Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte - The Differences Explained!

In a world as busy as ours, coffee and other caffeinated drinks are a must. Plus, they’re delicious!

At coffee shops around the world, some of the most commonly ordered drinks are iced coffee and iced lattes, but how different are these drinks really? They might be more distinct than you think!

In this article, we’ll discuss iced coffee vs. iced lattes, how they differ from one another, their ingredients, caffeine content, and so much more. Read on to discover everything you’ve ever needed to know about the differences between iced coffee and iced lattes.

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte

Even though they might look similar once they’re in a cup, iced coffee and iced lattes aren’t actually the same drink. Although there are similarities like having caffeine, being highly customizable flavor-wise, and being deliciously cold and milky, these two drinks aren’t interchangeable!

What Is an Iced Coffee Made From?

Traditionally, iced coffee is made from hot or cold brewed coffee and ice cubes. It almost always contains a type of milk as well, like regular cows milk, heavy cream, oat milk, almond milk, or any other milk substitute.

Iced coffee can also contain flavor additives, both in dry spice and flavor syrup form.

Ratio of iced coffee: Either 100% black coffee or 90% black coffee with 10% milk or cream.

What Is an Iced Latte Made From?

An iced latte is made from espresso, ice, and milk or cream of some sort. Like iced coffee, milk substitutes work just as well as regular milk.

Iced lattes can’t be served black; otherwise, it would just be a shot of espresso over ice. Flavor additives also go nicely with iced lattes.

Ratio of iced latte: 3 parts milk to 1 part espresso.

The Differences Between Iced Coffee and Iced Latte

The differences in iced coffee and iced lattes are all in the ingredients; iced coffees use hot or cold brewed coffee and iced lattes use espresso as the coffee element. 

While the espresso in the iced latte is stronger on its own, it is much more diluted by milk than the brewed coffee of an iced coffee. This means an iced coffee is going to have a stronger coffee flavor than an iced latte.

Which Is Healthier: Iced Coffee or Iced Latte?

Figuring out whether iced coffees or iced lattes are healthier really depends on how you prefer to drink them. A black iced coffee with no milk is going to be nearly zero calories, but the calorie count goes up as soon as you add milk or flavorings.

The same holds true for iced lattes, but because iced lattes contain more milk than iced coffees, they naturally have a higher caloric count than black iced coffee.

Calculating the calorie count of any coffee can get confusing when additives are put into the mix, but our simple charts below can help.

If you’re going strictly by calorie count, then an iced coffee is the healthier of the 2 choices. 

Iced Coffee Calories

Black iced coffee has 1 calorie per serving, but this changes when you add things like milk or sweetener.

Calories of Iced Coffee With Milks
Skim Milk + Black Iced Coffee 15 calories
2% Milk + Black Iced Coffee 26 calories
Full Fat Milk + Black Iced Coffee 30 calories
Calories of Iced Coffees With Sweeteners
Iced Coffee + Sugar 16 calories per tsp of sugar
Iced Coffee + Flavored Coffee Syrup 20 calories per pump
Iced Coffee + Agave Liquid Sweetener 21 calories per tsp

Iced Latte Calories

Iced lattes have higher calorie counts than iced coffees, but they can vary depending on which milks or sweeteners are added. For example, iced lattes with skim milk will have fewer calories than iced lattes with full-fat milk and sugar.


Calories of Iced Latte With Milks
Skim Milk + Iced Latte 67 calories
2% Milk + Iced Latte 120 calories
Full Fat Milk + Iced Latte 136 calories
Calories of Iced Latte With Sweeteners
Iced Latte + Sugar 16 calories per tsp of sugar
Iced Latte + Flavored Coffee Syrup 20 calories per pump
Iced Latte + Agave Liquid Sweetener 21 calories per tsp

Which Has More Caffeine: Iced Coffee or Iced Latte?

All of the caffeine in iced coffees and iced lattes come from the espresso or coffee within. Espresso as a rule has a higher caffeine content than brewed coffee, but things get a little more complicated when you consider the fact that there is more coffee in an iced coffee than there is espresso in an iced latte.

  • Caffeine in 1 shot of espresso: 95mg
  • Caffeine in 1 serving of coffee 75mg

McDonalds, Starbucks,  And Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffees and Iced Coffees

Three of the most popular places to get iced coffees and iced lattes are McDonalds, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts. These drinks can vary in ratios, ingredients, sweeteners, and calorie content.

Starbucks, being a traditional coffee shop, has no additives, while the other two fast food restaurants might have extra ingredients you wouldn’t expect.

Below, we’ve listed the calories, sugar, and caffeine content of the iced coffees and lattes from these 3 restaurants. 


Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte at Starbucks


Iced Coffee: 80 calories 

Iced Latte: 130 calories



Iced Coffee: 20 grams 

Iced Latte: 11 grams 



Iced Coffee: 165 milligrams 

Iced Latte: 150 milligrams

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte At McDonalds


Iced Coffee: 180 calories 

Iced Latte: 120 calories 


Iced Coffee: 28 grams 

Iced Latte: 9 grams 


Iced Coffee: 12 milligrams 

Iced Latte: 14 milligrams

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte Dunkin’ Donuts


Iced Coffee: 5 calories 

Iced Latte: 50 calories 


Iced Coffee: 0 grams 

Iced Latte: 1 gram 


Iced Coffee: 297 milligrams 

Iced Latte: 166 milligrams

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Cappuccino vs. Iced Latte vs. Iced Macchiato

  • Iced Coffee: Cold coffee, served either black with some sort of milk or cream, and over ice. Optionally, sweetener or flavors can be added.
  • Iced Cappuccino: Espresso over ice with some sort of milk or cream and topped with milk foam. Can also have sweeteners or flavors added.
  • Iced Latte: Espresso over ice with some kind of milk or cream. Usually 1 shot of espresso is used, and sweetener or flavors can be added as well.
  • Iced Macchiato: A layered espresso drink, with milk or cream poured over ice and carefully topped with espresso. If flavor or sweetener is to be added, it is layered below the espresso.

Common Questions

  • Which Iced Drink Has the Most Caffeine: Iced Lattes or Iced Coffees?

Typically, an iced coffee will have more caffeine than an iced latte, even though the espresso in an iced latte has more caffeine per volume than the brewed coffee in an iced coffee.

Since there is so much more coffee than espresso in the respective iced drinks, iced coffees end up having more caffeine.

  • Is an Iced Coffee Sweeter Than an Iced Latte?

Iced coffees and iced lattes both typically contain no sweetener, so in their most basic forms, neither are sweet. Which one ends up being sweeter depends on how much flavor or sweetener is added to the drink by the consumer.

  • What Is the Difference Between Espresso and Coffee?

It might surprise you to know that espresso is a type of coffee. The real difference comes in how espresso and the brewed coffee used in iced coffee is prepared.

Espresso is highly concentrated coffee, traditionally a dark roast, that is brewed under high pressure to create the incredibly strong caffeinated drink. Espresso also has a crema foam on top.

Brewed coffee is made when water is used to extract flavor from ground coffee beans. Hot or cold water can be used.

Final Thoughts

Although they both have distinct differences, iced coffees and iced lattes are both wonderfully chilled coffee drinks that can put a pep in our step when we need it. They are highly customizable to our individual tastes, so whether you like flavored, unsweetened, or sweetened coffees, either of these iced drinks might work for you.

Now that you know the difference between the two, it will be so much easier to pick your favorites! Or maybe you enjoy both iced coffees and iced lattes, and it just depends on what sort of drink you’re craving day to day.

If you want a strong coffee flavor, or a black, nearly 0 zero calorie coffee, then iced coffee is the way to go. Since this drink can be taken black, it’s the best choice for people trying to cut calories.

If you want more room for milk or cream, go with the iced latte. An iced latte can be made stronger with additional espresso shots as well.


How to Make Proffee (Protein Coffee Seen On TikTok)

Proffee (protein + coffee = proffee) is one of the latest TikTok trends to go viral, and people are going crazy over this new coffee fad. So, how do you make proffee?

Making proffee is about as easy as it sounds, all it takes is coffee, protein powder (or a protein shake) and some ice! The best part about making proffee, aside from the number of health benefits, is that you can customize it to your liking! This energizing, post-workout drink is a great way to combine your coffee and your protein in one delicious, refreshing beverage. 

The rest of this article will be your go-to-guide to proffee! What it is, how to make it, and why you should include it in your daily routine.

What is Proffee?

Proffee is a combination of coffee and protein that has recently gained a significant amount of popularity on TikTok. Known for its fantastic ability to get you your coffee and protein at the same time, proffee is most commonly used as a post-workout drink or a wake up drink, giving you a kick start to your day.

Proffee is typically made to be an iced coffee, but if you prefer it can be made hot. The only problem with this is that protein powder gets clumpy when warmed, which can make your job a bit more difficult.

This homemade drink is an excellent combination of protein and caffeine, and the best part is that you can experiment with it and make it your own. Some people have made proffee lattes, collagen coffee, etc!

Is Proffee Good for You?

Proffee is actually very good for you, and can have a number of health benefits when consumed in moderation. If consumed in excess, like many things, too much proffee can have the same effect as too much coffee, such as making you anxious or jittery.

