Kyoto Latte Vs Spanish Latte: A Delicious Comparison Of Japanese And Spanish Coffee Culture

Ever wondered about the difference between a Kyoto Latte and a Spanish Latte? Many coffee lovers struggle to tell these two apart, missing out on unique flavours and cultural experiences.

The global popularity shows the growing interest in speciality coffee drinks. This article will compare Kyoto and Spanish Lattes, exploring their ingredients, taste profiles, and cultural significance.

Ready for a flavourful journey?

What Is A Kyoto Latte?

A photo of a Kyoto Latte being poured over ice.

Kyoto Latte is a cold brew coffee drink with Japanese origins. It’s made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours, resulting in a smooth, less acidic flavour. This method, popularised in Kyoto, Japan, produces a rich, nuanced taste that coffee enthusiasts prize.

You’ll find Kyoto Latte served in speciality coffee shops worldwide. It’s often presented over ice, sometimes with a splash of milk or sweetener to enhance its unique profile. The drink’s popularity has grown due to its refreshing qualities and the growing demand for artisanal coffee experiences.

What Is A Spanish Latte?

A woman enjoying a Spanish Latte in a cozy café.

Spanish Latte is a rich, creamy coffee drink that originated in Spain. It’s made by combining espresso with sweetened condensed milk, creating an indulgent beverage. This unique blend offers a perfect balance of strong coffee flavour and smooth sweetness.

You’ll find Spanish Lattes in cafés across Spain and beyond. The drink’s popularity has grown globally, appealing to those who enjoy their coffee with a touch of sweetness. Its distinctive taste comes from the condensed milk, which adds a velvety texture and caramel-like notes to the espresso base.

Ingredients of a Kyoto Latte

A Kyoto Latte with matcha froth in traditional Japanese tea set.

Kyoto Latte blends Japanese tea traditions with modern coffee culture. Its unique flavour profile stems from these key ingredients:

  • Matcha green tea powder or hojicha roasted green tea
  • Steamed milk (dairy or non-dairy alternatives like almond, oat, or coconut)
  • Hot water
  • Ice (for iced versions)
  • Optional sweetener (honey or simple syrup)

No condensed milk or spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla are used in authentic Kyoto Lattes. The drink’s vibrant green colour comes from high-quality matcha powder, whisked to perfection. Baristas often create latte art atop the frothy milk surface, adding visual appeal to this Japanese-inspired beverage.

Ingredients of a Spanish Latte

A glass of Spanish Latte and a bag of coffee beans on a wooden table.

Spanish Lattes blend rich flavours with creamy textures. Here’s what goes into this popular coffee drink:

  • Espresso: Strong, concentrated coffee forms the base
  • Whole milk: Adds creaminess and balances the coffee’s intensity
  • Condensed milk: Provides sweetness and a velvety mouthfeel
  • Ice (for iced version): Chills the drink without diluting flavours
  • Cinnamon or cocoa powder (optional): Sprinkled on top for extra aroma
  • Vanilla syrup (optional): Enhances sweetness and adds depth
  • Plant-based milk alternatives: Soy, almond, or oat milk for vegan options
  • Vegan condensed milk: Made from coconut or other non-dairy bases
  • Honey or agave syrup: Natural sweeteners some cafes use instead of condensed milk
  • High-quality coffee beans: Arabica beans often preferred for their smooth taste

Compare Taste and Texture: Kyoto Latte vs Spanish Latte

Kyoto and Spanish lattes offer distinct taste profiles and textures, catering to different coffee preferences. Here’s a comparison of these two popular beverages:

AspectKyoto LatteSpanish Latte
TasteSmooth, rich, pure coffee flavourBalance of sweetness and strength
SweetnessNo added sweetenersSweetened with condensed milk
Coffee IntensityStrong, pronounced coffee notesBold espresso flavour, tempered by sweetness
AftertasteClean, lingering coffee finishSweet, milky finish

You’ll notice Kyoto lattes offer a purer coffee experience. They highlight the bean’s natural flavours without added sweetness. The texture feels silky on your tongue, with a clean aftertaste.

Spanish lattes give you a sweeter sip. The condensed milk adds richness and balances the espresso’s boldness. You’ll enjoy a creamier mouthfeel and a sweet, milky finish.

Choose Kyoto lattes for a straightforward coffee flavour. Opt for Spanish lattes when you crave a sweeter, more indulgent drink. Both offer unique tastes that reflect their cultural origins.

Dive Deeper into Kyoto and Spanish Lattes

A busy café in Kyoto with a mix of locals and tourists.

Kyoto and Spanish lattes offer unique tastes rooted in rich coffee traditions.

Kyoto Latte: Cultural Significance

Kyoto Latte embodies the essence of Japanese coffee culture. It represents meticulous craftsmanship, precision, and attention to detail. This unique beverage, originating from Kyoto, Japan, uses a slow drip cold brew method that takes hours to prepare.

