Midsection man holding two glasses of cold brew and a cup of latte

10 Differences Between Cold Brew and Latte

Henry Muller

If you are a die-hard coffee fan you must have come across a situation where you got confused between a cold brew and a latte.

A refreshing cold brew on a scorching summer day is all that you need for a caffeine escape but getting overwhelmed with latte is also common.

Thus to choose from the seemingly endless options, I am here to assist you.

Today in this article, I will share with you the difference between cold brew coffee and latte.

So let's get started.

Cold Brew Coffee Overview

What is Cold Brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is one of the most consumed coffee drinks that is brewed using cold water. It uses coarser coffee grounds.

Cold brew takes comparatively a longer interval to extract as coffee is coarse and water is cold. The rough time it takes is around 12-24 hours. What makes it stand out is its low acidity.

Cold brew coffee

How to make cold brew?

Step 1: Gather your ingredients

To make a cold brew, all you need is coarsely ground coffee beans, a large airtight container (like a mason jar), filtered water, and a coffee filter (or cheesecloth).

Step 2: Grind your beans

When it comes to grinding you can go for a grind size similar to fine salt. It will aid you to extract optimal flavors and prevent your coffee from over-extraction.

Step 3: Mix coffee and water

Take a container and combine your coffee grounds and cold water. The general ratio most followed is using 1 part coffee grounds for 4 parts of water. You can also tweak the ratio based on your desired strength.

Step 4: Let it steep

Cover your container and consider steeping the mixture in your refrigerator for around 12-24 hours. Patience is the key here! The longer you let it steep, the stronger the concentration will be.

Step 5: Filter it

After 12-24 hours, strain your coffee using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Once done, empty the grounds and sip your concentrated brew!


1) Low acidity

If analyzed for acidity, cold brew coffee is less acidic which makes it a favorable choice. Also if you want a lighter drink that is easy to digest for your stomach, then cold brew is the one.

2) Smooth flavor

As the cold brew follows a slower extraction process, it yields a smooth, mellow coffee with little notes of chocolate and caramel - a flavor profile that will surely win your taste buds.

3) Convenience

Cold brew is all about convenience. Once you brew a batch of concentrate (which takes 12-24 hours), you can store it in your fridge for up to two weeks. That means no daily brewing – just grab your concentrate, dilute it with water or milk to your desired strength, and enjoy a refreshing cup in seconds!


1) Steeping time

As the cold brew takes longer steeping time, it requires planning which is a major setback.

2) Strength variability

Without exact measurements and timing, it can be pretty challenging to get consistent strength and flavor with cold brew.

3) Price

Moreover cold brew coffee needs a higher coffee-to-water ratio, which results in the use of more coffee beans and potentially higher costs.

Latte Overview

What is Latte?

A latte is a coffee-based drink made using two simple ingredients. It includes a shot of espresso and steamed milk.

Moreover, it is topped with a thin layer of smooth microfoam for a luxurious feel. Coffee lovers who love to customize their coffee with different flavorings, enjoy it the most.

Cup filled with Latte

How to make a latte?

Step 1: Pull an espresso shot

Brew an espresso shot using your favorite espresso machine. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can replace it with a strong coffee.

Step 2: Steam your milk

Take a saucepan and put it on a heat source. Let your milk steam for a while and froth it as per the consistency required. For a latte, the texture must be smooth and creamy.

Step 3: Assemble your latte

Take a mug and pour the espresso into it. Once done, add the steamed milk. Finally, top it with a thin layer of microfoam on top. 
Your delicious latte is ready to be enjoyed!


1) It has a creamy texture

One of the best parts about the latte is its satisfying combination of espresso and steamed milk. It results in a luxurious, creamy texture that's perfect for sipping.

2) Customizable flavors

Latte can be easily customized in no time using different flavored syrups like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and other endless flavor combinations.

3) Visual appeal

Baristas can showcase their creative side by making intricate, eye-catching latte art designs on the milk foam surface and enhancing the visual appeal of the drink.


1) More Calories

As the latte has steamed milk and different flavorings, its calorie count is high which might not be ideal for health-conscious coffee lovers.

2) Equipments required

To make a latte at home may espresso machine and milk frother are required. But it's costly and requires more space in the kitchen which becomes another challenge.

3) Limited shelf life

Lattes are made to sip at the same time. So they can't be stored for long. Instead, it tastes best when we consume it instantly.

Cold brew vs latte: Quick Comparison

The main differences between cold brew and latte are the methods and texture. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period. On the other hand, Lattes is made with espresso and steamed milk, offering a creamy and velvety texture.

1) Brewing Method

Cold brew is created by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours, resulting in a smooth, less acidic coffee concentrate. In contrast, a latte is made by combining a shot of espresso with steamed milk, offering a creamy and rich flavor profile.

2) Flavor Profile

Cold brew is known for its smooth and mellow flavor, often with chocolatey or nutty undertones, due to the slow brewing process. On the other hand, a latte has a more balanced flavor, with the espresso providing a bold coffee taste complemented by the sweetness of steamed milk.

3) Serving Temperature

Cold brew is typically served cold over ice, making it a refreshing choice, especially during warmer months. Lattes, on the other hand, are served hot, providing a comforting and warming experience, particularly in colder weather.

4) Strength

Cold brew is a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk to achieve the desired strength. Lattes, on the other hand, have a more moderate coffee flavor, as they are made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk.

5) Caffeine Content

Cold brew is known for its higher caffeine content compared to regular coffee, making it a popular choice for those seeking a caffeine boost. Lattes contain less caffeine, as they are made with a single or double shot of espresso.

6) Texture

Cold brew has a smooth and velvety texture, with no bitterness, making it an enjoyable and easy-to-drink option. Lattes have a creamy texture due to the steamed milk, which adds a layer of frothiness to the drink.

7) Preparation Time

Cold brew requires a longer preparation time due to the steeping process, usually taking 12-24 hours. Lattes can be prepared relatively quickly, as they involve pulling a shot of espresso and steaming milk, which usually takes a few minutes.

8) Customization

Cold brew can be customized by adding water, milk, or flavored syrups to suit individual preferences. Lattes can be customized by adjusting the ratio of espresso to steamed milk and by adding flavored syrups or toppings like whipped cream or cinnamon.

9) Seasonality

Cold brew is often associated with warmer weather, thanks to its refreshing and cool nature. It is a choice for many during the summer months when a chilled beverage is most appealing. However, cold brew isn't limited to just the summer, it can be enjoyed year-round by those who appreciate its smooth flavor profile.

On the other hand, lattes are more commonly consumed in colder months, particularly during fall and winter. Still, it can be enjoyed throughout the year by those who appreciate their creamy texture and rich flavor.

Cold brew vs latte: Which one is more suitable for you?

So latte or cold brew? Well! It depends on your priorities! If you are looking for a smooth, refreshing coffee with a little sweetness then a latte is perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want a quick caffeine fix and want minimal acidity then cold brew is ideal.

Wrapping up

Thus both cold brew and latte have unique flavor profiles and textures that satisfy different coffee lovers.

So go ahead, explore them, and confidently select your preferred brew based on your mood and taste preferences.

That's all for this blog. I hope this article helps you to make the right choice between these popular coffee drinks.


Henry Muller

Team TAB
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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...