Proffee is a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients such as riboflavin, potassium, and vitamin B. Vitamin B can help the body produce energy. The kick from caffeine can help to improve endurance and athletic performance, as well as enhancing mood and reaction time as well as improving memory.

A cup of coffee each day has been shown to decrease the chance of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, cancer, neurological diseases, and depression. Adding protein is an added bonus, as you need protein to keep your body functioning well. Drinking proffee first thing in the morning can give you the perfect kick start for your day, as well as reducing excess hunger later.

Proffee can also be healthier than regular coffee because protein powders come in various flavors, allowing you to customize your coffee to your liking without adding more unhealthy, sugary creamers.

How to Make Proffee

Proffee is quick and easy to make, and all it takes is a couple of ingredients and a few simple steps!

What You’ll Need

To make proffee, you will need:

  • A coffee maker or an espresso maker (depending on the type of coffee you are using)
  • A shaker or a whisk and bowl (if you’re using protein powder)
  • A mug or a glass (for the final product of course!)
  • Optional: Sweeteners such as coffee creamers or syrups

Note: if you are using a protein shake, you can simply use that in place of the protein powder

It is recommended that you use 1 cup of coffee or 1-2 espresso shots, 1 cup of a protein shake or 1-2 scoops of protein powder, and ½ a cup of ice to achieve the perfect ratio of coffee and protein for your proffee. However, you are welcome to experiment with the amount of each ingredient to make your proffee to your liking.

Putting it All Together

To make proffee, you will need to: 

  1. Brew a cup of coffee (or espresso shots)
  2. Prepare a protein shake or protein powder (if using protein powder, mix the powder with water before adding it to the coffee)
  3. Mix everything together

And voila! You have yourself an excellent glass of proffee.

What is the Best Protein for Proffee?

There are a number of protein options for proffee, and there is no specific protein that will make or break your cup of proffee.

The protein powder you use can be changed based on your own preferences, such as flavors. There are many flavors to choose from when it comes to protein powders, such as vanilla and chocolate. The only suggestion when it comes to flavored protein powder is that you avoid fruity flavors or other kinds that would not pair well with coffee.

Instead of protein powder, some people recommend using a protein shake, since it is already made to drink. With a protein shake, all you need to do is mix it with coffee. When it comes to using protein powder, you need to mix it with water before adding it to the coffee in order to make it drinkable.

You can use either flavored or unflavored protein, however when using an unflavored protein powder you might want to add a sweetener, but that depends on personal preference. Some people have even experimented with different types of powder, such as collagen peptides powder for a specific type of protein. If you’re looking for specific brands, experts recommend Naked Nutrition, Designer Protein, Pure Protein, or Further Foods Collagen.

What is the Best Coffee for Proffee?

Similar to protein, there are a number of coffee options for proffee, and the type that is best depends entirely on your own personal likes and dislikes.

Regular iced coffee can be used for proffee, and whichever blend you like best will work just fine. Cold brew coffee, french press coffee, and pour over coffee will also work very well for proffee.

Another option is adding espresso shots to your proffee, and most people prefer to use one or two. Espresso shots are the most commonly used coffee added to protein shakes.

What Does Proffee Taste Like?

Before making proffee, you might want to know if it’s worth it taste-wise. Of course, why would you make it if it tastes bad?

The good news for you is that the taste of proffee depends entirely on the specific ingredients used. Different protein powders have different flavors, which you can pick based on your own preferences! So, not only is this drink full of health benefits and easy to make, it is entirely customizable!

What is the Difference Between Proffee and a Protein Shake? 

There is a lot of hype surrounding proffee, but what makes it so different from a protein shake, and why is this difference significant?

The most significant difference between proffee and a protein shake is the amount of caffeine. A protein shake is typically made with milk or water, while proffee is made with coffee. A regular protein shake will not typically contain any caffeine. Proffee, on the other hand, includes caffeine as it is made with coffee, and the amount of caffeine will vary based on which kind of coffee you use.

What is the Difference Between Proffee and Coffee?

As silly as it may sound, this is actually not an absurd question to be asking. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you may not want to alter your coffee routine, or you might not think it will make much of a difference.

However, while the difference between proffee and coffee seems small, it can actually have quite an impact on your day. Proffee contains protein that coffee does not, and since consuming coffee already has health benefits, the protein that you consume in addition to the coffee is merely an added bonus!


Proffee may sound a bit odd at first, but this trend hasn’t become viral on TikTok for no reason! Proffee is an innovative way to get both your protein and your caffeine, and start your day off with an extra boost.

Whether drinking it after a hard workout or right after waking up, proffee can give you that jolt of caffeine as well as a ton of protein to help give you energy and keep you moving throughout the day! It is easy to make, and you can use different ingredients to truly make it your own!

