Is a Latte Hot or Cold?

Do you love coffee? If so, you may have wondered whether a latte is served hot or cold. Let me dive into the world of lattes and explore their temperature options. From steaming hot to refreshingly cool, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know.

Is a Latte Hot or Cold?

Since historical times, lattes have been served warm. In fact, the term “latte” is short for “caffè latte,” which means “milk coffee” in Italian. Italians love to drink their espresso at the bar,  standing up, and quickly without adding sugar or milk.

A blue mug filled with coffee was placed on a blue saucer beside a notebook and ballpen

However, lattes have evolved and spread across the globe, adapting to local tastes and preferences.

One such adaptation is the iced latte, a refreshing twist on the classic warm latte. Iced lattes are made by adding cold milk to espresso and pouring it over ice, resulting in a calm and energizing drink that’s perfect for beating the heat.

Hot vs Cold Lattes: Similarities and Differences

Hot lattes are a classic choice; however, cold lattes are gaining popularity for their refreshing qualities. Both drinks share certain characteristics, as well as differences that set them apart.


Whether you’re a hot or cold latte fan, one thing is certain: both drinks have espresso as their foundation. This powerhouse ingredient is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, giving the latte its signature punch.

So, what about the other key components? Milk is essential in hot and iced lattes to create a creamy and smooth drink.

For those who like to sweeten the deal, hot and iced lattes, you can sweeten them with everything from classic sugar to caramel or vanilla syrup. So whether you choose your latte hot or cold, the core ingredients remain the same.


While hot and iced lattes share common ingredients such as espresso, milk, and sweeteners, they also have key differences.

People drink hot lattes piping hot. Iced lattes are served cold with ice cubes to keep them chilled.

Hot lattes require steamed milk to create that creamy texture and often have a foam topping. Iced lattes are typically made with cold milk and don’t have a foam topping. However, some iced lattes can come with a light and frothy cold foam topping.

What Is the Perfect Temperature for a Latte and Its Benefits?

The ideal temperature for a latte is around 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Why is this temperature so important? Milk heat at this temperature creates a smooth and velvety texture which perfectly completes the rich savor of the espresso.

Not only does the perfect temperature make your latte taste amazing, it has several benefits. A hot latte is an ideal tonic on cold and warm days. Its heat is great for opening up nasal sinuses, making breathing easier.

Hot lattes are standard in most coffee shops, ensuring you’ll find your latte fix and energy boost wherever you go. Caution: A latte is less strong than regular coffee since it contains more milk. Therefore don’t expect too much of a caffeine rush.

Espresso Temperature

The ideal heat for espresso in a latte is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range allows for the perfect extraction of taste and aroma from the coffee beans. The result is a rich and delicious espresso shot.

If the espresso is too cool, the taste can be weak and sour, and nobody wants a sour latte. If the espresso is too hot, the latte can taste burnt and bitter, a major latte no-no.

Milk Temperature

Steaming the milk to the right temperature is crucial for creating the perfect latte. The best temperature for milk in a latte is between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature range creates a silky and smooth texture essential for a delicious latte experience.

If milk is too hot, it can easily burn and acquire a bad burnt taste. On the other hand, if the milk is too cold, the latte can be watery and lack body.

A clear glass filled with iced coffee was placed on a brown saucer

The Health Benefits of Making Hot or Cold Lattes

When determining what to get between a cup of hot or cold latte, you may base your decision on your mood or the weather outside. Experts also suggest some unexpected health advantages of drinking hot coffee versus iced coffee.

Hot Lattes

Hot lattes taste amazing. They also soothe sore throats and alleviate cold symptoms.

Plus, their warmth can promote relaxation and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And if you’ve overindulged at lunch, a hot latte can aid digestion and ease any discomfort.

Iced Lattes

When the weather is scorching hot, nothing beats a refreshing iced latte. It can cool you down and prevent overheating. Iced lattes energize you, making them the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

If you’re watching your calorie intake, go for an iced latte! They typically contain fewer calories than their hot counterparts. Note: You must use the best beans available for the best-tasting latte.

Tips for Keeping Your Latte Hot

Isn’t it a bummer when your cup of latte turns cold faster than you can say “espresso”? Don’t worry; here are things to help you enjoy your toasty latte for longer.

  • Heat your milk a little more than usual when making a latte at home. Aim for around 160 degrees Fahrenheit to give your latte a head start in staying warm.
  • If you’re on the go, ask for a lid to keep the heat in.
  • Wrap your cup up in a comfy sleeve or napkin to keep the heat in and protect your hands from the scorching surface.
  • If you plan to drink your latte later, keep it in a warm spot, like a sunny windowsill.

If your latte has already cooled down, do the following to make it warm again:

  • Got an espresso machine at home? Pour your latte into a frothing pitcher and steam it to your desired temp. Try steaming it hotter than usual to make up for the lost heat.
  • Pull a shot of espresso while steaming your latte to bring it back up to temperature and add a bold flavor boost!

Keeping your latte hot for longer is easy with some pre-planning and creativity. Likewise, reheating a cooled latte can be done quickly with a few simple techniques.

A close-up view of Starbucks disposable cup placed a wooden table

Related Questions

Are Starbucks Lattes Hot or Cold?

Starbucks offers both hot and cold lattes. The traditional Starbucks latte is made hot, though their iced versions have become more favored recently. Customers can choose the temperature of their latte based on their personal preference.

Is Latte the Same as Chai?

A latte and chai are not the same thing. Lattes are coffee drinks containing espresso, steamed milk, and foam. They are spiced with syrups and spices like vanilla or caramel. Chai is an aromatic tea brewed with black tea and a blend of spices. It’s then mixed with milk and sweetened with sugar or honey for a delightful treat.

Are McDonald’s Lattes Hot or Cold?

Like Starbucks, McDonald’s offers both hot and iced lattes on their menu. Customers can select their desired temperature and customize their beverages with additional flavors and syrups. McDonald’s has you covered for creamy and warm lattes to enjoy on a chilly day or a refreshing and cool iced latte to beat the heat.


Both hot and iced lattes share common ingredients, such as espresso, milk, and sweeteners. However, they also have key differences. The optimum temperature for a latte is around 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At this warmth, the latte takes a smooth and velvety texture complementing the espresso’s rich taste.