On sweltering summer mornings, you may pause before grabbing your morning coffee, put off by the idea of having a hot beverage on a hot day.
Luckily iced espresso beverages have gained popularity lately and your hot beverage favorites now have an iced counterpart.
The Iced Latte and Iced Cappuccino are both great choices! If you’re wondering which one to order the next time you are at your local coffee shop, we will do a comparison of the two to see which is the best option.
The good news is when looking at an Iced Cappuccino Vs Iced Latte both are fantastic and you won’t be disappointed either way.
Iced Cappuccino or Iced Latte?
Since the two beverages seem so similar, you may be wondering how the Iced Latte vs Iced Cappuccino compares.
An Iced Cappuccino is a delightful combination of espresso and milk foam. It has a frothy and smooth texture and the strong coffee-forward flavor of a traditional hot cappuccino. The effect of being chilled does reduce some of the intensity and it can taste sweeter than a hot cappuccino.
Iced Lattes are very similar, but they have a greater milk-to-coffee ratio. They can emulate a milkshake to a degree and are denser due to the amount of milk. Overall, iced lattes are milder beverages and taste a lot like coffee milk or even a coffee-flavored milkshake.
How Are They Made?
At first, it may be difficult to distinguish between these two drinks. To make an Iced Cappuccino, an espresso shot is pulled and added to the bottom of the cup (typically a tall glass or tumbler).
Coffee shops generally add the coffee first and the ice on top, but if you are making the beverage at home, adding the ice to the glass first will help to cool the espresso as you pour it in.
Once the espresso is in the glass, add a small splash of a milk or milk alternative of your choosing before topping it with foam made in a milk frother.
Iced Cappuccinos used to be made with hot milk foam on top, which often disappointed baristas and consumers alike, as mixing the temperatures resulted in a lukewarm beverage.
Milk frothers can now be used to create cold foam, which creates the same silky texture without heat. Traditionally cappuccinos are made with equal amounts of coffee, milk, and foam.
Ice cappuccinos are made with equal parts coffee and foam, and just a splash of milk.
Iced Lattes also start with expresso. Instead of a splash of milk, 8 oz of milk for every 1 shot of espresso is used.
Ice should be added to the glass or tumbler, espresso is poured in first and then the cold milk is added. Many lattes are also made with 1-2 pumps of flavored simple syrup.
What Are They Made of?
Both the Iced Latte and Iced Cappuccino are made from espresso coffee, milk, and cold foam. The ratios that these ingredients are used in, create the difference between the beverages.
In addition to those basic ingredients, many coffee shops have a wide array of syrups to add flavor, particularly to iced coffee. Finally, whipped cream and caramel or chocolate drizzle have become popular additions.
How Are They Similar?
If you are an espresso lover, both an Iced Cappuccino and an Iced Latte allow you to enjoy your favorite coffee on a hot day. They both have a bold espresso flavor that when mixed with milk, takes on a dessert-like quality.
Both are served over ice and also have a traditional hot preparation. They are universal drinks that can be found in any coffee shop.
Taste, Caffeine, Serving, and Ingredient Ratio Comparison
- Taste: Creamy texture, bold coffee-forward
- Caffeine: 68 mg
- Coffee/Foam/Milk Ratio: 1:1:1 coffee to milk to foam
- Serving: Short glass or tumbler over ice
- Toppings: cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon
- Taste: Subtle, sweet, milk-forward, coffee finish
- Caffeine: 136 mg
- Coffee/Foam/Milk Ratio: 1:3 coffee to milk, with a dollop of foam
- Serving: Tall glass or tumbler
- Toppings: Whipped cream, syrup, chocolate pieces
Iced Cappuccinos are espresso-forward in taste and creamy in texture. They are traditionally made of equal parts coffee, milk, and foam, though for an iced beverage the milk may be reduced to just a splash.
They are relatively low in caffeine at only 68 mg and lower in fat than an Iced Latte (due to the lower quantities of milk).
