The Americano and the latte are two types of coffee drinks that come from the same ingredient — espresso. But despite their commonalities, they have a lot of differences.
Quick Answer: What is the difference between an Americano and a latte?
An Americano and latte both have espresso coffee as their basis. A latte is made with 1/4 espresso and 3/4 milk, and the milk is steamed and frothed. On the other hand, an Americano is made with espresso and double the amount of hot water.
To drink the right one for the right occasion, you need to know all the differences between the two. That’s why I’ve created this comparison guide to help you make a perfect choice.
Read along to find out all the differences between these coffees. In the end, I’ll talk about my favorite of the two, and I’ll also help you to pick yours!
Americano vs. latte, how do they differ?
Before getting into the details of these drinks and how they differ, you can have a look at the handy overview below:
|Yes, one espresso shot
|Yes, one espresso shot
|No milk added
|Yes, 3/4 cup (0.18 l)
|Yes, 2 ounces (60 ml)
|No water added
|A slightly bitter and robust taste
|Smooth, creamy texture and a rich caramel flavor
|Low to medium strength
|68mg of caffeine
|68mg of caffeine
|Calories per serving
|Virtually no calories
|Usually a medium to dark roast
|Usually, a dark coffee roast
|A milk foam top
As you can see, an Americano and a latte differ quite a lot. To make things even more clear, you can see the difference between these drinks in the image below:
There are quite a few ways to make a latte at home. But the recipe may also change from coffee bar to coffee bar.
I like to add an extra shot of espresso to my lattes because I enjoy the espresso flavor.
An Americano, on the other hand, can only be made in one way. It’s made by adding espresso coffee into a cup and pouring hot water on top.
An Americano has such a straightforward brewing technique that you can easily make it at home. If you’d like to give it a try, you can check out my full guide here.
Is an Americano stronger than a latte?
An Americano has a full-bodied taste. It’s much stronger in taste than a latte. A latte is made out of a significant part of milk with a pleasant and well-rounded flavor, with just a bit of robustness by the espresso.
An Americano combines an espresso shot with about 2 ounces (60 ml) of hot water. But it can also be made with a double espresso and more water. It uses a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:2 at most times.
If you don’t like the strong espresso taste, you can also make an Americano with a 1:3 ratio of coffee to water.
The espresso shots’ strength will reduce by a bit, but the robust flavors are still there.
I like to drink an Americano when I want to enjoy the intense flavor notes of espresso for a prolonged period. Adding more water to the espresso allows you to enjoy the taste longer.
Is there milk in an Americano?
An Americano is made by combining espresso shots with hot water, usually in 1:2 or 1:3 ratios of coffee to water. There is no milk added to an Americano.
Of course, you can always ask for a bit of milk to be added to your Americano.
If you like to drink an Americano with a bit of milk, I suggest trying out a Café au Lait the next time around.
A Café au Lait is made with equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk.
It’s the perfect drink if you love strong coffee and love the addition of milk to your coffee. It makes for a well-rounded concoction.
Is an Americano with milk a latte?
An Americano with milk is not a latte. It’s called an Americano Misto. An Americano Misto is made by combining espresso coffee and hot water and is then topped with milk.
It looks like this:
When ordering a latte, no hot water is added, only espresso and milk. This is how you can tell the difference between the two.
If you want to learn how to make an Americano Misto at home, you can check out the article I wrote about it here.
Or, you can check out how to make an Americano with milk, using various techniques that all make your coffee taste differently!
Is there a difference in the amount of caffeine?
There is no difference in the amount of caffeine between an Americano and a latte. Both drinks have around 68mg of caffeine per serving.
It’s worth noting that these numbers may vary slightly depending on factors such as the type of coffee beans, roast level, and brewing method.
However, the general consensus in the coffee world remains that lattes and Americanos have virtually identical amounts of caffeine because they both use the same amount of espresso.
You could upgrade your latte or Americano by adding an extra espresso shot, which would also give it more caffeine.
A latte with a double espresso shot contains about 128mg of caffeine. This means that when you drink an Americano with a double-shot, it’ll have the same amount.
Americano vs. latte calorie difference
There is a big calorie difference between an Americano and a latte. An Americano has no calories, while a latte has 110 calories when using whole milk.
Coffee has virtually no calories, and because an Americano uses only espresso and hot water, it’s a lower-calorie drink.
On the other hand, a latte contains quite a few calories, depending on the milk you like to use.
Most lattes are made with whole milk or lower-fat milk, like 2% fat milk. But in most coffee shops, you can also order it with your favorite milk alternatives, which is awesome. (You can learn more about lattes here)
The number of calories in your latte can change depending on the milk you like to use or if you prefer to sweeten your latte with a bit of sugar or a flavorful syrup.
For the lowest amount of calories in your latte, you can also order a skinny latte, which is made with low-fat milk.
You can check out this article, where I go in-depth about this drink.
Americano vs. latte, which is perfect for you?
Now that you’ve read about all the differences between these coffees, it’s time to pick your favorite. If you still can’t decide between the two, have a look below:
- If you like a calorie-free coffee with a robust flavor, go with an Americano.
- Do you prefer a coffee with a creamy texture that isn’t strong in flavor? Then you should go with a latte instead.
I hope that picking between these coffees has just gotten a bit easier for you. If you want to have a fun experience, I suggest ordering both coffees and tasting them side by side.
By taste-testing the coffees, you’ll notice all the flavor differences for yourself. I’ve done this with many coffees over the years, and it’s a fun way to learn about coffee!
Related coffee comparison articles
Are you wondering how the Americano and latte compare to other coffees?
Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:
- Americano vs. Espresso
- Americano vs. Coffee
- Americano vs. Macchiato
- Latte vs. Cappuccino vs. Macchiato
- Latte vs. Skinny Latte
And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!
This was a great comparison to write about. These two coffees are a staple in most coffee bars around the globe. And I can see why that is.
An Americano and a latte are both such delicious drinks. I prefer the Americano over a latte because I love the stronger taste that it gives me.
I hope to have helped you find your favorite coffee out of these two. If you want to learn more about coffee, you can check the coffee recipes listed below.
Which of the two coffees do you prefer? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!