Proffee can be made customized exactly to your own likes and dislikes, allowing you to use different types of coffee, protein powder/protein shakes, and sweeteners!

Start your day off right with a fresh, homemade glass of proffee!

The Best Low-Calorie Starbucks Frappuccino Drinks

Do you want to enjoy Starbucks’ delicious blended frappuccino drinks without having to deal with all the calories? In this guide, we’re highlighting 10 of the best low-calorie Starbucks frappuccinos so that you can easily locate them on the menu.

These drinks all contain less than 350 calories for a tall serving size, but they have varying levels of fat, sugar, carbs, and other nutrients.

Ways to Customize a Frappuccino for Fewer Calories

Here are a few simple ways to lower the caloric content of your Starbucks frapp.

Switch to Low-Fat Add-Ins

Request skim milk or soy milk instead of whole or 2% milk to pack in fewer calories. You might also ask for low-fat flavor syrups when they’re available.

Request a Healthier Milk Option

Skim (fat-free) milk is way lower in calories than whole milk. You can also cut calories by choosing a dairy alternative, such as almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.

Request Less Syrup/Flavoring

Syrups and sauces are fattening and full of sugar, meaning they add unnecessary calories to your frapps.

Choose Sugar-Free Add-Ins

Choosing sugar-free syrups, when they’re offered, can also lower the caloric content of a blended drink.

Skip Toppings Altogether

And if you want to straight-up cut out certain calories, ask for no whipped cream, no drizzle toppings, or no frappuccino chips.

Favorite Low-Cal Starbucks Frappuccinos (Less Than 350 Calories)

The best low-calorie Starbucks Frappuccinos include flavors like Strawberries & Creme, Espresso, Java Chip, and Coffee, among others.

These figures (including calorie, carb, and sugar content) are based on a standard tall sized frappuccino beverage (12 ounces) on the official Starbucks menu. They’re also all based on frappuccino recipes using 2% or whole milk and regular sweeteners/flavors.

  1. Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino
  2. Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino Drink
  3. Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino
  4. Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino Drink
  5. Starbucks Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino
  6. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Creme Frappuccino
  7. Starbucks Chai Creme Frappuccino
  8. Starbucks White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino
  9. Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
  10. Starbucks Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino

1. Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino

This blended frapp beverage at Starbucks is a refreshing choice in warmer months, incorporating fruity and creamy flavors.

It includes strawberry puree, classic sweetener syrup, vanilla whipped cream, milk, and ice. It’s super friendly to low-cal diets, but it has a lot of sugar and fat content to be aware of.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of a Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

  • Calories: 260
  • Calories from fat: 90
  • Sugar (g): 39
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Caffeine (mg): little to none
  • Carbohydrates (g): 40
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35

2. Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino Drink

Unlike many other frappuccino recipes at Starbucks, this one is fairly caffeinated, owing to the espresso and coffee content. Similar to the Upside Down Espresso, it’s made with milk, ice, coffee-flavored frappuccino syrup, brewed espresso, and coffee.

This blended drink is perfect for those who want a refreshing cold drink that doesn’t compromise on the nutty, coffee flavor!

Here is the nutritional profile of an Espresso Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 150

Calories from fat: 9

Sugar (g): 33

Fat (g): 1

Caffeine (mg): more than 100

Carbohydrates (g): 34

Cholesterol (mg): 5

Sodium (mg): 140

Protein (g): 2

3. Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino

This is another Starbucks frapp favorite among fans of more bitter-tasting refreshments. The coffee-flavored frappuccino drink is a blend of ice, milk, coffee, and coffee-flavored frappuccino syrup.

It combines classic Starbucks flavors with a low-fat recipe so that fans of more caffeinated frapps can get the best of both worlds.

Here is the nutritional profile of a Coffee Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 160

Calories from fat: 20

Sugar (g): 31

Fat (g): 2.5

Caffeine (mg): 65

Carbohydrates (g): 31

Cholesterol (mg): 10

Sodium (mg): 160

Protein (g): 3

4. Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino Drink

This lovely frapp is a combination of classic ingredients like Starbucks coffee, mocha sauce, coffee frappuccino syrup, frappuccino chips, milk, ice, and whipped cream.

It’s a super-charged mocha and chocolate-ey flavored blended drink that’s both refreshing and a source of energy. Although it has more sugar, calories, sodium, and fat than other frappuccinos on this list, it still rings in at under 400 calories.

Learn about the nutritional profile of a Java Chip Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 320

Calories from fat: 120

Sugar (g): 43

Fat (g): 13

Caffeine (mg): 75

Carbohydrates (g): 46

Dietary fiber (g): 2

Cholesterol (mg): 30

Sodium (mg): 180

Protein (g): 4

5. Starbucks Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino

This is a classic Starbucks frapp flavor, combining ingredients like milk, ice, vanilla bean powder, creme frappuccino syrup, and whipped cream!

