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Caffeine in a Latte vs Coffee: Which Has More? Complete Overview

Latte vs Coffee

The caffeine content in coffee is what makes the beverage so special. And on top of that, the fact that you can have it prepared in so many different ways make it even more appealing. But whether you like your coffee straight, or with cream, sweeteners, or other flavorings, the one thing that you know you will get is caffeine.

Everyone tolerates caffeine differently. Some people prefer just a little boost, while other coffee lovers may want something with a bit more kick. The two most common drinks you’ll see and even the smallest mom-and-pop coffee shop are “regular” coffee and lattes. But which one has more caffeine? Surprisingly, the average cup of coffee has more caffeine than the average latte. 

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A Quick Look at Caffeine Content: Latte vs Coffee

Latte Coffee
60 mg per 8 oz 95 mg per 8 oz

How Much Caffeine in Coffee?

In the caffeine battle for dominance, regular or a plain cup of black coffee will reign supreme when it comes to caffeine content. However, it’s not by that much; your regular 8-ounce cup of black coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine in Lattes?

Lattes will usually have anywhere from 60 to 95 mg of caffeine.

So, if you prefer the strongest cup of coffee, the traditional cup will be better suited for you. However, you can always get a latte that has a “double-shot”. This means that the latter contains two cups of straight espresso, which will increase its overall caffeine content.

However, if you aren’t used to drinking more than your daily amount of caffeine, you may want to use a bit of caution to avoid common side effects of caffeine “intoxication” such as jitteriness, inability to concentrate, nausea, and headaches.

pouring brewed coffee into a mug
Image Credit: Natalia Belay, Shutterstock

What About Lattes vs Espressos?

So, what exactly is a latte? A latte is a type of coffee beverage that’s created using an espresso base. Essentially, it’s just adding milk to your coffee to make it a bit milder or flavorful. The milk is usually placed in a frother and then mixed with the coffee.

Oftentimes, additional ingredients such as specialty flavors and sweeteners will also be added to make it a bit more jazzy–something many boutique coffee houses have become known for. There are different types of lattes including flat white, mocha, and cappuccino– and they all contain a mixture of espresso coffee and milk.

The term “latte” actually derives from the Italian term “caffè e latte”, which translates to “milk with coffee”.

Espresso is more so a concentrated form of coffee that is known for being very strong and used as a base for many different types of coffee beverages. It’s made by grinding beans into a fine powder and then passing steaming water through them under pressure.

The result is a bolder, thicker, and highly caffeinated form of coffee that’s usually served in smaller amounts. One fluid ounce of espresso will have about 64 milligrams of caffeine. So this means that if expressos were served and 8 oz coffee cups they’d have a whopping 512 mg of caffeine.

Image Credit: sonerkose, Pixabay

How Many Calories in Lattes Vs. Coffee?

Your average latte will have about 110 to 200 calories per 8 oz serving. In comparison, a regular cup of black coffee will have about 1 single calorie. Lattes dwarf coffee when it comes to calories due to their milk and sweetener content.

However, you can reduce the caloric content of your latte by using low-fat milk (or low-calorie Almond milk) and sugar-free sweeteners. Expressos, due to their heavy concentration, contain about 24 calories per 8-ounce cup.

coffee cup latte art
Image Credit: I love coffee, Shutterstock

Are There Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee?

Studies have shown that coffee does in fact have certain health benefits. Though many health experts warn against the consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine, evidence proves that coffee drinkers can benefit from enjoying a cup of joe on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable ways that coffee may positively impact your health.

Increased Life Span

Recent studies have found that a group of coffee drinkers is less likely to develop and die from cardiovascular disease including diabetes, kidney disease, and strokes. This isn’t to say that coffee will necessarily increase your lifespan, per se, but it’s shown promising research to prevent common fatal diseases.

Parkinson’s Disease Association

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year. For years, studies have shown that coffee may lower your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. It’s also been shown to aid in helping those with the disease gain a better ability to control physical movements.

health benefits of decaf coffee
Image credit: Unsplash

May Stave Off Colon Cancer

Research has shown that regular coffee drinkers were about 25% less likely to develop colon cancer, a disease that affects 1 in 25 women and 1 in 25 men. Other studies have hinted that coffee may slow the spread of colon cancer as well.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Coffee, due to its caffeine content, has also been shown to provide protection against developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A research study shows that women over the age of 65 or less are likely to develop dementia when drinking two to three cups of coffee daily.

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Caffeine in Lattes vs Coffee: Final Thoughts

If you prefer your coffee strong with the maximum amount of caffeine, then regular coffee may be for you. However, if you don’t mind a little less caffeine and care more about flavor, then lattes may be more your speed. And remember, you can always add another shot of coffee or espresso to your line today to give it more of a kick.

If you’re new to drinking coffee, it may take a bit of trial and error before you find the perfect way to make your drink (or have it made at a cafe) so that it tastes great and packs the extra punch that you’re looking for.

Featured Image Credit: (L) StockSnap, Pixabay | (R) yamaha_music_story2, Pixabay


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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