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Latte, also spelled as latté or lattè literally means milk in Italian. It is a short term for café latte which means coffee milk. It is espresso coffee and hot milk. It is called 'café au lait' in French, 'café con leche' in Spanish or 'café com leite' in Portugese. It has a strong coffee flavor and aroma.


The term latte was used by Willian Dean Howells in 1867 in his essay ‘Italian journey’. Latte was invented by Lino Meiorin of Caffe Mediterraneum in the 1950’s. The need for such a drink was felt as a few customers opined that espresso coffee was too strong. It became very popular during the 1980’s.

Ingredients and Preparation

Espresso and milk are the only ingredients for making latte.

Traditionally, one or more shots of espresso are taken in a cup. Hot milk is poured into the cup leaving about 1.5 cm on the top. Foamed milk is added to the top. Typically, 240 ml latte is served with about a single 30 ml espresso shot.


  • Latte is generally served for breakfast in a cup placed on a saucer.
  • In Scandinavia, latte is served in a bowl.
  • Latte art is a very popular art of decorating the coffee tops with designs likes flowers, hearts, faces, etc.
  • It can also be served with flavoring syrups like vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, hazelnut, chocolate, etc.

Popular Variations

Latte Macchiato is a similar beverage. It differs slightly from latte as espresso is added to milk rather than reverse.

Health and Nutrition Facts

Serving size – 1 cup

Calories – 160 cal, Fat – 2g, Protein – 2 g

  • Latte is low in calorie and fat.
  • Latte is known to reduce depression in women. It is also known to enhance cognitive development.
  • It reduces risks of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is high in caffeine which causes dependency and sleep changes. It should be avoided by pregnant women.