It’s more on the heavy/creamy side of the frapp menu, but it still falls below 300 calories and is caffeine-free for those who want something less jolting in their iced Starbucks drink.

Learn about the nutritional profile of a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 260

Calories from fat: 110

Sugar (g): 35

Fat (g): 12

Caffeine (mg): none

Carbohydrates (g): 35

Cholesterol (mg): 35

Sodium (mg): 170

Protein (g): 4

6. Starbucks Snickerdoodle Mocha Crème Frappuccino® Frappuccino

With just a touch of caffeine and delicious flavors from caramel to toffee nut and cinnamon dolce, this cookie-flavored frapp is a hot commodity at Starbucks. It also contains milk, ice, whipped cream, mocha sauce, and cinnamon sugar, so beware of the sugar content!

It’s still under 300 calories while remaining totally sweet and refreshing as a cold blended drink.

Learn about the nutritional profile of a Snickerdoodle Mocha Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 260

Calories from fat: 130

Sugar (g): 29

Fat (g): 14

Caffeine (mg): 5

Carbohydrates (g): 30

Cholesterol (mg): 45

Sodium (mg): 150

Protein (g): 4

7. Starbucks Chai Creme Frappuccino Drink

Fans of Starbucks’ iced chai latte who want a thicker and more dessert-like drink will enjoy the Chai Creme Frappuccino beverage. It’s complete with chai tea concentrate, milk, ice, creme frappuccino syrup, cinnamon, and whipped cream for a spicy yet sweet drink.

This is another great, under-300-calories frappuccino choice if you want something sweet yet caffeinated.

Learn about the nutritional profile of a Chai Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 230

Calories from fat: 100

Sugar (g): 29

Fat (g): 11

Caffeine (mg): 20

Carbohydrates (g): 29

Cholesterol (mg): 35

Sodium (mg): 160

Protein (g): 4

8. Starbucks White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino

The White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino is another good choice for fans of sweet, creamy, and mocha-ey flavors in their blended drink. It’s still under 300 calories, while incorporating delicious flavors of milk, whipped cream, creme frappuccino syrup, ice, and white chocolate mocha sauce.

Starbucks describes this frapp as “smooth” and refreshing.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of a White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 250

Calories from fat: 110

Sugar (g): 31

Fat (g): 13

Caffeine (mg): none

Carbohydrates (g): 31

Cholesterol (mg): 35

Sodium (mg): 190

Protein (g): 5

9. Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino

Caramel is one of Starbucks’ classic flavors for drinks - whether hot or cold. The Caramel Frappuccino is no exception, combining caramel sauce, caramel syrup, coffee frappuccino syrup, milk, ice, coffee, and whipped cream.

Some people enjoy this blended beverage served affogato-style, but the original style is just as delicious.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of a Caramel Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 260

Calories from fat: 100

Sugar (g): 37

Fat (g): 11

Caffeine (mg): 60

Carbohydrates (g): 38

Cholesterol (mg): 35

Sodium (mg): 160

Protein (g): 3

10. Starbucks Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino

With just under 300 calories, this extra chocolate-ey, creamy frappuccino drink is a favorite among fans of sweets. It combines milk, ice, frappuccino chips, whipped cream, mocha sauce, and creme frappuccino syrup.

It even includes a little bit of caffeine if you want more than your typical frappuccino allows.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of a Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino drink at Starbucks:

Calories: 290

Calories from fat: 130

Sugar (g): 33

Fat (g): 14

Caffeine (mg): 10

Carbohydrates (g): 36

Cholesterol (mg): 35

Sodium (mg): 190

Protein (g): 5

Skinny Frappuccinos - What Are They?

The word “skinny” means that the frappuccino uses no whipped cream, replaces syrup with sugar-free syrup, and switches to non-fat milk. “Skinny” is another way to request a “light” frapp.

Frequently Asked Questions About Low-Calorie Starbucks Frapps

Can you order a “light” frapp at Starbucks?

Yes, this is the same as ordering a “skinny” frapp. For example, a Tall Light Caramel Frappuccino is only 100 calories.

What is the Starbucks drink with the least calories?

Hot tea or hot black coffee are your lowest-calorie options on the beverage menu, with 0-5 calories total.

Does Starbucks make “non-fat” frappuccinos?

You can get your frappuccino modified to have less fat, but all milk alternatives contain fat, and many ingredients still contain some fat.

How many calories are in a light caramel frappuccino?

