regular latte

Greetings, coffee enthusiasts! Are you interested in exploring the differences between two popular coffee drinks - shaken espresso and latte? In this comprehensive comparison guide, we'll be analyzing the espresso, milk, and foam components, the brewing techniques, and the unique taste profiles of each drink. Whether you're a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a curious beginner, get ready to expand your knowledge and discover which drink is the ultimate winner for your taste buds. Join us as we delve into the world of shaken espresso and latte and uncover what sets them apart in a comprehensive comparison guide.

Latte Overview


A latte is a popular coffee drink that is made with three key ingredients: espresso, milk, and foam. The standard ratio is one part espresso to two parts milk, with a dollop of foam on top. Lattes can be customized with various flavors, syrups, and milk alternatives, such as oat milk and almond milk.

Taste and Flavor

Lattes have a creamy and smooth taste due to the milk content, which mellows out the intensely rich flavor of espresso. The foam on top adds a velvety texture, making it an enjoyable drink for many coffee lovers. The overall flavor of a latte largely depends on the chosen milk and any accompanying flavors, making it a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in various flavor combinations.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content in a latte depends on the espresso used, which typically contains around 63-75mg of caffeine per shot. A standard latte has one or two shots of espresso, giving it a caffeine content ranging between 63-150mg. This makes lattes less potent in comparison to straight espresso, which has a higher caffeine concentration.

Milk Varieties

Lattes can be made with various milk types, including whole milk, skim milk, and non-dairy alternatives, such as:

  • Oat milk: A popular, sustainable option that adds a creamy texture and a subtle sweetness.
  • Almond milk: A lighter, nutty flavor perfect for those looking for a dairy-free alternative with fewer calories.
  • Soy milk: Another plant-based option, offering a slightly nutty taste and a good froth, making it a suitable alternative for lattes.

The choice of milk influences the taste, texture, and nutritional content of a latte. Some milk alternatives froth better than others, which may impact the foam quality in the final drink.

The foundation of a perfect latte or shaken espresso is a high-quality espresso shot. This doesn't just depend on the beans or the barista but also the equipment. If you’re looking to recreate the authentic cafe experience, then investing in a professional-grade machine is essential. Whether you're setting up a coffee shop or looking to elevate your coffee game at home or in the office, an excellent place to start is by exploring a reliable commercial espresso machine collection. From robust and durable commercial-grade espresso machines to sleek designs tailored for professional use, the right machine can make a significant difference in your coffee's quality and taste. Consider factors such as the machine's capacity, features, and brand reputation when you decide to purchase a commercial espresso machine. This ensures that every cup you brew meets your desired standard, from the first sip to the last.

Shaken Espresso Overview


Shaken espresso is a coffee beverage that primarily consists of espresso, ice, and milk. The process of making a shaken espresso involves shaking the espresso and ice together to blend the flavors and create a frothy consistency. Once prepared, the shaken mixture is poured over ice and can be topped off with a choice of milk, such as dairy or plant-based alternatives.

Taste and Flavor

The taste and flavor of shaken espresso can be described as intense and robust due to the shaking technique that blends the ingredients perfectly, leading to a more balanced and smoother finish in comparison to other coffee beverages. This shaking process also emphasizes the underlying flavors of the espresso, enhancing the overall taste experience.

Caffeine Content

Compared to a latte, a shaken espresso generally has a higher caffeine content as it uses a more concentrated espresso shot as its base. While both beverages include milk, a latte incorporates greater amounts of steamed and lightly frothed milk, making it a milkier and creamier option. Additionally, lattes tend to have more sugar content due to the presence of syrups or sweeteners, while shaken espressos derive their subtle sweetness from the natural flavors of the espresso itself.

In terms of nutritional benefits, a shaken espresso may offer higher levels of antioxidants due to the prominent presence of espresso. Conversely, a latte provides more calcium and proteins, owing to its higher milk content. Despite these differences, both shaken espresso and latte can be enjoyed as refreshing beverages that cater to individual taste preferences and nutritional requirements.

Syrup and Customization

When it comes to syrups and customization, both shaken espresso and latte offer a versatile range of options for personalizing your beverage. With a variety of flavors readily available, it's easy to tailor your drink to your taste preferences.

Shaken espresso is often sweetened with different flavors, such as caramel, vanilla, and hazelnut syrups, among others. The aeration and dilution from shaking the espresso with these syrups gives the drink a smoother and more flavorful texture than a latte. Additionally, the visual appeal of a frothy mixture chilling in the cup can be enhanced with the choice of syrup.

On the other hand, lattes can also benefit from the addition of flavored syrups. While the milk used in lattes already imparts a slightly sweeter and creamier taste, experimenting with various syrups can further enhance the overall flavor profile. Some popular syrup options for lattes include vanilla, caramel, and even seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice.

