We’d venture a guess that lattes are the most popular coffee drink in America, and it’s easy to see why! Lattes are overflowing with velvety smooth steamed milk, frothy milk foam and rich, dark espresso… what could be better?
Only a latte with two pumps of sweet caramel syrup and a generous dollop of whipped cream could be better than that!
Lattes are so good that we wouldn’t blame you if you ordered two at a time (some of us have done this actually). But before you indulge, take a minute to read this post about how much caffeine is in a latte. We don’t want you to drink too many lattes and get the jitters… we’ve been there, and it’s not fun!
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Lattes Contain More Caffeine Than You Think
Lattes are a little bit deceptive. They contain so much sweet steamed milk that it masks the taste of the espresso, so you don’t notice how much espresso and caffeine you’re really drinking.
Under all that steamed milk, every latte has at least one shot of espresso and delivers a jolt of caffeine. A small latte has one shot and six to eight ounces of steamed milk, so it contains about 77 mg of caffeine.
Larger drinks like the grandes and ventis you get from Starbucks contain two shots of espresso and extra steamed milk. These bigger lattes with two espresso shots clock in at 154 mg of caffeine.
To put those numbers in perspective, the FDA recommends that you consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. So having one or two large lattes is within the limit… but having three may not be!
Extras Espresso Shots Add Even More Caffeine
The words “add an extra shot to that latte please” have come out of our mouth many times without us even thinking about it. Sometimes we do it just for the taste and overlook the fact that it adds extra caffeine that may not be necessary.
Nonetheless, this snap decision adds up to a lot of extra milligrams of caffeine in our latte!
Adding a third shot of espresso to a large latte that already contains two brings the total caffeine content up to 231 mg. That one drink is more than half our daily 400 mg allowance of caffeine!
We don’t know about you, but we can’t make it through the rest of the day with just 169 mg of caffeine left to drink. We’re going to forgo that third shot of espresso from now on!
Toppings Can Add Extra Caffeine Too
Chocolate lovers, we have bad news. Whenever you top your Starbucks latte with mocha syrup, chocolate curls, and cocoa powder, you’re adding extra caffeine to your drink.
Caffeine isn’t only in coffee—it’s in stuff like chocolate, tea, soda, energy drinks, chewing gum, candy, and even pain and allergy medicine. All of those things, including the chocolate syrup you generously drizzle on your latte, count towards your daily limit of caffeine.
But there can’t be that much caffeine in chocolate… right?
Actually, there is fair bit of caffeine in chocolate! Just one ounce of dark chocolate contains a whopping 12 mg of caffeine, which is a lot more than we were expecting. One tablespoon of cocoa powder contains the same amount, which was also surprising.
Chocolate syrup contains a lot less caffeine in comparison. Two tablespoons contain just 2 mg of caffeine. While we couldn’t find any nutritional info on mocha syrup, your favorite Starbucks drizzle should have comparable levels of caffeine because it’s basically fancy chocolate sauce!
So even though those chocolate curls, cocoa powder, and mocha syrup on your morning latte seem like small and insignificant toppings, they’ll add a fair bit of extra caffeine to your drink!