There are 100 calories in a Tall Light Caramel Frappuccino, 140 calories in a Grande, and 190 calories in a Venti.

The 4 Main Types of Coffee Roasts

If you’re passionate about your cappuccinos, cold brews, and caramel macchiatos, then you would naturally want to find out more about how this heavenly beverage is made. And learning the types of coffee roasts is a great place to start.

Traditionally, there are 4 main types of coffee roasts: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. The former has the most caffeine, while the medium roast is considered to be the most popular one. A medium-dark is perfect for those who hate acidity and a dark roast is usually the right type for extra dense beans.

What roast type should you go for the next time you’ll be getting your traditional morning coffee? Let’s figure that out!

What Is Coffee Roasting?

Roasting is the exact process that transforms the physical and chemical properties of a green coffee bean that, ultimately, makes it possible for us to enjoy the unique flavor and aroma of coffee.

The coffee cherry seed will typically get heated up in a commercial roaster that looks like a cross between a clothes dryer and a pizza over.

During the process, the beans go through a few stages that lead to the birth of one of the types of coffee roasts. The roast directly affects the appearance of the coffee and its flavor, so knowing what type of roast you prefer will help you enjoy your coffee-consuming experience to the fullest.

The 4 Main Types of Coffee Roasts

Traditionally, coffee roasts fall under four main categories – light, medium, medium-dark, and, finally, dark roast.

Light Roast

You might notice that light roasts are also sometimes called ‘half city’, ‘light city’, and ‘white coffee’.

  • The beans have a light brown color
  • Don’t have any oil on the surface
  • Are quite acidic
  • Out of all the other types of roasts, contain the most caffeine

If you are ready to dive even deeper into the topic, then let’s have a look at the different types of light roast.

Cinnamon roast

The word ‘cinnamon’ has nothing to do with how the bean is going to taste. The roast was named that way because of its beautiful color.

The beans that have been removed from the roaster right after the first crack are the ones that are usually referred to as ‘cinnamon roast’. To achieve such a state, the beans have to be roasted at around 385 degrees Fahrenheit.

This type of roast is not commonly used for commercial or home brewing.

New England roast

The color of a New England roast is a tiny bit darker than that of a Cinnamon roast. The beans are roasted at around 400 F.

You can really taste the coffee’s origin at this point. If you truly want to be able to tell the difference between two different types of coffee beans, then roast them to this level and then taste the beverages side by side (like a real pro).

Medium Roast

The common names of this roast are ‘breakfast roast’ and ‘regular roast’.

  • The beans have a medium brown color (close to the color of cocoa or milk chocolate)
  • The first crack has already ended, but the second has not begun yet
  • The beans are either not oily or only have a few flecks of oil
  • More smoke starts coming from the roaster

American roast

American roast is not exactly a full medium roast. A lot of experts like to think of it as something in-between a light and a medium.

The beans get roasted at 410 F.

City roast

This is what most coffee addicts would expect a medium roast to taste like. You can sometimes hear people referring to this roast as ‘bright’.

The temperature in the roaster should be held at around 430 F to be able to create the perfect City roast.

Medium-Dark Roast

Also known as ‘after dinner roast’, ‘light French’, and ‘light espresso’.

  • The beans have a richer brown color (like dark chocolate)
  • The roast gets pulled during the first few snaps of the second crack
  • There can be an oily sheen

Full City roast

Go for a Full City roast, if you are a fan of medium-dark roasts and opt for a Full City+, if you are the adventurous type who likes their coffee to be as close to the border of the ‘dark side’ as possible (but not quite there yet).

For a medium-dark, the beans get roasted at around 435 F.

Dark Roast

A dark roast comes with a lot of names – ‘New Orleans roast’, ‘Spanish roast’, ‘European’, ‘Neapolitan’, ‘Continental roast’, ‘Espresso roast’.

Some companies will have a scale that aligns all their dark roasts. The Spanish roast, for example, can be darker than the Italian one, and so on (bear in mind that there is no universal arrangement).

  • The beans are deep brown, nearly black in color
  • The oily sheen becomes even more pronounced (in fact, some beans can have a few oil droplets on them)
  • This type of roast is the lowest in caffeine

Vienna/Viennese roast

This classic dark roast goes right past the second crack (halfway to the third one). At this point, the majority of beans will start losing their original notes. It is generally not recommended to go any darker.

The roasting temperature is held at about 435 F.

French roast

Such coffee beans are also known as ‘double roasted’ and they are prepared at 460 F.

Italian roast

Anything that is roasted over a temperature of around 460 F is classified as ‘Italian roast’. Zero flavors and a burnt taste – these aren’t exactly the qualities that you would want your coffee to exhibit.

