If I order a caffè latte from a coffee shop, will it always be the same strength? As in the same ratio of espresso to milk? For example, I think I heard that Starbucks UK use more espresso than is normal, though I can't remember if that's compared to "normal for a latte" or the other Starbuckses in the rest of the world.

Or does it vary wildly from shop to shop (and thus I need to learn or ask at each individual coffee shop)?

  • Here is an answer on Cooking. Perhaps we should paste it here as a new answer, if only a link. It does not seem a "standard", though. And I can confirm the definition depends across Starbucks'. Apr 30, 2015 at 6:13

2 Answers 2


It varies by shop and order. For instance, order a latte at Starbucks, you have a selection of sizes, and then variance in the number of shots (or espresso) you order in the drink. Since the sizes are not doubled (12, 16, 20 ounces, not 12, 24, 36) and half shots are not a thing, the ratio will vary at the order level.

  • That's a good point. However, if you were to order the same size drink in two different coffee shops, would it have the same amount of espresso? You mention it varying in your first sentence but then don't really elaborate. Apr 30, 2015 at 10:13
  • The size of an espresso shot does have a fairly specific standard, which has been answered as another question on this site. There is some variation, most certainly, but far less than the variability in milk to espresso ratio in a latte. Apr 30, 2015 at 16:06
  • Not sure if you got what I was asking or not - I'm not asking about how big an espresso shot is. What I meant was if you order a 16 fl oz latte in Coffee Shop A, and a same-size latte in Coffee Shop B, are they going to have roughly the same amount of espresso in? (Sorry if your above comment just answered this; I wasn't sure.) Apr 30, 2015 at 16:10
  • There is variance. The smaller size will generally have one shot, the largest size, two shots. I have seen the middle size go either way, with the barista often asking the customer if it should be one or two. Apr 30, 2015 at 17:36

From what I have found the only rule to make latte macchiato is to use at least 200ml of milk for a 30ml espresso shot. Clearly this is mostly defined by the volume of the glass the coffee is served in and that will definitely vary from shop to shop. I would expect the coffee shops to use standart espresso shots but no one can be sure about this either.

  • Ah, sorry. I've never heard latte being used to mean latte macchiato before, only ever caffe latte. Didn't realise there could be ambiguity. I've edited. Apr 29, 2015 at 20:39
  • Well I don't actually drink latte so it was probably me who messed up. Anyway the answer is still the same: the ratio is mostly defined by the volume of the cup hence it will vary
    – Lamorak
    Apr 29, 2015 at 20:50

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