When customizing your shaken espresso or latte, it's essential to consider the balance of flavors. While both drinks can accommodate a range of syrup choices, the stronger flavor of shaken espresso may require less syrup than a latte to avoid overpowering the espresso taste. Similarly, a latte, with its milk base, may need slightly more syrup for the flavor to shine through.

In summary, the following customization options can be considered for both shaken espresso and latte:

  • Different syrup flavors (e.g., caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, and seasonal options)
  • Adjusting syrup quantity to complement the strength and flavor of espresso or latte
  • Experimenting with milk alternatives (e.g., almond or oat milk) for a different taste and texture

Whether you prefer the intense flavor of a shaken espresso or the milder taste of a latte, there is no shortage of customization options to help you create the perfect beverage to suit your preferences.

Cold Coffee Comparison


A Shakerato is a popular Italian cold coffee drink that combines espresso with ice, and sometimes a little sugar or syrup, shaken vigorously in a cocktail shaker to produce a frothy, chilled beverage. It is typically served in a chilled glass, sometimes with a lemon twist or garnish. The Shakerato differs from other cold coffee options, like iced espresso and lattes, in its preparation method, its slightly sweeter taste, and the signature froth.

The quick shaking process introduces air into the drink, creating micro bubbles, which gives the Shakerato its unique texture. Those who enjoy a strong coffee flavor with a hint of sweetness will appreciate the bold, bittersweet taste of a well-made Shakerato.

Iced Espresso

On the other hand, Iced Espresso is a simpler cold coffee drink made with espresso poured over ice, and no milk or cream involved. This drink maintains the strong, pure flavor of espresso while providing a refreshing, chilled drink for hot days or for those who prefer their coffee without added dairy.

There are a few key differences between the two cold coffee drinks that customers may want to consider when making their choice:

  • Ingredients: Shakeratos are made with espresso, ice, and sometimes sugar or syrup, while iced espresso only contains the espresso and ice.
  • Preparation: Shakeratos are shaken in a cocktail shaker, resulting in a frothy texture, whereas iced espresso is simply poured over ice.
  • Taste: The shakerato has a bittersweet taste due to the quick mixing process, while iced espresso maintains its pure, strong espresso flavor.

In summary, Shakerato and Iced Espresso are both delightful cold coffee options that cater to different preferences. The Shakerato offers a slightly sweeter, frothier experience, while the iced espresso provides simplicity and boldness with a pure coffee taste.

Serving and Calories

When comparing shaken espresso and latte, serving size and calorie content are two relevant factors to consider. Shaken espresso is a concentrated beverage, typically served in smaller portions like 2-3 oz, whereas a latte's volume is usually greater due to the addition of steamed and lightly frothed milk, with the smallest servings being around 8 oz.

When it comes to the caloric content of these two beverages, a single shot of espresso contains just 5 calories and 1g of carbohydrates. In contrast, a latte has a higher calorie count, which depends on the type of milk used and any added flavorings. For instance, a 12-ounce latte made with 1% fat milk and no syrups will have about 140 calories. On the other hand, a grande Starbucks blonde vanilla latte, made with their default 2% milk, has 250 calories, with about 60 of those calories coming from fat.

It's important to note that the ratio of milk in a latte, usually around 60% of the beverage's composition, contributes to its calorie content. Furthermore, different types of milk and sweeteners can impact the overall nutritional profile of a latte. To break it down, here are some examples of the caloric content in popular milk options for lattes:

  • Whole milk: A latte made with whole milk will have more calories, around 180-200 calories in a 12-ounce serving.
  • Skim milk: Using skim milk in a latte will significantly lower the calorie count, usually around 90-100 calories in a 12-ounce serving.
  • Plant-based milk: For non-dairy alternatives, almond milk and soy milk generally have a similar calorie count to skim milk, while oat milk and coconut milk may have calories similar to that of whole milk.

In summary, the key differences between a shaken espresso and a latte are primarily related to serving sizes and caloric content. The choice between these two beverages ultimately comes down to one's personal preference for taste, texture, and nutritional needs.

Nutritional Benefits

Shaken espresso and latte are two popular coffee beverages that offer distinct characteristics and, subsequently, nutritional benefits. Understanding the differences between these beverages can help you make better, healthier choices when trying to find the perfect drink to suit your needs.

One significant difference between shaken espresso and latte is that shaken espresso has a higher caffeine content, generally around 225 milligrams per 16-ounce serving. Due to the larger amount of espresso utilized in its preparation, this makes it an ideal choice for those seeking an energy boost or increased focus during the day. On the other hand, a latte usually contains between 75-150mg of caffeine per serving.

From a caloric standpoint, it's important to consider the ingredients used. A latte has about 60% milk, which adds to its calorie count. Therefore, depending on the type of milk used, the caloric content of a latte may be higher than that of a shaken espresso. However, this also means that the latte contains more nutrients, such as calcium and protein, due to the presence of milk.