The Flavor Profiles of Different Coffee Roasts

  • Light roast

The first phase at which coffee actually becomes drinkable. Even though the beans will finally start looking and smelling like coffee, they are still quite underdeveloped and will have a grassy taste.

Cinnamon and New England roasts have a pronounced acidity and a ‘toasted grain’ flavor.

  • Medium roast

Perhaps, the most popular type of roast as it offers the best of both worlds – you’ll get to enjoy the flavor of the bean’s origin (nutty, floral, fruity notes) without the acidity that is often present in light roasts.

  • Medium-dark roast

This is a great choice for those willing to remove the acidity from their drink. At this stage, the earthy and spicy notes are going to start dominating, while the floral and fruity origin flavors will become a bit muted.

Pacific and East Indian coffees are, in general, the most suitable ones for a medium-dark roast as they naturally have spicy notes in them.

  • Dark roast

You will start tasting less of the original flavors and more of the actual roasting. The beverage can appear burnt and, at one point, it might not matter any longer what beans you have in the roaster as they’ll all have the same taste.

With that being said, some extra dense beans will be able to maintain an original flavor even after they get into the dark territory.

What Do Coffee Beans Look Like Before Roasting?

Raw coffee beans are green and have a completely different texture, smell, and look. Essentially, raw beans are a part of a plant with a grassy, bitter, or chalky taste.

Why Can’t We Drink Unroasted Coffee?

Green coffee beans have a hard ‘skin’ and taste nothing like our beloved beverage. To make the coffee drinkable, you need to get rid of these plant compounds (like chlorophyll and anthocyanins, for example).

During the process of roasting, over 800 compounds get transformed. And this chemical transformation is exactly what makes the beans suitable for making delicious coffees.

Can You Roast Your Own Beans?

If you manage to get your hands on green coffee beans, you can try to roast them on your own by using a pan, the oven, or even a popcorn machine!

After 3-5 minutes, you will hear the first crack that indicates that your beans have already been lightly roasted (this is the minimum amount of time required to produce a batch of beans for your future coffee).

You would also have to figure out how to store your freshly roasted beans, but the whole experience is definitely fun and rewarding.

Coffee Roasting Stages

Whether the beans have been placed in a commercial roaster or on a simple pan, it doesn’t really matter. These little guys would have to go through the following stages in order to turn into the fantastic end product.

  1. Drying stage
  2. Browning stage
  3. Roasting (development) stage

What Is a Breve & How Is It Different from a Latte?

At times, making up your mind at a local coffee shop might be quite tough – there are just too many options on the menu. So, in the end, you find yourself leaving the place with a traditional latte or a cold brew.

However, if you’re a fan of coffee with milk, you might want to get out of your comfort zone next time and order a delicious breve.

A breve coffee is made out of espresso and steamed half-and-half (1:1). The half-and-half is the ingredient that makes a breve different from a latte that is made with regular milk. A mixture of heavy cream and milk makes a breve extra creamy, dense, and sweet.

What Is a Breve?

A breve is a coffee beverage that is a mix of espresso and steamed half-and-half. Just like a lot of other beverages, a breve is topped up with milk foam.

The main trick here is to add equal parts of steamed half-and-half and brewed espresso. But wait a minute…what is this mysterious half-and-half anyway?

The special ingredient is made out of whole milk and heavy cream. The blend is usually about 10-12% fat and has a much denser and creamier consistency than plain milk.

In fact, steamed half-and-half is the exact ingredient that gives your espresso that extra special touch and turns it into a rich breve.

The History of Breve Coffee

Breve coffee, café breve, breve latte, or simply ‘breve’. This beverage is an Americanized version of an Italian classic – latte.

No one knows for sure who created the coffee drink and when. All we know is that it originated in the United States, perhaps, in an attempt to make a beverage that would be a bit sweeter than the more widespread coffees.

In Italian, ‘breve’ means ‘short, little, concise, or brief’. The drink might have been named that way because half-and-half can’t rise as high as plain milk. Or the term ‘short’ simply refers to the short shot of espresso used in the beverage as the base.

How Do You Pronounce Breve?

Don’t let any pronunciation-related issues stop you from ordering a delicious breve on your next trip to the coffee shop!

It might seem tempting to say ‘breev’, but the Italian pronunciation of ‘breve’ is actually ‘breh-veh’.

With that being said, we should not forget that breve coffee is a beverage created in the US, so you can certainly get away with calling the drink ‘breh-vay’ (like in ‘hurray’) which is the American way of pronouncing it.

What Does a Breve Coffee Taste Like?

The espresso shot is the ingredient that is going to provide that strong coffee flavor and the half-and-half will add sweetness and richness flavor-wise and creaminess texture-wise.

