Americano vs Latte: How Can We Tell Them Apart?

Are you a coffee person and want to learn more about the distinction of the most preferred drinks in coffee shops these days?

Well, enter our post, and you will get a thorough comparison between Americano vs Latte, and you no longer have to waste numerous times staring at the menu. Jump right in for more details!

What Is Americano?

Americano is basically a combination between espresso and water, and the way to make it is quite simple as well.

After pouring two shots of espresso, what’s left is just quickly adding hot water into it to create a light layer of coffee foam known as crema. Now, you’ve got your tasty, bold, strong coffee in hand!

The original flavor of this kind of coffee is already savory. However, you can also have yours with extra ice, milk, or sugar.

As a popular option among coffee drinkers, Americano is far superior to regular black coffee. It is neither harsh, burned, nor sour. The price is also much affordable for the beginning of an energetic hectic morning.

As the recipe of Americano is easy-done, many coffee shops can vary the dosage of ingredients in their own way to make a distinct mark. Therefore, bear in mind that not every Americano you enjoy will taste exactly the same.

What Is Latte?

In fact, the name “Latte” derives from the Italian word “caffé latte,” which means “milk coffee.” Through its name, it’s quite obvious to see what makes up this appealing drink.

To compare Latte vs Americano, the considerable similarities between them are that they have almost the equivalent recipe and the one same significant ingredient: espresso. 

Still, unlike Americano, Latte utilizes steamed milk instead of hot water, creating a rich, creamy flavor that is ready to blow your mind away anytime. You can also have a foam layer on the top of your beverage if you wish so.

Another outstanding point of Latte is that the baristas frequently have a tendency to draw some aesthetic paintings in the foam layer. If you are fond of getting an impressive cup of coffee to take a photo with, look no further than Latte!

Americano vs Latte: The Highlighted Differences

After you’ve got all the basic components that give birth to these two kinds of coffee, let’s move to some noteworthy variations and see which one will best suit your appetite!


As we mentioned above, the ingredients and recipes of Americano and Latte are nearly identical to each other. They both contain espresso as the base of the drink.

However, during the preparation, Latte will have steamed milk rather than hot water as Americano.   

Although the traditional forms of these two beverages are hot-served, you can require it cold if you like. The changing procedure is simple to do as well.

With the Americano, the baristas just have to alter the hot water with cold water and add some extra ice if necessary. On the other side of the Latte, cooling down the espresso with water and pouring cold milk into it are the only two steps needed.

Sounds like a piece of cake, right?

Furthermore, you can also “customize” both these two drinks by adding some flavor according to your demands! Our suggestions for Latte will be toffee, cinnamon, hazelnut, or even syrup if you love more sweetness.

For the Americano, you can put some extra sugar into it if you want. A cup of Americano with milk is also acceptable, and this kind of beverage is known as Americano Misto.


Back in the past, both Americano and Latte were given birth for the same purpose, which is to soften the harsh bitterness of the espresso. Yet, they still have different levels of strength that will match with particular tastes.

With Americano, the flavor tends to be bolder and intenser than Latte. This beverage is normally preferred by people who want to sense the underlying relish of coffee beans, but also not too much to be unpleasant while sipping their favorite moment.  

On the other hand, Latte is milder and provides a creamy taste that a cup of Americano can not offer you. If you’re not into the sweetness of sugar but still need something to lessen the bitterness of espresso, Latte with rich milk is undoubtedly an ideal choice.


Due to the variations in intensity levels between the taste of Americano and Latte, you might get the wrong impression that Latte contains less caffeine than Americano.

The caffeine in each drink is totally comparable with the contribution of two shots of espresso. However, this does not imply that they are always the same. If you order an Americano cup with a double shot of espresso and a Latte cup with an espresso shot, then the first one will win the race without a doubt.

You can figure out that the amount of caffeine depends on the amount of espresso present in the drink, or simply ask the barista for the wanted espresso shots. Don’t be shy! You have the right to make such a request.

It’s up to you to have more or less caffeine regardless of the kind of coffee you choose to pick up, either Latte or Americano.


Owing to the distinctions of ingredients of these two coffees, Americanos is more watery and offers a robust mouthful of coffee sipping. Meanwhile, the rich, creamy structure of Latte will leave you a sense of velvety that is unbelievably exquisite.

In A Nutshell

You now gain in-depth knowledge about the distinctions between the two via this comparison of Americano vs Latte above. In summary, the big distinction between the two beverages is the ingredients. While Americano is made with hot water and espresso, the other one is made with steamed milk and espresso. 

The next time you are in a coffee shop, we’re sure you will get your choice much more effortlessly. Hope your visit is worth it!

Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).