients but differ in their ratios and presentation. The Gibraltar, with its equal espresso-to-milk ratio, offers a balanced flavor profile, while the latte provides a milkier and milder taste. Both drinks have their origins rooted in different cultures and continue to evolve, catering to the diverse preferences of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Other Espresso-Based Drinks

In this section, we will explore various espresso-based drinks, including Cappuccino, Flat White, Macchiato, Ristretto, and Americano. We will discuss their compositions, similarities, and differences.


A cappuccino is a popular espresso-based beverage that consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. This 1:1:1 ratio creates a balanced taste and texture while still delivering a strong coffee flavor. Cappuccinos are typically served in 6-ounce cups and can be topped with a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon powder for an extra touch of flavor.

Flat White

The flat white originated in Australia and New Zealand and has gained popularity worldwide. It is similar to a latte but with a smaller size and a higher espresso-to-milk ratio. A flat white contains a double shot of espresso and steamed milk with a thin layer of microfoam on top. Traditionally served in a 5-ounce cup, the flat white offers a more concentrated coffee flavor and a velvety texture compared to a latte.


Macchiato, meaning "stained" or "spotted" in Italian, is made out of a shot of espresso topped with a small dollop of steamed milk/milk foam. This minimal amount of milk allows the espresso flavor to shine while still providing a touch of creaminess. Serving in a demitasse cup, a macchiato is an excellent choice for those who prefer a stronger coffee taste without the heaviness of a cappuccino or latte.


A ristretto is a concentrated and intense version of espresso, prepared by using the same amount of coffee grounds but half the amount of water. This results in a shorter extraction time and a more flavorful, full-bodied shot with less bitterness. Ristrettos can be consumed on their own or used as a base for other espresso-based drinks, adding a more pronounced coffee flavor to the beverage.


An Americano is a simple and elegant espresso-based drink that features a shot or two of espresso topped with hot water, creating a coffee similar in strength and taste to a regular drip coffee. Typically served in a 6-ounce cup, an Americano provides a milder coffee experience than straight espresso, while still maintaining the aromatic and bold flavors characteristic of espresso.

Customization and Preferences

Sweetness and Flavors

A significant difference between Gibraltar coffee and latte lies in their sweetness and flavor profiles. Gibraltar coffee is known for having a smoother balance of espresso and milk due to its lesser milk content compared to a latte. This results in a more robust coffee flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness from the milk.

However, both Gibraltar coffee and latte can be customized in terms of sweetness and flavor. Sugar, syrup, or cocoa can be added to enhance the overall taste. The personal preference of the consumer plays a vital role in deciding the level of sweetness and flavors introduced to the drink. Every individual has a unique taste, and the amount of sugar, syrup, or cocoa can be adjusted accordingly.

Milk Alternatives

Considering the dietary preferences and restrictions of consumers, Gibraltar coffee and latte can both be adjusted and prepared with various milk alternatives. While both drinks traditionally use whole milk, other options like low-fat milk or skimmed milk can also be used to cater to specific dietary requirements.

For those looking for dairy-free alternatives, options like almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, or oat milk can be utilized. These alternatives not only offer lactose-free options but also introduce unique flavors, further enhancing the overall experience.

Whether it's Gibraltar coffee or latte, there's always room for customization and preference adjustments. Various factors like sweetness, flavor, and milk alternatives allow the drinks to cater to a wide range of tastes and cater to individual needs. Ultimately, selecting the perfect Gibraltar coffee or latte comes down to personal taste and a plethora of available options for modification.

Making Gibraltar and Latte at Home

Coffee Recipe

When making a Gibraltar coffee and latte at home, it's important to understand the key differences between the two. A Gibraltar is similar to a latte but contains less milk, and involves a 1:1 milk-to-espresso ratio. It's typically served in a rock glass with an octagonal bottom. On the other hand, a latte has a higher milk-to-espresso ratio, resulting in a creamier texture, and is usually served in a larger ceramic or glass mug.

To create a Gibraltar coffee, you'll need:

  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 2 oz steamed milk

For a latte, you'll require:

  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 6 to 8 oz steamed milk
  • Optional: Latte art (using a frothed milk layer)

Techniques and Tips

Here are some techniques and tips for making both Gibraltar and latte at home:

  1. Selecting coffee beans: Choose high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans for the best flavor. Opt for beans with a flavor profile that suits your taste preferences. Experiment with different roasts and origins to find your perfect coffee.
  2. Grinding your coffee: A consistent, fine grind is essential for a good espresso. Use a quality burr grinder to achieve this. Remember to ensure your coffee grounds are fresh and grind them just before brewing.
  3. Brewing the espresso: For both drinks, use an espresso machine to extract two shots of espresso (approximately 2 ounces). Make sure to follow your espresso machine's guidelines and practice your technique to achieve a perfect extraction.
  4. Steaming and frothing milk: The ideal temperature for steamed milk is around 150°F (65°C). For both Gibraltar and latte, use an espresso machine to steam the milk. Take care not to overheat the milk, as it may result in a scalded taste. For a latte, froth the milk slightly more to create a creamy layer on top.
  5. Pouring the drinks: Pour the Gibraltar into a 4.5 oz rock glass, ensuring that the milk and espresso blend seamlessly. For a latte, pour the steamed milk slowly over the espresso in a larger mug or glass, and then spoon the frothy milk on top. Optionally, create latte art with the frothy milk layer.
  6. Enjoy: Sip and savor your homemade Gibraltar or latte, taking note of the differences in taste and texture.

With practice and patience, you'll be able to create delectable Gibraltar and latte beverages in the comfort of your home. Happy brewing!

Coffee Shops and Brands

Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle Coffee Company, and the French press are some notable entities in the world of coffee. Each offers a unique experience when it comes to enjoying Gibraltar coffee and lattes.

Intelligentsia is a renowned coffee company that sets high standards for its beans and the brewing process. They serve Gibraltar coffee, which is an espresso-based drink with steamed milk, in a 4.5 oz Libbey Gibraltar glass. This beverage is quite similar to a cappuccino but comes with a distinct flavor profile. Intelligentsia focuses on maintaining the perfect balance between the bold taste of espresso and the creaminess of steamed milk in their Gibraltar coffee.

Blue Bottle Coffee Company is another well-known name that offers Gibraltar coffees alongside their other espresso-based beverages like lattes. Lattes, which are also espresso and milk-based, consist of one part espresso and four parts steamed milk. The difference between a Gibraltar coffee and a latte at Blue Bottle lies in the foaminess and milk content. Blue Bottle's Gibraltar coffee is less foamy and has an equal amount of milk and coffee, making for a smoother taste compared to their latte.

Using a French press, which is a manual brewing method, one can create coffee that has a richer, full-bodied flavor. Although the French press cannot produce espresso needed for a Gibraltar coffee or a latte, it provides an alternative brewing technique for those interested in trying different coffee experiences.

In summary, if you visit a coffee shop like Intelligentsia or Blue Bottle Coffee Company, you can expect to find options such as Gibraltar coffee and lattes. These drinks, although similar in their espresso and milk base, differ in proportions and foaminess, resulting in unique flavors. And while a French press may not be the ideal brewing method for these beverages, it offers another avenue for coffee-lovers to explore.

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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