Your Guide to a Skinny Latte: Definition and Recipe

I remember the first latte that I drank like yesterday. I went for coffee with a friend and she suggested that I try it. Since then I am a latte person. Unfortunately, lattes contain quite a lot of milk and for people who are keeping an eye on their calorie intake, it isn’t always their best option. This is where a skinny latte comes in.

In short, a skinny latte is a latte made with milk with a lower fat content than the milk that we normally use to make lattes. People also often opt for skim milk.

What is a Latte?

A caffè latte, otherwise known as a latte is one of the most popular espresso-based drinks there is. It is a delicious drink and always my go-to.

It is made with one or more shots of espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of milk foam. Many people top it off with some latte art.

The espresso is usually made using an espresso machine. However, it is possible to make a latte using coffee from a Moka pot or AeroPress.

How is a Skinny Latte Different From a Normal One?

The skinny version of a normal latte is simply made using milk with a lower fat content as compared to whole milk. This means that low-fat milk and non-fat milk are used to make skinny lattes depending on who is making the latte.

The idea is to lower the calorie count of this popular coffee drink. This gives people who are conscious about their calorie intake a chance to still enjoy the wonders of a latte.

Of course, a standard latte will have a creamier texture as compared to a skinny one. However, there are people who prefer the skinny latte taste over that of a classic latte.

What are the Benefits of Skim Milk?

Skim milk is also called non-fat milk. Many people prefer it over regular milk because it contains fewer calories, which, makes it the healthier option if you are on a low-calorie diet or trying to lower your fat consumption.

I also know people who simply prefer the taste of skim milk over that of whole milk.

Alternative Milk

Another option is to use dairy alternatives such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk for your drink. The moment that the milk contains less fat than normal milk, it is considered a skinny latte.

How Do You Make a Skinny Latte?

A skinny latte is made in the same way as a traditional latte. There is just one key difference between the two drinks and that is the type of milk that you use. However, here are the steps to make a skinny latte.

1. Pull a shot of espresso

You can use any coffee beans that you want. I always recommend Starbucks’ Pike Place roast, because it is really good.

You don’t have to use an espresso machine. I know that many people don’t have one and that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying good coffee.

I wouldn’t recommend using regular coffee for a latte. The reason is that it is not as concentrated as espresso, so, the taste will be remarkably different.

Instead, you can use a Moka pot, AeroPress, or instant espresso. I know that there are many opinions about instant coffee. However, Nescafé Gold instant espresso comes pretty close to the real thing. And I honestly think that it is a great option and better to use that for a latte than, for example, French press coffee. Yet, it is a matter of personal preference and you are free to do what you prefer.

The number of espresso shots that you use is also up to you. I usually use one shot or sometimes a double espresso shot if the day calls for it. But I mean, that is really up to you.

2. Froth 1 cup (250ml) of milk

There are many ways to froth milk. If you have a coffee machine, and it has a steam wand, you can use that.

However, frothing milk with a whisk (handheld milk frother), French press, or even a mason jar. My go-to when I don’t have a steam wand when making coffee is a French press. It is easy and a French press is one of the basics that almost every coffee lover has in their homes.

Milk being poured into metal cup.

3. Pour the Milk Over the Espresso

Now you finish off the drink by adding the milk to the coffee. This is also your chance to show off your latte art skills.

Skinny Latte Variations

Like with all coffee drinks, there are spiced-up versions of a skinny latte. However, the big problem that we are facing this time is that most people who go for a skinny latte do so because of the lower calorie content. This means that they are also keeping an eye on their sugar intake.

The reason why this is a problem when it comes to skinny latte variations is that most of the variations that we make on coffee are done with things such as syrup. Thus, we add sugar.

However, this does not have to stop us from being creative.

Sugar-Free Syrup

The first option would be to go for sugar-free syrups, for example, sugar-free vanilla syrup. These syrups have been made with alternative sweeteners.

Some flavors that you can try include vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate. A skinny vanilla latte is a popular drink.


This is not an option that floats around the internet quite often, however, I think this is a great way to significantly decrease the number of calories that your drink contains.

You can try the same flavors that I mentioned with the syrups. Simply add ¼ teaspoon essence/extract to the espresso before you add the milk and you are good to go.

This method is great because it contains even fewer calories than the syrups and to be honest, I’m not really a fan of artificial sweeteners. This is why I think that this is your best option. However, that is just my opinion.


Using spices to flavor coffee is really an underrated method in my opinion.

My favorite is cinnamon. I simply sprinkle some cinnamon on top of my coffee and then my heart is really happy.

Another great idea is chai coffee, well, technically, a skinny dirty chai latte. The aromatic mix of the spices is really amazing and is one of my favorite tastes in this world.

Dirty chai lattes in white mugs.

Iced Skinny Latte

Iced coffee is always an option. All you have to do is add some coffee ice cubes to the espresso and use cold milk instead of hot milk and you have yourself a great drink for a hot summer day.

What if My Coffee Shop Doesn’t Sell Skinny Lattes?

Unfortunately, skinny lattes are not on all coffee shops’ menus. In those cases, you can simply ask for a “regular latte” made with low-fat or skim milk.

Most coffee shops also have non-dairy milk at hand, so, you can also opt for that if they do not have dairy milk other than whole milk.

Other Great Lattes You Have to Try

1. Cookies and Cream Latte

For some reason cookies and cream makes me think of a quiet night in watching series. So, for you next binge-night, this is the perfect drink.

Learn how to make a cookies and cream latte here.

Cookies and cream latte with whipped cream.

2. Caramel Brulee Latte

When it comes to lattes, I think this one tops all the others on my list. It is crunchy and sweet and creamy and everything perfect.

You can get my caramel brulee latte recipe here.

Caramel brulee latte from the top.

See my ultimate list of latte flavors here

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