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How To Make An Iced Latte Like A Pro

espresso pouring into tall glass with milk and ice, how to make an iced latte

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Think you have to run to your nearest coffee shop for a quality iced latte? Think again.

Making iced lattes at home is not complicated once you know the basic ingredients and steps. Here, we’ll show you how to make an iced latte so good it makes you feel like a hipster. 

Ok, maybe not.

But it’ll be a damn good iced latte that’s better than any Starbucks iced latte. (gasp)

What’s an Iced Latte?

An iced latte is a milky, smooth, refreshing cup of heaven.

Iced lattes are different from iced coffee because they are made with espresso and milk. In fact, the word “latte” in Italian means milk, which is what lattes are known for. 

At some point, Americans casually dropped the “cafe” from “cafe latte,” which, in America, works just fine. Order a “latte” in Italy, and you’ll be handed a glass of milk.

So, what does an iced latte taste like? Whether you prefer your latte cold or hot, lattes are creamy and delicious, with a softer espresso flavor thanks to the generous ratio of milk.

But aren’t iced lattes the same as iced coffee? In a word, no. 

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Iced Coffee Or Iced Latte

The critical differences between an iced latte and traditional iced coffee are the brewing process and the type of coffee. Traditional iced coffee is brewed like any other hot coffee, using various methods (pour over, french press, Aeropress, etc.)

The hot coffee is then poured over a glass of ice and served. Or alternatively, the hot coffee is cooled briefly in the refrigerator before pouring over ice. Iced coffee is primarily coffee, and a splash of milk or cream may be added afterward.

On the other hand, an iced latte is made with espresso and milk. An iced latte is primarily milk, with 1-2 shots of espresso added. The espresso has a more robust flavor than traditional coffee and can taste bitter to some. The milk mellows the espresso and balances the sharp notes beautifully.

PSA: if you find an iced latte recipe online that uses traditional drip coffee or anything other than espresso, it is not an iced latte.

If regular coffee is poured over ice with milk, that, friends, is an iced coffee. There is a difference between an iced coffee and an iced latte.

Hand pouring espresso into glass of ice and milk on wooden table

How To Make An Iced Latte

Iced lattes are incredibly easy to make. That said, there are a few pieces of equipment that make learning how to make an iced latte even more accessible.

Here’s what you’ll need to brew an iced latte:

  1. Espresso Machine or Moka Pot
  2. Coffee Grinder
  3. Scale
  4. High-quality espresso beans (17g)
  5. 16-Ounce Glass
  6. Ice Cubes (large preferred)
  7. Milk of choice (8 ounces)

While an espresso machine is the ideal coffee machine for making a latte cold or hot, there are a couple of other options. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still learn how to make an iced latte using a Moka Pot or Nespresso Machine. (Check out our tutorial on how to use Moka Pot to make espresso without a machine).

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Step 1: Fill A Glass With Ice

Fill your glass with ice. Make sure to use a cup of at least 16 ounces to ensure you have enough room for the milk and espresso to be poured over the ice.

Step 2: Measure & Grind Coffee

Use your scale to weigh about 17g of coffee and grind to a fine consistency. 

The grind size will resemble table salt. This grind is a bit finer than what you’d use for traditional drip coffee.

close up of espresso brewing into glass mug

Step 3: Brew Espresso

Brew a double shot of espresso using your espresso machine (or Moka Pot).

Set aside.

fellow opus grinder
The Fellow Opus Grinder

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

Add your milk to your glass of ice. We like to use eight ounces of 2% or whole milk, but feel free to use whatever type of milk you like best.

Start with eight ounces of milk and adjust to your liking from there. To avoid a watered-down latte, add a splash of milk to your espresso to cool it slightly, then pour it over the milk.

Stir gently to combine and sweeten as desired.

(Sweetener tip: Avoid using granulated sugar with a coarse texture in iced lattes because it won’t dissolve properly. We prefer to use liquid sweeteners like agave, simple syrup, or honey in all of our iced coffee drinks.)

Glass with coffee, milk, and ice on wooden table

Step 5: Enjoy A Barista-Quality Iced Latte

That’s it! Easy, right? Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your (minimal) labor.

Now that you have learned how to make an iced latte, we’re guessing you’ll make them all summer.

While an iced latte from Dunkin Donuts certainly hits the spot on a hot day, knowing how to make an iced latte at home will save you loads of cash and level up your home brewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between An Iced Coffee And An Iced Latte?

We touched on the fundamental differences between these two iced coffees here, but there’s more to the story than just espresso vs. coffee. For more on the iced coffee or iced latte debate, including caffeine levels and flavor profiles, check out our side-by-side comparison.

Can You Make An Iced Latte With A Keurig?

No. There are many reasons to avoid using a Keurig machine (like environment-destroying single-use coffee pods?) But, those reasons aside, you cannot brew proper espresso with a Keurig; therefore, you cannot make an iced latte, or any latte, using a Keurig machine.

What’s The Best Iced Coffee?

This is a question that stirs quite a debate among coffee enthusiasts. There’s no correct answer, but we’d say cold brew coffee is king if you ask us. It’s easy to brew and offers flavor nuances you won’t find in other iced coffees.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Calatrello

Heather Calatrello owner of ShedLight Coffee Roasters