When discussing sugar content, shaken espresso often incorporates a syrup sweetener, giving it a bittersweet taste. The exact amount and type of syrup used will determine the sugar content of the beverage. Lattes, on the other hand, usually derive their sweetness from the natural sugars found in milk, but additional sweeteners can also be added, depending on personal preference.

In summary, the main nutritional benefits of shaken espresso and latte can be identified as follows:

  • Shaken Espresso:

    • Higher caffeine content for improved energy and focus
    • Possibly fewer calories, depending on syrup usage
  • Latte:

    • Rich in calcium and protein due to the presence of milk
    • Natural sugars found in milk, but can be customized with additional sweeteners

When comparing these two beverages, it is crucial to remember that individual preferences and dietary needs will play a significant role in determining the ideal choice. Feel free to experiment with various combinations of ingredients and flavors to find the perfect balance for you.

Starbucks Offerings

When it comes to caffeinated beverages, Starbucks offers a myriad of options for their customers, and two popular drinks are the shaken espresso and the latte. These drinks exhibit different characteristics, techniques of preparation, and ingredients, which contribute to their unique taste profiles and overall appeal.

A distinctive attribute of the shaken espresso is the shaking process, which instills a light, balanced, and smooth texture and flavor to the drink. This sets the shaken espresso apart from the latte, which is typically stirred, not shaken. The shaking technique ensures that the espresso, syrup, and ice are thoroughly chilled and blended, resulting in a highly enjoyable and refreshing drink, perfect for those seeking a caffeine boost with a different twist.

Starbucks shaken espresso consists of rich, full-bodied espresso, elegantly mellowed with sweetness and a touch of milk. This convenient on-the-go beverage comes in at just 100 calories, with 14g of sugar and 2g of fat. The drink's main advantage for coffee lovers lies in its higher caffeine content, and the option to swap out milk, catering to varying preferences.

Lattes, on the other hand, traditionally comprise espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of milk froth. While they may not offer the same chilled and blended experience as their shaken counterparts, they provide a comforting, creamy, and delicious beverage choice.

In addition to their core shaken espresso recipe, Starbucks also presents customers with the opportunity to customize their drinks, such as:

  • Chocolate Shaken Espresso: Drizzle chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass and replace 2% milk with almond milk.
  • Vanilla Shaken Espresso: Opt for vanilla syrup instead of simple syrup.
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon Shaken Espresso: A sophisticated option for those looking to try something new.

Overall, Starbucks' offerings cater to various tastes and preferences, ensuring that coffee enthusiasts have ample options to explore and enjoy. Whether one is a fan of the shaken espresso or the latte, Starbucks continues to provide top-quality beverages that keep customers coming back for more.

Shaken Espresso vs. Latte: In-depth Comparison

Both shaken espresso and latte are popular coffee drinks that use espresso as their base. However, there are notable differences between them in terms of ingredients, preparation, taste, caffeine content, and cost.

Shaken espresso involves shaking together espresso shots, ice, and often a flavoring or sweetener. This blending technique creates a light, smooth, and well-balanced beverage with a unique texture. Shaken espresso generally does not contain milk, although customers can request it as an optional modification.

In contrast, a latte is made by combining espresso shots and steamed milk, with a small layer of froth on top. Lattes are characterized by their creamy, velvety texture and mild flavor, which results from the significant milk content making up around 60% of the drink.

When comparing caffeine levels, shaken espressos usually have a higher content due to the larger proportion of coffee in the beverage. A grande shaken espresso at Starbucks (16 oz) typically consists of 225 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a grande latte contains around 135 to 175 milligrams.

From a cost perspective, both drinks are fairly affordable, albeit with some variation depending on the location and establishment. On average, a shaken espresso may range between $2 to $3, while a latte typically falls within the $3 to $5 price range.

To summarize, the key differences between shaken espresso and latte are:

  • Ingredients: Shaken espresso uses espresso, ice, and flavoring, while latte combines espresso, steamed milk, and a light layer of froth
  • Preparation: Shaken espresso is blended using a shaking technique, whereas latte involves a steaming process
  • Taste: Shaken espresso is light and well-balanced, while latte is creamy and mild
  • Caffeine content: Shaken espresso has higher caffeine levels compared to a latte
  • Cost: Shaken espresso is usually slightly cheaper than a latte


In conclusion, both shaken espresso and latte offer unique taste experiences while sharing a common base of espresso. Choosing between them ultimately depends on individual preferences for taste, texture, and caffeine levels. Shaken espresso is an ideal choice for those who desire a lighter, smoother drink with a higher caffeine kick, while lattes cater to coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the creaminess and mild flavor that comes with steamed milk. The slight cost variation might also be a factor to consider when selecting these beverages.

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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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