The skinny latte and the latte are two variations on the same drink. These two drinks are among the most popular espresso-based beverages.

What is the difference between a skinny latte vs. latte?

The main difference is that a skinny latte uses low-fat milk and thus contains fewer calories. Both coffees are made with espresso and milk, but a skinny latte uses skimmed or low-fat milk, while a latte is made with whole milk.

They both have their loyal customer base, but is one superior to the other? In this article, you’ll learn about the differences between these similar drinks.

At the end of the article, you’ll have the knowledge to decide which of the two versions suits you better. Let’s get into it!

Skinny latte vs. latte, what are the differences?

Now that you know about the main difference between a skinny latte and a regular latte, you can have a look below for an overview of all the differences:

Comparison: Skinny latte: Latte:
Which milk? Skimmed or non-fat milk Whole milk
Espresso Two espresso shots One espresso shot
Caffeine content 136mg of caffeine 68mg of caffeine
Number of calories 77 calories 110 calories
Flavor notes Light, mild, and creamy Creamy and milk-heavy
Sweetener? Optional, sugar-free syrup of choice Optional, syrup of choice

As you can see, there are many differences between a skinny latte and a regular latte.

Below, you’ll find some more information about each drink. After that, I’ll get more in-depth about each difference between these similar drinks.

What is a skinny latte, and how do you make it at home?

A skinny latte is just like a regular latte, except with skim milk instead of whole milk. The result is a drink that has fewer calories and less fat.

A skinny latte is often made with an additional espresso shot compared to a regular latte.

This is because the skimmed milk has less flavor than the whole milk used to make a regular latte.

Skinny latte.

The extra espresso shot will make your skinny latte taste incredible. I found that a single espresso shot makes the coffee a bit weak and overall not that enjoyable.

If you’re out and about, you might come across your favorite coffee bar. You can always ask the barista for a double shot skinny latte to get that amazing strength and flavor.

A skinny latte is most often made with sugar-free syrup if you like to order a sweetened version.

Do you prefer brewing coffee at home? Then you can follow the easy steps I’ve listed below to try your hand at making this coffee yourself:

  1. Start with fresh, cold skimmed, or low-fat milk that has been refrigerated for at least 12 hours. This will produce the best foam.
  2. Froth the milk, you can do so using six different techniques. If you’re interested, you can read this article where I go into detail about each technique.
  3. Add it to your coffee cup when the milk is hot, and a nice layer of foam is on top.
  4. Brew your favorite espresso coffee using an espresso machine or French press.
  5. After making the espresso shots, add them to your milk-filled glass.
  6. Add a sugar-free sweetener if you prefer, and enjoy!

If you’d like to make this skinny latte at home, you can check out this complete recipe, so you can follow along.

What is a latte, and how is it made?

A latte is a coffee drink that is made by mixing espresso and hot milk into a single serving of coffee. The milk is steamed and frothed to create a thick foam on top of the coffee.

Latte coffee finished.

A latte is made by adding steamed milk to espresso. The milk is generally added to the espresso shot in a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4. This is then topped with a thick milk foam layer.

You can easily make a latte at home using the step-by-step guide listed above, or you can check out this complete recipe.

What is the difference in calories between a skinny latte and a latte?

A skinny latte has fewer calories because it is made with skim milk instead of whole milk.

A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk. The milk is what provides the majority of the calories in a latte. A regular latte has around 110 calories, while a skinny latte has around 77 calories.

A latte can also contain sugar or sugar syrup, which provides additional calories. Sugar syrups are usually added to lattes in quantities of around 15 grams per serving.

Homemade cinnamon brown sugar syrup.
Cinnamon brown sugar syrup (here’s the recipe!)

So a regular latte contains around 20 grams of additional calories when using sugar syrup to sweeten it, while a skinny latte contains less because a sugar-free syrup is used.

Tip: Check out these homemade coffee syrups to sweeten your lattes!

Skinny latte vs. latte: the caffeine difference

A skinny latte is just a latte with skim milk instead of whole milk. So it has the same amount of caffeine as a regular latte if you’re ordering (or making) it with the same amount of espresso coffee.

One espresso shot contains 68mg of caffeine. While a double espresso shot will contain 136mg of caffeine. (source)

An espresso shot in a small glass.

In my opinion, a skinny latte tastes the best with a double espresso shot. So it’ll have more caffeine than a regular latte.

It’ll also make the skinny latte a bit more enjoyable, but more on the flavor difference below:

What is the difference in taste between a skinny latte and latte?

A skinny latte is made with skim milk, while a regular latte is made with whole milk. Skim milk has far less fat and therefore tastes more watery than whole milk.

The milk in a skinny latte is steamed with less foam, resulting in a thinner beverage.

Some people prefer the taste of a skinny latte because it’s less sweet and has a more subtle flavor. Others find that the thin consistency makes the drink less satisfying.

One way to counteract a regular skinny latte’s light milk flavor is by adding an additional espresso shot to the drink.

Brewing espresso shots.

The extra espresso shot will increase the strength, make it more interesting, and leave a more robust flavor that is more enjoyable.

If you’re not a fan of too much coffee, you can also stick with one espresso shot and add a sugar-free syrup to your drink.

There’s also a big difference in the coffee beans used to prepare the latte. If you’re using blonde roasted coffee beans to make a blonde latte, the flavor will be far less intense than when you’re brewing with espresso beans.

Brewing tip: Check out my recommendations for the best coffee beans for your latte!

Which is better? A skinny latte or latte?

A latte has more calories and fat than a skinny latte. A latte also has more sugar. So, a skinny latte is better because it has fewer calories and fat, and less sugar.

But it all depends on the flavor you’re looking for in your daily coffee. Are you not quite sure which might suit you better? Then I suggest the following:

  • I recommend a skinny latte because it has fewer calories and less sugar. Plus, it’s still delicious!
  • If you like getting the fullest flavor possible and don’t mind the extra calories, the regular latte is still the better pick.
Skinny latte vs. latte comparison next to each other.
Skinny latte on the left. Regular latte on the right

Personally, I like both versions equally as much. More often than not, I don’t sweeten my coffee, so it all comes down to what kind of milk I have in the fridge.

If I have low-fat milk, I’ll prepare a skinny latte with the additional espresso shot for that stronger flavor; otherwise, I’ll make a regular latte.

Conclusion

So there you have it – the difference between skinny and regular lattes. I’m a fan of the regular latte (with whole milk, please!), but if you’re looking to save a few calories, go for the skinny version.

And if you’re ever in doubt about what’s in your coffee, just ask! Baristas are always happy to help.

I hope you enjoyed this article and better understand the differences between a skinny latte and a regular latte.

Do you like reading about the differences in coffees? Then have a look below for some more coffee comparisons!

More coffee comparisons

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