When I first began exploring the wide world of coffee, there were a few points that seemed a bit confusing to me. Namely all the different drinks and names!
Honestly, coffee can be so vast and complex for something that comes from a small bean!
So, if you’re also new to the café experience, you may have a lot of questions. One thing you might be wondering is, “Are lattes hot or cold?” Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple.
And even if you know whether lattes are hot or cold, you might ask the next logical question to yourself: Are hot or cold lattes better?
If you’d like to find out more about lattes (as you enjoy one!), including the answers to the above questions, here’s what you need to know!
- What is a Latte?
- How a Cold and Hot Latte Are Made
- Which Is Better: Hot or Cold Latte
- Which Espresso Drinks Are Hot or Cold
What is a Latte?
The caffè latte – often referred to as a “latte” for short – is an espresso drink featuring shots of espresso, steamed milk, and a bit of milk foam on top.
Classically, a latte has one or two shots of espresso. But if you’re ordering a latte from chain cafés like Starbucks, larger sizes may have three shots of espresso. Additionally, you may have a chance to add more shots to the drink if you’d like.
When it comes to the temperature, lattes are traditionally served hot. Usually, the serving temperature for a hot latte is between 140°F and 160°F. For the hot latte temperature in Celsius, the range people typically use is 60°C to 70°C.
However, you can also get a cold latte instead. With a cold latte, the milk isn’t heated during the frothing process. Additionally, the espresso and milk are poured over ice, further chilling the beverage.
How a Cold and Hot Latte Are Made
Making a hot latte is reasonably simple. Heres a quick step by step:
- Begin by pulling the espresso shots and adding them to a cup or mug.
- Place some milk in a suitable container and steam it.
- Usually, the steaming wand sits just below the surface of the milk, and you want to keep steaming until the milk is about double its original size.
- After that, you’ll move the stem wand a bit lower and toward the side of the container. That will help create some micro-foam bubbles. Keep steaming until the milk reaches the target temperature.
- Tap the container on the counter and give it a swirl to break large bubbles
- Pour the milk into the center of the espresso in your cup, and top it all off with the foam. Yummy!
With a cold latte, the process is similarly straightforward.
- First, the espresso shots are pulled.
- Next, the milk is frothed, but it isn’t heated. That gives the milk a silkier texture without warming it up.
- Then, the milk is poured into the serving cup. The espresso is poured through the milk, which cools it a bit.
However, you can also pour the milk and espresso over ice, giving you an iced latte. After that, it’s ready to enjoy. Hmmm…delicious!
Which Is Better: Hot or Cold Latte
Technically, theres really no right or wrong answer here since neither hot nor cold lattes are inherently better. It’s all about personal preference (which is all that really matters when it comes to espresso drinks, in my opinion.)
Hot lattes are incredibly silky and can be quite comforting, particularly when it’s chilly outside. Cold lattes – especially iced lattes – are an excellent way to get your coffee fix when the weather turns hot.
Are matcha lattes better hot or cold?
Again, neither is innately better. You can make a tasty matcha latte hot or cold. However, the hot version is usually a bit smoother, and the taste profile is a bit nuttier with a touch of sweetness along with the earthiness, so keep that in mind.
Are pumpkin spice lattes better hot or cold?
The answer is also that neither is intrinsically better than the other. Many people prefer hot pumpkin spice lattes because the drink is classically available when the weather turns colder, and the warmth makes it a very comforting and cozy drink.
Still, fall spices can work well in iced lattes, too, so ordering one cold is definitely an option.
Which Espresso Drinks Are Hot or Cold
Is Espresso Hot or Cold?
Espresso is hot when it’s initially created. To make a traditional espresso shot, hot water is forced through tightly packed fine-ground coffee, and that heat helps extract fantastic flavor. Plus, espresso is less bitter when it’s quickly consumed while still hot. You can also lose the crema that makes espresso so delectable if you let it cool.
However, while espresso is made hot, it can be served cold. Usually, cold espresso is only used in iced espresso drinks, like an iced latte. Additionally, the espresso isn’t usually chilled before it’s added to the cup. Instead, cold milk or ice reduces the temperature of the espresso.
Is Cappuccino Hot or Cold?
Traditionally, a cappuccino is a hot espresso drink. It features hot espresso with a bit of steamed milk and topped with milk foam. Usually, it’s considered a layered drink, as the milk and espresso don’t combine the same way as they do when pouring a latte.
It is possible to get a cold or iced cappuccino. However, this isn’t as common as a cold or iced latte, though the drink itself is similar. There’s just less milk in an iced cappuccino than you’d get if you ordered an iced latte instead.
Is Frappe Hot or Cold?
A frappe – as well as a Frappuccino – is served cold. When you order one from a café, you’re typically getting a blended drink. Along with coffee, a frappe features milk and plenty of ice, and there may be sweeteners or flavorings in the mix, too.
The ice is what makes a frappe a frappe. If you make a similar drink hot, then you’ve likely got a completely different drink. And you would not be frappeing!
Is Macchiato Hot or Cold?
Like a latte, a macchiato can be hot or cold. The main difference between a macchiato and a latte is the amount of milk, with macchiatos having less than what you’d get if you ordered a latte. Lattes also feature milk foam when made hot, while macchiatos usually don’t have milk foam.
A traditional macchiato is served hot. However, you can also enjoy one cold or over ice if you prefer, so feel free to try one cold.
Is a Mocha Hot or Cold?
As with most espresso drinks, mochas are classically served hot. However, you can also have a cold or iced mocha if you prefer.
Technically, the only difference between a latte and a mocha is that mochas feature chocolate flavoring. As a result, a mocha can be delicious whether it’s hot or cold.
Are Lattes Hot or Cold at Starbucks?
Starbucks serves both hot and cold lattes. Along with traditional versions without flavoring, you can get hot and cold Starbucks lattes with a variety of sweeteners and syrups, like caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, and more.
You can also choose between regular and blonde espresso, as well as pick from a wide variety of milks and milk alternatives.
Are McDonald’s Lattes Hot or Cold?
Like Starbucks, McDonald’s has hot and cold lattes on its menu. You can choose from a traditional latte, caramel latte, and French vanilla latte at most locations. The fast food chain also has mochas available.
Additionally, McDonald’s may have seasonal flavors available, like pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha, depending on the time of year. Often, these are also available hot or iced.
Coffee Has Never Read This Good!
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- About the Author
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Catherine Reed is a freelance writer and coffee enthusiast. She has been a lover of coffee, espresso, and various café-style concoctions for more than 20 years, and enjoys exploring everything the world of coffee has to offer. Whether it’s trying out new coffee technologies or exploring small-batch creations from independent micro-roasters, Catherine is open to any coffee experience, and aims to share everything she’s learned with discerning readers interested in leveling up their coffee game.