Skinny Latte Vs Latte (What Are They & Differences Between Them)

If you're a fan of coffee - especially lattes, it's likely you've always wondered about the differences between a skinny latte vs. latte.  

Perhaps you've been curious about the calorie count differences or how it affects the flavor and taste of your latte. In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about the differences between skinny and regular lattes.  

How They're Made & Ingredients

The production process for a traditional latte and skinny latte is generally the sameThey're both traditionally made with the same components: espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

Both espresso drinks have two ounces of espresso shot and around eight or nine ounces of steamed milk. Typically, they're also topped with a small amount of foamed milk. Depending on the latte that you order, some will also have the addition of syrup or sweeteners.   

The main difference between the two is the type of milk used. 

Regular lattes use whole milk, whereas a skinny latte uses either skim milk or alternative milks such as almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk. 

If you order a flavored skinny latte then it will be made with sugar free syrup which have no added sugar or calories. 

Not every syrup is available as a sugar free syrup but the most popular syrups tend to be, so you should be able to get a skinny vanilla latte or skinny caramel latte in most coffee shops.


There are significant differences in flavors between the two.

A regular latte gives you a milky, rich flavor from the whole milk. Whole milk also creates this velvety texture that lingers in your mouth. A caffe latte is generally well-balanced and should have a lovely smooth but robust espresso flavor.  

A skinny latte doesn't have as much creaminess. As they are usually made with skimmed milk, they don't have the same fat content as regular milk and hence, lack that rich flavor. You're more likely to order skinny flavored lattes with sugar free syrups to improve the taste. 

Caffeine Content  

The caffeine content of both a skinny latte and regular caffe latte is the same

Like a regular latte, a skinny latte uses one, two, or three espresso shots depending on the size of the drink. 

It is then topped up with steamed milk (full fat milk for a latte and skimmed milk or alternative milk for a skinny latte) followed by a little bit of milk foam.  


Interestingly, due to the differences in the type of milk that’s being used, the amount of foam produced will also differ when you make a latte and a skinny latte. 

It's a lot more challenging to make foam with a skinny latte - especially those that use alternative milk such as almond, soy, and oat.  Additional time needs to be spent in aerating the liquid, and there's a little more technique required to make the perfect foam.

With regular lattes it's much easier to make the foam - just as long as you've got the proper technique.   

Calorie Content 

When it comes to calories, a skinny latte has fewer calories in comparison to regular lattes that use whole milk.  

It really depends on the size, but regular lattes, for example, typically have about 120 calories and 7 grams of fat, while a skinny latte only has about 70 calories and almost no fat - because they are made with nonfat milk. 

Do note, however, that this is dependent on the type of milk used for skinny lattes. Almond milk, for example, typically has fewer calories than other alternative kinds of milk.  

Negative Health Aspects 

Regular lattes typically have a relatively high fat content as they are made with whole milk. 

If you want to lose weight or just limit your consumption of fats and sugars, a skinny latte is a better choice for you than a regular latte.

You'll also need to be careful of sugar-based syrups. Just the addition of syrups alone can add as many as 100 extra calories (or more!) to your regular latte. This isn't a problem with a skinny latte, as a skinny vanilla latte is still very low calorie. 

While a skinny latte is better for you, it's important that you're also not consuming too many of them. There’s still a good amount of caffeine in a skinny latte, so you shouldn’t be drinking more than four 8 ounce cups of coffee.  

Price In Cafes 

Regular lattes are typically cheaper than skinny lattes

It does, however, also depend on the type of milk that you plan on using. Alternative milks such as oat milk and almond milk are typically pricier than low-fat milk.  

When it comes to making a latte versus a skinny latte, there's also a bit more effort required in making a skinny latte. As mentioned earlier, it's harder to make foam with alternative milks due to their minimal fat content.  


Skinny Latte (Overview & Why Do People Like It?) 

Unlike regular lattes, a skinny latte is made with either nonfat or reduced-fat steamed milk. In certain instances, they can also be made with alternative dairy free options such as oat milk or almond milk.  

A skinny latte also has a lighter milk flavor and texture. Depending on the milk you use, a skinny latte could also take on the flavors of the milk. An oat milk skinny latte, for example, could have an earthy flavor.  

Skinny flavored lattes are a popular low fat alternative to regular flavored lattes. They are made with sugar free syrup, and the most popular option tends to be the skinny vanilla latte. 

If you like lattes but are currently watching your calorie and fat intake, a skinny lattes is a great option. It's also a good option if you prefer coffee with a more robust espresso flavor and are not picky about the froth at the top.  

skinny latte

Regular Latte (Overview & Why Do People Like It?) 

Regular lattes, on the other hand, are made with whole milk. Depending on the drink, some of them also come with classic sugar-based flavor syrups for taste. If you're someone that likes drinks that have a milky, rich flavor to them, lattes would be your preferred drink of choice.  

Not only does whole milk create a velvety foam that lingers while you drink, but it also complements the espresso. At coffee shops, lattes are commonly prepared with an espresso shot, steamed milk, and milk foam.  

Some sweet lattes will also be made with whipped cream. This isn't in the classic latte recipe, but whipped cream can give another level of sweetness, but also add to calorie and sugar content. A skinny latte will never have whipped cream!

brown beverage

How To Make A Skinny Latte At Home? 

To start, you’d need the following ingredients:  

  • ¾ cup of nonfat milk, skim milk, or alternative low-fat milk of your choice  
  • Two espresso shots 


  1. 1
    Go ahead and brew your espresso shots.  
  2. 2
    While your espresso is brewing, go ahead and steam your fat free or skim milk.  
  3. 3
    If you like milk foam, spend some time making a nice layer of milk foam for your skinny latte.  
  4. 4
    Then, pour your non fat or skim milk into a mug and wait for 30 seconds.  
  5. 5
    Once your non fat milk or skim milk has settled, slowly pour your espresso shot into the glass.  
  6. 6
    If you have some leftover milk foam, top your mug with the foam.  

Frequently Asked Latte Coffee Questions 

How many calories are there in Starbuck’s skinny latte? 

It depends on the size that you get, but a short Starbucks skinny latte has 60 calories, a tall one has 102 calories, a grande has 128 calories, and a venti has 168 calories.  

How many calories are there in McDonald's skinny latte? 

McDonald’s has 80 calories in their skinny latte. Their skinny lattes are made from espresso and nonfat milk, along with your choice of sugar-free French vanilla syrups and more.  

How many carbs are there in skinny lattes? 

It depends on the type of milk that you choose, but skinny lattes generally come with about three grams of carbs.  

What is a low-calorie latte? 

A low-calorie latte can either be a skinny latte (one that's made with low fat or nonfat milk), or you can consider getting a piccolo latte. A piccolo latte is essentially a mini version of a latte with fewer calories.  


If you're someone that enjoys a more robust coffee flavor and want to enjoy a latte with less calories, it's likely that you'll enjoy a skinny latte. On the other hand, if you prefer a milky, velvety flavor, a latte would be a better option.

Karmy Widjaja


Karmy Widjaja
Karmy Widjaja, holding a degree in Hospitality Administration, combines her academic background with a profound passion for the world of coffee. Her work is enriched with a wealth of insights, not only about the art of coffee making but also about the broader aspects of the coffee industry. Her quest for coffee perfection is a central theme in her engaging articles, as she continues to explore the vibrant coffee scene in Perth. And when it's time for a coffee break? Karmy's all about a laid-back flat white with almond milk – it's her go-to for a tasty coffee kick.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... flat white with almond milk.

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