Japanese coffee shops, known as kissaten, have embraced the Kyoto Latte as a symbol of their dedication to quality. The drink’s popularity has grown beyond Japan’s borders, captivating coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

Its minimalist aesthetic and rich flavour profile reflect the values of Japanese culture, making it more than just a beverage – it’s an experience.

Spanish Latte: Cultural Significance

Spanish lattes hold a special place in Spain’s coffee culture. They’re a morning ritual, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The drink’s popularity stems from Spain’s historical connections with Italy and France, influencing its coffee traditions.

This beverage reflects Spain’s love for rich, sweet flavours. It’s more than just coffee; it’s a social experience. Spanish lattes often include warm spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, adding depth to their creamy sweetness.

The balance of flavours in a Spanish latte mirrors the country’s approach to life – indulgent yet harmonious.

Global Popularity of Kyoto and Spanish Lattes

Kyoto and Spanish lattes have surged in popularity across global coffee scenes. These unique brews cater to diverse tastes, offering dairy-free options and natural sweeteners. Coffeehouses from Tokyo to Barcelona now feature these specialities, attracting both locals and tourists.

Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have fuelled the trend, with #KyotoLatte and #SpanishLatte garnering millions of views. Top coffee chains have added these drinks to their menus, solidifying their place in mainstream coffee culture.

You’ll find these lattes in specialty shops and high-street cafés alike, testament to their wide appeal.

Best Places to Enjoy Kyoto and Spanish Lattes

A busy Kyoto cafe with customers enjoying Spanish lattes and pastries.

Kyoto and Spanish lattes offer unique flavours in distinct settings. Here’s a list of top spots to savour these delightful brews:

  1. Okaffe Kyoto: Rated Kyoto’s best latte, located at 235-2 Shimmeicho Ayanokojidori Higashinotoin Higashi Iru, Shimogyo-ku. Prices range from £2.40 to £7.20, offering exceptional value for premium coffee.
  2. % Arabica: With stores worldwide, this chain focuses on minimalist design and custom espresso machines. Their Kyoto flagship store provides an authentic experience of the brand’s signature style.
  3. Holland Village, Singapore: This vibrant area boasts several cafes serving Spanish lattes. You’ll find rich, sweet concoctions often made with condensed milk.
  4. 56 Arab Street, Singapore: Known for its Spanish latte, this spot often has queues of coffee enthusiasts. The drink’s popularity speaks volumes about its quality.
  5. Local roasters in Kyoto: Many small, independent coffee shops use single-origin beans for their lattes. These spots offer a more intimate coffee experience.
  6. Middle Eastern % Arabica locations: The chain’s popularity in this region means you’re likely to find excellent Kyoto-style lattes in unexpected places.
  7. East Asian coffee shops: With the rising demand for specialty coffee, many cafes in this region now offer both Kyoto and Spanish latte variations.
  8. Online platforms: E-commerce sites specialising in artisanal coffees often stock beans suitable for making these lattes at home. You can recreate the cafe experience in your kitchen.

Home Preparation Tips for Kyoto and Spanish Lattes

Craving a Kyoto or Spanish latte at home? You’ll need a few key tools and ingredients to recreate these delicious drinks.

  • Use high-quality matcha powder for Kyoto lattes – at least 2 teaspoons per serving
  • Brew strong espresso for Spanish lattes using an espresso machine or Moka pot
  • Heat milk to 65°C for the ideal temperature and texture
  • Add 30-60ml sweetened condensed milk to Spanish lattes for authentic flavour
  • Experiment with plant-based milks like almond or oat for vegan versions
  • Invest in a milk frother to create silky microfoam for both drinks
  • Sift matcha powder before whisking to avoid clumps in Kyoto lattes
  • Use brown sugar syrup or honey as natural sweeteners for Kyoto lattes
  • Chill espresso over ice before adding milk for iced Spanish lattes
  • Store beans in an airtight container away from light and heat


What’s the difference between a Kyoto Latte and a Spanish Latte?

Kyoto Latte uses Kyoto-style cold brew, often with matcha. Spanish Latte, or café con leche, blends espresso with scalded milk. Both offer unique flavours.

How does the sweetness compare in these drinks?

Spanish Lattes are rich and sweet, sometimes with condensed milk. Kyoto Lattes rely on coffee’s natural sweetness. Personal taste determines preference.

Can I get these drinks iced?

Yes. Iced Kyoto Lattes are common. Spanish Lattes can be served over ice cubes too. Both make refreshing summer beverages.

What milk options are typically used?

Traditional lattes use regular milk. Kyoto Lattes often feature almond milk. Spanish Lattes might include evaporated milk. Many shops offer various milk choices.

Where did these coffee styles originate?

Kyoto-style coffee originated in Kyoto, Japan. Spanish Latte hails from Spain. Both reflect their respective coffee cultures.

How do these drinks compare to a classic latte?

Classic lattes use espresso and steamed milk. Kyoto Lattes use cold brew. Spanish Lattes use scalded milk. Each offers a distinct coffee experience.



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