How Much Caffeine In A Latte? (It Might Surprise You!)

Rich, creamy, velvety--who can’t resist a steaming cup of latte?

The latte is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. Coffee shops have created different versions of this drink, such as the pumpkin spice latte, vanilla latte, and mocha latte.

If you love this drink, you're probably wondering, "how much caffeine in a latte?" Well, no need to wonder because I have the answers for you.

I’ll also discuss the caffeine content of popular versions of lattes, along with the amount of caffeine you get from lattes from popular coffee shops.

In general, a cup of a small latte or 8 ounces contains 86.4 mg of caffeine, according to the Food Data Central of the USDA.[1] If you’re having a medium cup of caffeine, you’ll get 173 mg per cup.

The amount of caffeine in a latte varies widely depending on the cup size and the variety you choose.

Apart from the size of the cup and the variety, other factors will affect how much caffeine a latte has. This includes the type of coffee beans, how much milk you add, and other ingredients.

For now, let's discuss how much caffeine in a latte from the most popular coffee shops.

Caffeine In Starbucks Latte (Tall, Grande & Venti)

Starbucks has seven types of coffee-based lattes on their menu[2], not to mention their secret menu lattes.

Let's discuss two of the most popular lattes at Starbucks: the Caffe Latte and the Blonde Vanilla Latte.

A tall regular Starbucks latte or Caffe Latte (12 fl. oz.) contains 75 milligrams of caffeine, while a Starbucks grande latte (16 fl. oz) and a venti latte (20 fl. oz) both have 150 mg of caffeine.[3]

The Starbucks iced latte also contains the same amount of caffeine as the hot version.

On the other hand, a tall Blonde Vanilla latte has 85 milligrams of caffeine, while grande-sized and venti-sized cups contain 170 mg of caffeine.[4]

The iced latte version of this Starbucks drink also has the same caffeine content as the hot variety.

So, why do these two variants of Starbucks lattes have different caffeine content? It's the coffee beans, which I'll discuss more below.

Oat Milk Chai Tea Latte

Caffeine In Dunkin Donuts Latte

Dunkin Donuts has only two types of latte: the classic caffe latte and the signature latte. Both drinks are available in iced and hot versions. So, how much caffeine is in Dunkin Donuts lattes?

A small classic caffe latte contains 118 milligrams of caffeine, while the medium cup caffe latte has 166 milligrams of caffeine, and the large cup has a whopping 252 mg of caffeine.[5]

The signature latte contains the same caffeine content in all Dunkin cup sizes. The same goes for the iced latte versions of these drinks.

The only difference is that the signature latte contains whipped cream and drizzle, while the classic caffe latte has none.

Do note that the caffeine information for both drinks is just an approximate value based on the standard brewing method of Dunkin Donuts.

The exact amount of caffeine can vary significantly based on how each store prepares your coffee. You can always ask the barista if you want to be sure.

Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte

Caffeine In A Chai Tea Latte

If coffee isn't your thing, a chai tea latte is for you. This drink is also perfect for those trying to limit caffeine consumption.

Like the latte coffee drink, chai lattes' caffeine content also varies depending on where you get it and what tea is added to it.

Usually, black tea is added, but other coffee shops use a different type of tea.

At Starbucks, a tall chai latte contains 70 milligrams of caffeine, a grande chai latte has 95 mg, and the venti chai latte has 120 milligrams.[6]

As you can see, a chai latte has less caffeine than coffee-based lattes. This is no surprise since tea is coffee and will always have higher caffeine content than tea unless it's decaf coffee.

dirty chai with cinnamon

What Exactly Is A Latte? (An Overview)

Also known as a caffe latte, a latte is a coffee-based beverage made with freshly-brewed espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.

It originated in Italy and has become one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world.

In Italy and other European countries, ordering a latte means requesting a glass of steamed milk. So, I suggest you stick with a caffe latte if you want to order this cup of coffee drink overseas.

Additionally, lattes are perfect for those who don't enjoy the strong coffee taste of espresso. The milk added to the caffe latte makes the drink sweeter, creamier, and easier to drink.

So, even if you’re using a strong coffee for this drink, you’ll barely notice the intensity of the flavor as the milk counteracts the bitter taste of the espresso.

Traditionally, a caffe latte is prepared in an espresso machine by steaming whole milk and brewing espresso by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

It's best to use cold milk to create steamed milk to help the whole milk achieve the right consistency. Whole milk is used instead of other types of milk because it has a better flavor.

However, if you want something light, you can also prepare a caffe latte using skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, and other plant-based milk.

Replacing the milk may affect its taste, especially since other types have a milder flavor.

Apart from changing the whole milk, others are also experimenting with using brewed coffee instead of espresso shots.

pouring milk on mug

Factors Affecting The Caffeine Content Of Lattes

If you're trying to limit your caffeine intake, it's not enough to just know how much caffeine is in a regular latte.

You also need to know the different factors that affect the caffeine you find in a cup of coffee, so you can easily gauge how much you're consuming.

So, what factors affect the caffeine content of your favorite beverage? Let’s find out!

1. Type Of Coffee Beans And Roast

There are many types of coffee beans in the world, but two of the most popular are Arabica and Robusta. Apart from their taste and price, the main difference is their caffeine content.