They are often served in a low ball glass or tumbler and the foam topping is dusted with cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg to taste.
Iced Lattes are a more mellow beverage with a milk-forward taste reminiscent of a milkshake. They do have a stronger espresso finish at the end.
They are made in a 1:3 coffee-to-milk ratio, and just a small dollop of foam is added on top. They are usually served in a taller glass or tumbler and topped with whipped cream and syrup.
Many also have additional syrup used to flavor the beverage itself.
How To Drink an Iced Cappuccino vs Iced Latte
Iced Cappuccinos are typically consumed as they are created, without a lot of extra add-ins. While they can be sipped with a straw, they are best enjoyed right from the glass to preserve the texture of the foam.
Some people like to add in a sweetener such as sugar in the raw, but many enjoy the strong coffee taste as is. If you are looking for a subtle twist on this beverage, try an Iced Cappuccino topped with vanilla cold foam.
Iced Cappuccino with Vanilla Cold Foam
- 2 oz espresso
- 2 oz cold foam
- Milk to taste
- Vanilla Simple Syrup (homemade or storebought)
First, prepare a vanilla simple syrup by adding 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan with 1 vanilla bean.
Let the mixture heat, and stir so that all the sugar dissolves. Let it sit for at least an hour but preferably 8 hours before straining.
In a milk frother, add 2 oz cold milk and ½ oz of vanilla syrup. Froth using the cold foam setting until thick and creamy.
Next, add ice to your glass and pour 2 oz of espresso over the ice, add a splash of milk, and top with the vanilla cold foam. Enjoy!
Iced Lattes are enjoyed in a variety of ways. Many people enjoy adding specialty syrups to create different flavor combinations and topping them with whipped cream and caramel or chocolate drizzle.
Iced Lattes have become as much of a dessert beverage as a breakfast one. Many people enjoy using a straw to sip these beverages. If you want to make a delicious Vanilla Iced Latte at home, it’s easy to do!
Vanilla Iced Latte
- Vanilla Syrup (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 oz espresso
- 6 oz milk
- Whipped Cream
- Caramel Drizzle
In a tall glass with ice, add 1 to 1.5 oz of vanilla syrup (see recipe above for homemade instructions), pour in 2 oz of espresso, and add 6 oz cold milk. Add whipped cream to taste and drizzle with a thicker caramel sauce.
If you enjoy the coffee-forward flavor of an Iced Cappuccino, you may enjoy a Shaken Espresso. This is a newer trend in the coffee beverage world and involves shaking espresso and brown sugar in a cocktail shaker until they are rich and creamy.
If you enjoy the foamy texture of cappuccino but long for something sweeter, this would be a great alternative.
Iced Latte lovers have alternative options as well. The Iced Americano is espresso diluted with water, so you will get the same coffee flavor with less intensity.
If you enjoy the milk-forward aspects of the Iced Latte, you may want to try an iced macchiato. Similar to a latte, there is a larger milk-to-coffee ratio than most beverages, with coffee being added after the milk in this case.
Iced Cappuccino Vs Iced Latte – FAQs
Which came first?
The Iced Latte pre-dates the Iced Cappuccino by about 40 years. The Iced Latte was developed accidentally in the 1950s when a barista lacked access to hot water and experimented with cold water and instant coffee.
This eventually turned into the Iced Latte that we know today. The Iced Cappuccino was invented in the 1990s in Canada and has recently become more popular worldwide.
Which is stronger?
The Iced Cappuccino is the stronger of the two drinks. It has less milk to dilute the coffee, therefore the flavor is more intense and the caffeine percentage is higher. The Iced Latte has a mild and sweet flavor.
Which is the most popular?
The Iced Latte is more popular due in part to its versatility. Many variations on the drink and add-ins such as flavorful syrups and whipped cream have led the beverage to be a menu staple of not just local coffee shops but international coffee chains.