How to Solve the Great Debate Between Iced Latte Versus Iced Coffee

iced latte vs iced coffeethe difference between iced coffee and iced latte

As warmer weather approaches, you can’t help but crave a nice iced latte or iced coffee. With your favorite iced caffeinated beverage in hand, it almost feels like summer. All you have to decide is whether to order an iced latte versus iced coffee.

Restaurant owners study beverage trends to know what flavor of iced latte and iced coffee will be trendy for the season. If your establishment offers more than just plain black coffee, you will need to know the difference between these fancy coffee drinks.  

The Difference Between Iced Latte and Iced Coffee 

The National Coffee Association published a study that found that 64% of Americans drink coffee in some form. The two most common forms are latte and drip coffee. The difference lies in how the bean is brewed.

A latte is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk and flavored to the customers choosing. Drip coffee is similar to the way you make it at home, with a coffee machine.    

What is an Iced Latte?

The Caffe Latte originated in Italy and is served either hot or over ice. When you make an iced latte, there is an extra step to consider. When pouring the steamed milk and brewed espresso over ice, it dilutes the beverage. Give your customers an extra half shot of espresso and other flavor ingredients. This will make your customers happy when they aren’t drinking a watery latte.  

An essential element is knowing what your customer means when they use specific jargon to order their latte. Here are a few common types of latte orders: 

  • Skinny or Half Fat: Customer order should be made with steams nonfat or low fat (1%) steamed milk. Often this will mean the customer wants sugar-free options on flavoring. Verify this at the time they place their order. 
  • Half-Caff: Sometimes, the customer will ask for half-caff decaf, which means the same as half-caff. Prepare the espresso with equal parts caffeinated and decaffeinated beans. 
  • Soy, Almond, Coconut, or Rice Milk: If these options are available, promote that you offer an alternative to cow’s milk that doesn’t require them to order an Americano.  

These are just some of the words people will use to order their coffee. Familiarize yourself with all of the jargon. And the way your customers want the latte or even their coffee. You’ll find that you have a lot of returning guests. 

iced latte vs iced coffee

The 3 Most Popular Iced Latte and Iced Coffee Flavors

Of the 400 million cups of coffee poured each day, around half of the consumers order their second cup exactly as their first. That means when your customer asks for their second cup, they may choose a new flavor.

Once you have gotten comfortable making these delicious coffee treats, add complimentary syrup flavors to make your signature latte or iced coffee. Here are three of the most common lattes your customers will order.

1. Caramel Mocha 

These popular drinks are also called a Salted Caramel Mocha if salted caramels are used to make the syrup. In a large saucepan, melt the caramel over medium heat, stirring frequently. Slowly add the chocolate syrup and place the burner to low. Let simmer for several minutes. You can use it while the syrup is still warm or let it cool to store for later use.  

2. Butter Pecan Swirl 

To make this delectable coffee syrup, you will need to mix water, white and brown sugar, and toasted pecans in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Let the nuts soak for 5 minutes. Increase to medium heat and bring to a simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and using a whisk mix in butter and caramel. Strain carefully before pouring the syrup into the latte or coffee. 

3. French Vanilla 

French vanilla coffee syrup is one of the popular syrups made and the most widely used flavors in all types of beverages and desserts. To make this simple syrup, you will mix water, white and brown sugars, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Stirring occasionally, you bring the syrup to a simmer for five minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and allow it to boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Let the mix cool completely before storing or using it in a coffee or latte.  

When to Choose an Iced Latte Versus Iced Coffee

An iced latte or iced coffee doesn’t have to be ordered on a hot summer day. Many of the seasonal coffee syrup flavors, such as Pumpkin Spice, taste really good over ice. But since that flavor is only available in the fall, does that mean you or your customers can’t order an iced beverage during the colder months? It sure doesn’t. 

During the next holiday season, you and your crew can come up with signature iced latte and coffee beverages. Because Peppermint Spice should be served over ice.  

what is an iced latte

Why Some Customers Will Never Order an Iced Latte

For some people, iced latte versus iced coffee is not a crucial decision. For the 75% of Americans who suffer from some form of milk sensitivity, a latte made with cow’s milk is not an option. Yet, with all the alternatives to cow’s milk, your customers can still enjoy their favorite iced latte or coffee. Iced coffee is an alternative for those looking to avoid milk, but if theylove that espresso taste, point them towards an iced Americano. 

Here are a few reasons your guests may choose to abstain from drinking cow’s milk: 

  • Lactose sensitivity or intolerance 
  • Vegan diet
  • Religious reasons
  • Other health concerns

Iced Latte Versus Iced Coffee: Serving Your Customers What They Love 

The real secret to a delicious iced latte or coffee is the ice. Experts agree half-cube ice machines produce the perfect sized cube for iced beverages. The larger and more sturdy the ice, the better it withstands the heat when the steamed contents are poured over them. Often you’ll find that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to ice. So you may want to purchase a commercial ice machine that offers choices in cube size.   

Posted by Damon Shrauner on