Skinny Latte: What It Is and How To Make One

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A skinny latte is a popular coffee drink that has gained popularity among health-conscious coffee drinkers. It is a low-calorie beverage that provides a caffeine boost without compromising on taste.

In this brewing guide, I will share some interesting facts and tips about skinny lattes that will help you make the most of this delicious and healthy drink. So grab your apron, and let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • The main ingredients of a skinny latte are espresso and nonfat or low-fat milk
  • The flavor of a skinny latte is based on the syrups you use but usually tastes like a regular latte.
  • A skinny latte is a low-calorie latte that is perfect for those watching their calorie intake.

What Is a Skinny Latte?

A skinny latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk, but with a reduced amount of milk and no added sugar, resulting in a low-calorie beverage.

The term “skinny” refers to the lower calorie count. Using low-fat or nonfat milk makes a skinny latte lighter than a regular latte or other coffee drinks made with whole milk.


Skinny Latte Recipe

A recipe for a basic skinny latte in the comfort of your own home.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 100 kcal


  • Espresso maker or Moka pot
  • Milk frother


  • 1 shot espresso or 1-2 fl. oz of strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup frothed nonfat or low-fat milk


  • Brew one shot of espresso
  • Froth one cup of nonfat or low-fat milk, fill into a tall glass (Add ice cubes if you like iced latte)
  • Pour the espresso shot over the frothed milk
  • Add sweetener if desired, and enjoy!


You can customize your skinny latte to create a drink tailored to your taste preferences. For example, add vanilla syrup or use unsweetened vanilla almond milk to make a skinny vanilla latte. 


Serving: 8ozCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 7gFat: 2g
Keyword low-fat latte, skinny latte
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What Is a Skinny Latte vs Regular Latte?

While these two drinks are similar in their espresso and steamed milk base, a skinny latte is a healthier, lower-calorie alternative to a regular latte. The difference is in the milk, with a skinny latte using a lighter milk option. Like the regular latte, skinny latte can also be served hot or iced.

A skinny latte uses a low-fat or nonfat milk option, while a regular latte is made with espresso and steamed whole milk and is often served with cream or flavorings.


Regular lattes have a creamier texture because of the higher fat content in whole milk, while skinny lattes have a lighter texture.

The reduced milk in a skinny latte also allows the espresso to shine, giving it a robust, bold taste. This makes it perfect for those who don’t want an espresso but dislike the amount of milk in a regular latte.

Skinny lattes have fewer calories than regular lattes, making them a better option for those looking to cut back on calories.

It’s important to note that some coffee shops may add sugar or flavored syrups to a skinny latte, which can increase the calorie count. 

Additionally, the skinny latte is not necessarily healthier. Both the regular latte and skinny latte have some health benefits. They can also be equally detrimental to your health if you’re not meant to drink coffee. It only becomes healthier if choosing a lower-calorie beverage is a health-conscious choice for you.

How Many Calories Are in a Skinny Latte? (VS Classic Latte)

The number of calories in a skinny latte can vary depending on the size, the sweeteners, and the type of milk used. Let’s look at the difference in calories in a small, medium, and large skinny latte versus a regular latte.

On average, a small (12 oz) skinny latte made with nonfat milk contains around 70-100 calories, while a regular latte of similar size made with whole milk has up to 200 calories.

A medium (16 oz) skinny latte made with nonfat milk has around 100-140 calories, while a regular latte of the same size made with whole milk can have up to 300 calories.

A large (20 oz) skinny latte made with nonfat milk has around 130-180 calories. A regular latte of similar size made with whole milk has up to 400 calories.

What Type of Milk Should You Use for Skinny Lattes?

The best type of milk is either nonfat or low-fat when making a skinny latte.

Nonfat milk, or skim milk, contains little to no fat and is the healthiest option with the least calories. It also has a thinner texture, allowing the espresso to shine.

Low-fat milk, like 1% or 2%, has a slightly higher fat content than nonfat milk. However, it still has fewer calories than whole milk. It has a creamier texture than nonfat milk, making the drink slightly more indulgent while still being healthy.

Different milk options can affect the taste and texture of a skinny latte, so experiment and find the milk that best suits your taste preferences. Both options are great for a healthy, dairy milk-based skinny latte.


How To Make a Skinny Latte

Here’s what you’ll need to make a basic skinny latte:


  • 1 shot of espresso (or espresso style coffee)
  • 1 cup of nonfat or low-fat milk
  • Sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • Ice cubes if you prefer an iced latte


  • Brew one shot of espresso using your espresso machine.
  • Steam one cup of nonfat or low-fat milk with the steam wand of your espresso machine. Create the milk texture according to your taste preference.
  • If you don’t have a steam wand, pour the milk into a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a steaming temperature. Do not boil. Once heated, pour the milk into a blender or milk frother. Blend until there’s a nice foam.
  • Pour the frothed milk over the espresso shot in a mug.
  • Add sweetener if desired.
  • Use a spoon to hold back the creamy foam once you pour the steamed milk into the mug.
  • Top with the remaining froth and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Ultimate Skinny Latte

Now that you know the basics of making a skinny latte, it’s time to step up your game and create the ultimate drink tailored to your tastes.

Frothing the Milk

If you don’t have a steam wand on your espresso machine, you can use a blender, milk frother, or even a French press to froth your milk.

Simply heat the milk until it’s steaming. Blend or froth the steaming milk until it becomes frothy and has the desired texture. Some people also choose to use a small whisk, like that used for making matcha lattes.

The Best Beans To Use

Choosing high-quality coffee beans will make a tremendous difference in the taste of your drink. Look far from their best-buy date.

Ways to Brew the Espresso

Traditional latte is made with espresso brewed with an espresso machine. However, if you don’t have one at home, a stovetop espresso maker or an Aeropress can also make strong coffee base that is similar to espresso. Each method will produce a different taste, so experiment to find the one for you.


Personalizing the Skinny Latte

Consider different types of milk and sweeteners to use in your drink. Almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are great dairy-free options. For sweeteners, opt for honey, agave, and stevia.

Using these tips, you can create the ultimate skinny latte that is perfect for you. So grab your favorite mug, get creative, and enjoy your delicious and healthy drink.


We’ll address some common questions and provide helpful tips to ensure your homemade skinny lattes are always fantastic.

What Is in a Skinny Latte at Starbucks?

A skinny latte at Starbucks is a beverage made with espresso and steamed nonfat milk. It contains fewer calories than a regular latte. You can customize it with sugar-free vanilla syrup or alternative sweeteners for even fewer calories.

Is a skinny latte sugar-free?

No, a skinny latte is not always sugar-free. You can definitely add your favorite syrups or sweeteners. However, the main purpose of this drink is for a lower calorie intake, so you can consider sugar-free syrups or alternative sweeteners.

Final Thoughts

A basic skinny latte is made with espresso and low-fat or nonfat milk. You can customize it by using non-dairy milk, such as soy milk or almond milk, and alternative sweeteners. It’s easy to make at home, and all you need is espresso and frothed milk. 

If you have tried this recipe or customized your own version with a slight twist, let us know!

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.