The Ingredient That Separates A Spanish Latte From Café Con Leche

Served hot or iced, a Spanish latte and café con leche are delicious drinks made with espresso and milk. But the Spanish latte includes a sweet addition that turns a regular morning pick-me-up into a decadent delight: sweetened condensed milk. This dessert-worthy ingredient isn't just for your tres leches cake or fudge — it's here to sweeten your coffee break.

But adding condensed milk to a Spanish latte does much more than just sweeten the drink. It also creates a thick, creamy, and smooth texture while adding visual appeal. The sweetened condensed milk sinks to the bottom where you can admire striking layers of milk, espresso, and condensed milk.

The sweetened condensed milk is a consistent ingredient that separates a Spanish latte from a café con leche, but you may encounter other differences since both drinks have room for creative flair. Cinnamon is a popular addition to Spanish lattes, and other flavors like orange, vanilla, nutmeg, or cocoa powder have been known to join in. Flavors can certainly be added to café con leche, but the drink typically sticks to its roots, letting the bold flavors of equal parts scalded milk and espresso shine.

Condensed milk sweetens drinks around the world

Condensed milk isn't just for Spanish lattes — it sweetens drinks around the world. It's an easy and convenient way to add body and sweetness without the fuss of extra sugar or syrups. As a shelf-stable ingredient, it became popular in areas without refrigeration or access to fresh milk. This helped usher condensed milk into the culinary traditions of many cultures, as can be seen in drinks all over the globe. The long list of drinks using sweetened condensed milk includes the Spanish latte, Vietnamese coffee, Thai iced tea, Brazilian lemonade, and Mexican-style horchata, among others.

But you don't necessarily need to make a special drink to enjoy the magic ingredient of sweetened condensed milk. Bring it to your morning cuppa! Use it as a creamer in your coffee or give your tea a creamy finish with sweetened condensed milk. Even just a splash will transform your drink into a creamy treat. Let it be a simple way to savor a moment, knowing people all over the world are also enjoying a sweet sip with condensed milk.