This is a high-fat drink that is already quite sweet. So, even the coffee addicts that love their beverage to be extra sweet might sometimes not add any sweetener to their breve.

This is the perfect type of coffee to have as an occasional treat or even instead of your usual dessert.

The creamy, rich, sweet breve feels indulgent (but not too over the top) and a lot more flavorful than the more ‘traditional’ coffees. It is definitely an amazing choice for the coffeeholics who are in search of a more adventurous way to please their palettes.

Ordering a Breve Coffee at Starbucks

There is one important thing about breves and Starbucks that you should know. You won’t get the creamy deliciousness that we have been talking about, in case you simply ask for a breve at this coffee heaven.

The barista might simply hand you a steamed half-and-half (which is, of course, not what you’re going for). The trick here is that at Starbucks, breve is not really served as a stand-alone drink, it is thought of more as an add-on to your favorite coffee.

For example, you can ask for a breve cappuccino, and instead of using plain milk, the barista will prepare your beverage using steamed half-and-half.

To get the traditional version of a breve, forget about the fancy Italian name and simply order an espresso with steamed half-and-half instead of regular milk.

You can also go ahead and order a ‘breve latte’ to get a more indulgent version of the traditional latte. To be fair, you can do this with practically any drink, if you’re willing to add an extra layer of depth to your coffee.

Do bear in mind that you won’t see a breve on the menu, but don’t let that stop you from ordering the yummy beverage. Any barista at Starbucks (and practically any other coffee shop) will be able to make your little wish come true.

Ordering a Breve Coffee at Dutch Bros

If you’re looking for a place that respects and truly adores all kinds of breves, then head to Dutch Bros – their selection of breve spinoffs is truly impressive. Just like in any other coffee place, you can add various syrups and drizzles to your espresso and half-and-half and modify the intensity of the drink.

For example, you can get 5 shots of espresso instead of one or add less than one regular serving of espresso to your coffee to make it sugarier and milkier. Even though the traditional ratio in breves is 1:1, you don’t have to follow the recipe - the world is your oyster.

If you don’t want to be inventing anything on your own, then you can try one of the spinoffs that the coffee shop already has on the menu.

  • Annihilator (espresso, half-and-half, and chocolate macadamia nut syrup)
  • Golden Eagle (espresso, half-and-half, vanilla syrup, and caramel sauce topped with a caramel sauce drizzle and whipped cream)
  • Kicker (espresso, half-and-half, and Irish cream syrup)
  • 9-1-1 (6 shots of espresso (!), half-and-half, and Irish cream syrup)

The Differences Between Latte & Breve

The main difference between a latte and a breve is the fact that the latter is made with half-and-half. The milk and cream mixture makes the beverage a lot thicker and richer.

Traditional lattes, on the other hand, are made with regular whole milk which makes these drinks lighter and foamier.

By the way, the ratio of espresso to milk in a breve is 1:1, while in a latte it’s 1:3. So, if you’re on the hunt for a beverage with a stronger coffee flavor, then a breve might be the right choice for you.

Is a Breve Healthier?

Of course, the number of calories is going to depend on the type of milk used and the toppings, but if we’re talking about plain lattes and breves, then the same size of a breve will have more calories in it.

You get these extra calories from the half-and-half used in the drink.

Is a Breve Sweeter?

A half-and-half has higher sugar content than regular milk, so breves are usually sweeter than plain lattes.

The sweetness is actually one of the main reasons why a lot of people are drawn to breve coffees and get it as a treat every once in a while.

How to Make a Breve at Home

  1. Prepare your two shots of espresso (for a traditional breve, you are going to need around 2 ounces of coffee).
  2. To prepare your half-and-half, combine equal parts of heavy cream and whole milk.
  3. Steam the half-and-half (make sure that it’s very cold). Ideally, you would want to steam your mixture in a small metal milk jug.
  4. When pouring the steamed half-and-half into your mug, hold the foam with a spoon. Once you’ve finished with the pouring, add a spoon of foam to the top of your drink.

Keto-Friendly Breve Coffee

It is possible to make a keto-friendly version of a breve if you find the right substitution for the half-and-half.

You can mix equal parts of hot water and heavy cream or go for full-fat coconut milk, coconut cream, or nut milk (the last few options would be vegan-friendly as well).

Of course, it won’t be a pure version of a breve coffee, but some coffeeholics admit that they actually prefer almond or cashew milk in their half-and-half as it adds a unique taste to the coffee.

Other Breve-Style Drinks

There are plenty of breve-style drinks out there that you might want to give a try. Simply look for the beverages that have espresso and half-and-half in them.

The barista can experiment with the amount of coffee or add delicious syrups and toppings that will take your breve experience to a whole new level.