Starbucks Americano vs. latte: which one is healthier?

Amid the several claims that Starbucks drinks are unhealthy, if you are a frequent Starbucks customer like I am you shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the claims or go along with them blindly. So I built on a habit to weigh all Starbucks drinks and find healthier options. Among the drinks are my all-time favorite espresso-based beverages, Starbucks Americano, and latte.

After I researched the two, I decided to create this post to give you a detailed comparison between them. By the end of this post, you will be able to decide which of the two drinks is healthier. Read on!

What are the differences between Starbucks Americano and latte?


Starbucks Americano

Starbucks latte


Brewed espresso, hot water

Steamed milk, brewed espresso, and a light layer of foam

Taste profile

Caramel sweetness with a bit of bitterness

Has a subtle taste like a milky coffee

Caffeine content/ Nutritional value

A Grande Americano has 225mg of caffeine,15 calories, 0g of sugar and fat, and 2g of carbs

This drink has more caffeine and fewer calories

A Grande latte has 150mg of caffeine, 190 calories, 18g of sugar, 7g of fat, and 19g of carbs

This drink has less caffeine and more calories

Availability/ Accessibility

Can be accessed from all Starbucks stores and the Starbucks app

Can be accessed from all Starbucks stores and app

Roast level

Blonde roast

Dark roast

Starbucks Americano vs. latte – how they compare

Starbucks Americano vs. latte

What it is made of (ingredients)

Both Starbucks Americano and latte are made with espresso shots as the base. The difference is that Americano is made with two shots of espresso followed by hot water. The amount of water added is double that of espresso. This combination provides a layer of a coffee form known as crema.

On the other hand, the latte is made by balancing two espresso shots with steamed milk instead of water. Foamed milk is also added to the top to make it even creamier. This combination forms the perfect base for additional flavors.

Starbucks latte wins this category because its ingredients make it richer and allows room for the addition of desired flavors.

Taste profile

Starbucks Americano has a very rich and sweet taste that comes with little hints of bitterness. This bittersweet taste appeals to most people due to its consistency and it also has a way of keeping you at the moment. When drinking American you feel like you are taking actual coffee.

On the other hand, the Starbucks latte is very subtle and creamy. The mildness in a standard cup makes the milk taste more dominant but it is a whole other experience after adding your desired flavors. There are a variety of flavors that can be added to it like pumpkin spice and vanilla. This enables you to enjoy different flavors whenever you take it.

Starbucks latte wins this category since it gives you room to play around with flavors and add a personal touch to your cup.

Caffeine content/ nutritional value (where applicable)

Starbucks Americano is perfect if you want a high caffeine boost without having to deal with a lot of calories. The high caffeine is a result of the lighter roast. A Grande cup of Americano has 225mg of caffeine and only 15 calories. It also has 2 grams of carbs and zero sugar and fats.

When it comes to Starbucks latte, you get very high calories and not as much caffeine due to the dark roast. A Grande cup has 150 mg of caffeine and 190 calories. Other than that you also get 18grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat 19 grams of carbs.

In this case, Starbucks Americano wins since it is a healthier way to enjoy your caffeine boost without consuming too many carbs or calories

Availability/ Accessibility

Both Starbucks latte and Americano are available at the store and can also be accessed through the Starbucks app and websites. To order the drinks, you simply state the name and any customization you’d prefer to the baristas. When ordering online you follow the step-by-step process and select a store near you for delivery.

In this category, it is a draw since both beverages are always available and easy to access.

Roast level

Both Starbucks latte and Americano have espresso shots as their base. However, the roast levels in the cups are different. Starbucks Americano is made with a blonde roast that is lighter, this contributes to the high caffeine in the drink which enables customers to enjoy a higher caffeine boost.

When it comes to Starbucks latte, the espresso roast coffee is roasted dark which gives the beverage a mild flavor and less caffeine.

In this category, Starbucks Americano wins. The blonde roast is lighter which gives you the right amount of caffeine and antioxidants you can get out of your espresso.

Starbucks Americano vs. latte: A comparison overview

Starbucks Americano – Overview

Starbucks Americano

Starbucks Americano is a simple way to enjoy espresso if you are a lover of regular coffee. My first sip of this drink made me fall in love with it, it looks simple with only the crema creating the difference between it and brewed coffee. The caramelly flavor and the bittersweet taste make it unique and almost hard to not order another cup. The bitter taste can however be unpleasant.

The number of shots in this drink is determined by the cup size but just as always, Starbucks allows you to go big with the number of shots you wish. I preferred three shots in my Grande cup and skipped on any other inclusions. Having it this way was way healthier since there were no extra calories from the inclusions.

A turn-off for me however was the level of bitterness of the drink. It overpowered the sweetness and I had to take long intervals when drinking it.

What I liked;

  • High caffeine content.
  • Has a rich flavor and nice aroma.

What I didn’t like;

  • The bitterness was overpowering

Who it’s best suited for

  • This is best suited for anyone who fancies a bittersweet taste and loves a high caffeine boost.

Starbucks latte – overview

Starbucks Americano vs. latte

It is hard to find a drink that is attractive with fewer ingredients like a Starbucks latte. The patterns formed on this beverage are what make it exciting and keep customers lining up for it. It is milky and has a subtle taste but you can also taste the espresso.

I liked that you can add any flavor you desire to this drink and it will still taste amazing. This allows adventurous customers to play around with the flavors and who knows? Maybe land at an epic addition to Starbucks’ secret menu. I also liked that steamed milk can be substituted with plant-based milk which makes it even healthier for a vegan.

What I did not like was that it had high calories and not as much caffeine. That did not do well on my health checklist considering I take coffee at least three times and all those calories from coffee alone are too much. It was also a little too creamy which took away the actual taste of coffee that Americano had.

What I liked;

  • The velvety touch
  • The customization window

What I didn’t like;

  • The high calories

Who it’s best suited for

  • Best for anyone who does not mind high calories and enjoys trying out new flavors.

Final verdict: So, which is better? – Starbucks Americano vs. latte

Starbucks Americano is healthier than a latte. It not only has fewer calories but also allows you to enjoy a great-tasting drink. It is a simple drink with only two ingredients which allows you to taste the espresso. You also get enough coffee boost with only 2 grams of carbs. If you are a lover of brewed coffee then Americano is the way to go. It is all the sweetness you need in a simple cup. The simplicity also adds to its health benefits and doesn’t take away the antioxidant benefits. If you want to enjoy a healthy espresso then you should consider ordering Starbucks Americano.


Is Starbucks Americano stronger than a latte?

Yes, the roast level for Americano is blonde which means lighter roasting with a full-bodied taste compared to Starbucks latte which tastes more milky and subtle due to dark roast.

What is the main difference between a latte and an Americano at Starbucks?

Starbucks Americano is made of espresso shots and water while latte is made of espresso shots and steamed milk. Water and milk are the main difference between the two.

Which one tastes better between Starbucks Americano and latte?

Americano tastes better than a latte. Americano is sweet and tastes like caramel and actual coffee while latte is more milky and mild. With inclusions, however, the latte is highly likely to taste better.

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