Shaking Things Up: Shaken Espresso vs Latte

Updated Nov 26, 2023 • Wanjiku Kimari

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Are you ready to delve into the delicious world of espresso-based drinks? Stick around because we'll explore the basics and differences between shaken espresso vs latte below. 

Shaken espresso combines espresso and tonic water, while latte is a classic espresso-based beverage made with steamed milk and a shot of espresso. Whether you are a seasoned coffee lover or a newbie in your coffee journey, understanding various coffee beverages is essential to your coffee experience. Join me as I take you through the nuances, brewing techniques, and flavor profiles behind these two beloved coffee creations. 

shaken espresso cup

Key Differences in Taste and Preparation Method

While both are espresso-based beverages, the shaken espresso and latte are distinct in preparation, flavor, and presentation. Let's delve into an in-depth comparison of these two coffee drinks. 

The shaken espresso is a hand-shaken variation of iced coffee, also known as the Shakerato. 

It features a shot of espresso, shaken with ice and sweeteners like vanilla syrup and served with ice cubes. Sometimes, it can have some milk froth to smoothen the intense coffee taste. 

The shaking action used to prepare shaken espresso creates bubbles in the coffee, giving the drink a unique texture. The result is a refreshing cold beverage that appeals to those seeking a lighter coffee option. 

On the other hand, the latte is a classic Italian coffee created with a single or double shot of espresso with steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam on top. 

Lattes are creamy with a velvety texture that balances the robust espresso flavor with the sweetness of the milk. Consequently, this beverage has a mild coffee taste compared to the bold taste profile of shaken espresso from the milk.

Generally, the differences between shaken espresso and latte include: 

  • Shaken espresso is a cold espresso-based coffee made with ice and sweeteners,  whereas lattes are hot drinks made with steamed milk. 
  • Shaken espresso is prepared by shaking all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, giving it a light texture and intense flavor, whereas the latte has a smooth and mild taste due to the steamed milk. 
  • Shaken espresso contains higher caffeine levels than a latte because it has little or no milk. 
  • While both drinks are affordable, a shaken espresso is usually cheaper than a latte in coffee houses like Starbucks.


The Shaken Espresso: A Refreshing Twist on Classic Espresso

Shaken espresso is a popular cold coffee drink inspired by the Italian Shakerato espresso beverage. It is an iced coffee featuring a single or double shot of blonde espresso, ice cubes, and sweetener syrup blended by shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. 

The mixture is typically light and smooth after a good shake and served over ice with a dash of milk.

Ice-shaken espressos are popular in coffee houses like Starbucks as it makes a refreshing summer drink

Additionally, you can make it at home easily with a simple shaken espresso recipe consisting of ice, a double shot of espresso coffee, your favorite milk variety, and syrup. Some coffee lovers prefer iced shaken espresso over cold brews and other iced drinks due to their low sugar content and balanced taste profile. 

iced shaken espresso

Nutritional Value

Ice-shaken espressos are popular in coffee houses like Starbucks as it makes a refreshing summer drink. Starbucks introduced the drink in 2021 and has four variations of this iced coffee drink. 

It is one of the most popular iced coffee drinks due to its low-calorie content and higher caffeine level, unlike the latte. For example, a 16 fl oz Starbucks double-shot shaken espresso contains up to 100 calories.

The beverage is also customizable. You can get it at Starbucks or create it at home in various styles. Starbucks varieties include oat and almond milk, toasted vanilla syrup, and chocolate.

The Latte: A Classic Coffeehouse Favorite with Endless Possibilities

The latte is beloved coffee made with one or two shots of dark espresso and layered steamed milk. It has a creamy texture and a layer of milk foam on top that baristas use to make latte art. 

The term latte comes from caffè latte, the Italian for milk coffee. It features a well-balanced flavor profile that combines the bold and slightly bitter espresso taste with the smooth and mild sweetness of the milk. 

Latte is a versatile beverage as it is the foundation for various coffee beverages, allowing coffee lovers to explore different flavors and combinations. 

They include the Cappuccino, Macchiato, Mocha, and Flat White. These drinks are made by altering the milk-to-coffee ratio, adding flavors and sweeteners, or modifying the milk texture. 

2 latte in disposable cups

Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of a latte depends on the milk, the amount of sugar or sweeteners, and the flavorings added. A typical latte made with whole milk may contain up to 150-200 calories, with 7-10 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, 12-15 grams of carbs, and 25%-30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. 

The values can vary based on the specific ingredients and serving size. The milk-to-coffee ratio of a latte and mocha is usually much higher than a cappuccino, macchiato, and Flat White. Thus, you can expect a latte to have more calories than a cappuccino.

For example, a 16 fl oz Starbucks Caffè Latte contains 190 calories, while the same size Starbucks Cappuccino has 140 calories. 

When comparing the cappuccino vs latte milk-to-espresso ratios, the latte may contain up to 250ml of milk to 35ml of coffee. On the other hand, the cappuccino uses 150ml, and the Flat White has 100ml for the same amount of espresso.


In conclusion, while both shaken espresso and latte are espresso-based beverages, they offer distinct taste experiences. The shaken espresso delights with its bold and refreshing flavor profile, while the latte enchants with its creamy and balanced combination of espresso and hot steamed milk. Thus, whether it's a refreshing ice-cold pick-me-up or a comforting indulgence you seek, these two coffee beverages present exciting options to explore and savor. 

Meet the expert

Wanjiku is an experienced interior designer who loves creating beautiful spaces, one room at a time. When not designing, you can find her enjoying her favorite coffee drinks and planning her next road trip adventure!

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