When it comes to drinks that just about anyone can enjoy, there is rarely anything better than a fresh cup of coffee in the morning.
With coffees, there are so many different types and ways that it can be prepared to ensure that you will be able to get a drink that you enjoy. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all of your favorite drinks need to have coffee in them.
There are some coffee-based drinks that are generally expected to have coffee in them. A similar example to the latte can include the cappuccino, which is another very popular coffee-based drink that people all around the world enjoy.
In fact, it is even made with the same ingredients as the latte is. Just because a drink has the same ingredients, though, doesn’t mean that it is similar in the slightest.
For instance, lattes do not necessarily have to have coffee in them to be called a latte. Of course, it is still considered traditional to include coffee when you are making a latte, but there are a fair few drink recipes that you can consider that do not have a single bean of coffee in them.
One such example of this would be a chai latte.
The Coffee-less Latte
The chai latte may be one of the most popular forms of the latte drink that doesn’t have a single bit of coffee in it. Instead, this drink gets the latte in its name from the preparation process.
During the making of a latte, you will typically include espresso with steamed milk in it to create your standard latte. When making a chai latte, you will substitute that serving of espresso with a helping of spiced chai concentrate.
For those who may not know, chai is a specific type of tea that has quite the redundant name, as chai actually means tea.
This process will create a drink that will have a similar flavor and texture as your typical latte, but it will allow you to enjoy the drink without having to worry about drinking any coffee, making it a perfect addition to a late-night snack.
If you are looking specifically for a latte that does not have espresso in it, and you are interested in trying a chai latte, you will want to be a bit careful about where you search for your latte.
Latte tends to be synonymous with having espresso in a drink, so some places will create a chai latte that doesn’t rely on the chai concentrate for flavoring.
Instead, it will be made in the same way a usual latte is made with steamed milk and espresso, with only a little bit of seasoning to try and add a chai-like flavor to it.
In fact, the prevalence of these types of drinks is enough that many people will use the redundant name of “chai tea latte” when describing a chai latte so that customers can feel confident in knowing that they are getting a tea-based drink, rather than a tea-flavored coffee.
When all is said and done, lattes will traditionally have coffee in them, but there is nothing requiring them to have that coffee. This leads to somewhat uncommon lattes, such as the chai latte, where you can enjoy the taste of steamed milk, but without having to fret about the caffeine that may be in the drink.
The Standard Latte
Now that you know a little bit about the latte that isn’t going to have any coffee in it, you might want to learn a little bit more about the standard latte. First things first, you can generally expect that any latte that you get, unless specifically noted on the menu, is going to have espresso in it.
This is the traditional way that lattes are made, so unless it is specified that the latte doesn’t have coffee in it, there is no reason why the latte wouldn’t have coffee in it.
Your standard latte is usually going to include only two ingredients, but despite this, many people all around the world enjoy the juxtaposition of the harsh espresso with the soft steamed milk. This kind of drink creates a smoothing flavor to go along with the burst of energy that the espresso will bring to you.
Most lattes are going to be made with either one or two shots of espresso in it to begin with, although in select places, you will likely be able to ask for more espresso in the latte. Two shots of espresso equals a large helping of coffee, although the exact amount of caffeine that your drink will have depends on how the drink itself was made.
Again assuming that your latte is a completely standard latte that is made in a typical facility, it is going to use espresso that contains about 70 to 90 milligrams of caffeine in it per shot.
Given that many lattes will rely on two shots of espresso to help you power through the day, then you can usually expect that a latte will have between 150 and 180 milligrams of caffeine in it.
By comparison, your standard drip coffee that has been poured into a 12-ounce cup, is going to have about 120 milligrams of caffeine in it, as long as the coffee isn’t also based on an espresso. This means that most lattes, as long as they have two shots of espresso in them, will be more than enough to get you through the day.
Going by these facts, a latte will also usually contain more caffeine in it than most coffee does because of espresso’s concentrated nature.
Separating Coffee From Lattes
Coffee and lattes are similar, but absolutely not the same thing. The problem here is that coffee, usually, is simply just ground down coffee beans that have been run through hot water so that you can get it into the edible form that everyone knows and loves.
Of course, you would probably add milk and sugar to this as you please, but at its most basic form, coffee is more or less just the juice of ground coffee beans.
On the other hand, there are the lattes. Lattes include coffee in them, but that does not make them the same. In addition to that coffee inside of the latte, typically in the form of a few espresso shots, is also milk.
The steamed milk is a massive part of what makes lattes such a beloved drink across the country. That milk can provide volume, texture, and flavor that can help you take down the espresso inside the drink.
Additionally, the beans that are used to make lattes are different from your standard beans for coffee. Most coffee grounds are made with small coffee beans, but espressos are actually made with a different type of bean.
Espressos rely on the espresso bean, which is not only a different bean compared to standard coffee grounds, but it is also ground down and roasted longer than standard coffee beans are. These are what helps to give espresso its bitter taste but also its incredibly energizing effects.
When all is said and done, a good latte from a café is going to consist of two ingredients. It is going to mostly be the steamed milk that makes the latte separate from all other espresso or cream-based drinks, but at the same time, the espresso is what sets the latte apart from any other coffee-based drink that relies on some degree of cream or milk to make the taste better.
An espresso is two ingredients, which also means that you are going to need to use coffee if you want to make a traditional latte.
If you go to any bakery and try to order a latte without any coffee to it, you are going to get one of two responses. You are either going to be asked if you want to have a decaffeinated or a chai latte, or you are going to get no response and a look of confusion. This is because lattes are nothing more than milk and coffee.
When you remove one of the core ingredients from a recipe in this fashion, then all you are going to be left with is a glass of steamed milk. If you want to have a tasty latte, you will want to make sure to include the espresso in one way or another, and if it is the caffeine you are worried about, decaffeinated espresso usually has less.
There are many drinks that are actually quite similar to the latte that you might be able to enjoy if you find that lattes suit your taste well. Cappuccinos are often regarded as one of the closest drinks to a latte.
The only real difference is that cappuccinos have a milk froth on top of their drink, and this is the only real difference.
Aside from that, you can easily expect a latte to taste quite the same as a cappuccino. Likewise, a flat white can also be considered a close relative to the latte because of its similarities in ingredients and cooking process.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.