Typically, Robusta coffee beans contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. However, Robusta is usually lower quality than Arabica. That’s why most coffee shops use Arabica beans.

Apart from the type of coffee beans, the roast also affects the caffeine content of the latte. Light roasts usually have more caffeine than dark roasts, but the difference isn't usually significant.

That's why the Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte contains a little more caffeine than the regular Starbucks latte.

Then, there are decaffeinated coffee beans. Decaf coffee is known to have significantly less caffeine than regular beans.

2. Amount Of Coffee Added To The Latte

A latte contains espresso shots. In other words, the amount of caffeine a latte has depends on how many espresso shots you add.

Typically, a single shot of espresso is added to an 8-ounce cup or a tall cup at Starbucks. Grande and venti sizes often have a double shot of espresso.

In some cases, decaf espresso is added, which lowers the total amount of caffeine in the latte.

Additionally, the size of the drink can also affect the amount of coffee added to it. A larger drink contains more espresso shots than a small drink.

The easiest way to increase the caffeine content of your latte is to ask for an extra single or double shot to your drink when you order at your local coffee shop.

Just be careful when adding extra espresso shots; you might end up with too much caffeine.

3. Brewing Method

While caffe lattes are traditionally made with an espresso machine, some cafes offer different varieties of lattes using different types of brewed coffee.

For example, some iced lattes are made with cold brew instead of the usual espresso shot. Cold brew has more caffeine than espresso shots since it is steeped in cold water for longer.

moka pot brewing

Caffeine Content In Lattes Vs Other Coffee Drinks

While coffee has a lot of health benefits and is known to provide an energy boost, drinking too much can trigger health problems like anxiety.

If a latte isn't your only daily caffeine fix, it's important to determine how much caffeine you're getting from the other beverages you consume.

Here are some of the most popular coffee beverages and how their caffeine content compares with latte:

Latte Vs Coffee (Regular Brewed)

Whether it's regular coffee or iced coffee, the amount of caffeine will depend on the same factors mentioned above.

However, a regular cup of coffee (8 ounces) generally contains 96 mg of caffeine.[6]

It does have more caffeine than a latte, since a cup of brewed coffee only contains black coffee, while a latte has milk.

Caffeine In A Latte Vs Coffee

Latte Vs Americano

Like a latte, an Americano is made with espresso shots. So, its caffeine content depends on how many shots of espresso are added to the drink.

The average amount of caffeine in an Americano with a single shot of espresso is usually the same as a latte, which is around 86.4 mg.

Latte Vs Cappuccino

Technically speaking, a latte and cappuccino contain the same ingredients: espresso shots, steamed milk, and milk foam.

However, a cappuccino has equal amounts of those three ingredients, while a latte has more milk. However, the amount of milk doesn't affect the caffeine content.

That's why both contain 86.4 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup.

Latte Vs Macchiato

A latte and macchiato can be confusing to some, but the latter has less milk than the former. Since they contain the ingredients, their caffeine content is also the same.

An 8-ounce cup of macchiato contains 86.4 mg of caffeine, while a 16-ounce cup which has a double shot of espresso, contains 150 mg.

person holding white cup

Latte Alternatives For A Caffeine Boost

If you’re tired of your usual latte drink and want to try something, here are some latte alternatives that you can try:

  • Cappuccino: This delicious drink tastes similar to a latte, making it a perfect alternative to the drink. Just remember, a latte has the most milk compared to cappuccino and macchiato.
  • Macchiato: Like cappuccino, this drink also contains the same ingredient as a latte, which makes it an excellent alternative. However, it contains less milk, so be ready for a more intense coffee flavor.
  • Brewed tea with milk: If you’re tired of the coffee flavor, switch it up with some brewed tea and milk. You can also add ice to your milk tea. On top of that, this is also a healthy alternative if you want to lower your caffeine intake.
  • Matcha latte: Matcha is a type of green tea mainly found in Japan. It’s perfect for those who love earthy and nutty flavors.
  • Brewed or iced coffee with milk: If you don't have an espresso machine, a simple brewed coffee and milk can do the trick. You can also add some flavored syrup, and it will level up your cup.

Common Latte Caffeine Content Questions

Can I get a low or decaf latte?

Yes, you can. Simply ask the barista for a decaf version.

How much caffeine is in a Starbucks decaf latte?

A tall decaf Starbucks latte contains around 2 mg of caffeine.

Is a latte a good choice for someone sensitive to caffeine?

Not necessarily. If you're sensitive to caffeine, a decaf latte is just what you need. You can also lessen the number of espresso shots in your latte.

What kind of coffee is in a latte?

A latte contains espresso shots.

How many lattes can you drink in a day?

Around four 8-ounce cups of latte should be your limit. This is because the FDA recommends adults to only consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day.[7]


Conclusion

Now that you know how much caffeine is in a latte, you can be more aware of how much caffeine you consume.

If you have caffeine sensitivity or want to lower your caffeine intake, it's best to stick with decaf coffee or tea lattes, depending on your personal preference.

However, if you’re just health conscious or curious, you may also want to check how many calories this drink has.

References:

1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2345946/nutrients
2. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/hot-coffees/lattes
3. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/407/hot/nutrition
4. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122164/hot
5. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/466/hot/nutrition
6. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2345935/nutrients
7. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much

Kim Fernandez

Author

Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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