Latte Vs Cappuccino | (Understanding the Difference!)

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Johny Morrisson


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♡ Written by Humans for Humans

People have been combining milk and coffee for centuries and if you like coffee, you’ve obviously heard of Latte and Cappuccino two of the most well-known milk-based espresso drinks in the World.

The main difference is that typically a latte is prepared with more milk, which results in a creamier texture and smoother flavors, while a cappuccino usually has less milk and more foam, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor.

In this article, we’ll go deep into the difference between the Latte vs Cappuccino and help you decide on your next coffee fix. Prepare yourself for a fun and frothy trip!

Latte vs Cappuccino

How’s Latte Coffee made?

Latte is a popular coffee drink that originated in Italy. It is made by mixing espresso with steamed milk and topped with a thin layer of frothed milk.

The ratio of milk to espresso in a latte is usually 3:1 or 4:1, which makes it a milder coffee drink.

Lattes are usually served in a tall glass, and the frothed milk creates a beautiful layer of foam on top.

Latte

So, how is latte coffee made? Let me break it down for you.

  • First things first, you need to start with a shot of espresso (Usually a double shot). This is the base of the latte.
  • You can use a traditional espresso machine or a stovetop espresso maker to make the espresso.
  • Next, you need to steam up some milk. You can use any type of milk you like – whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. – but whole milk tends to produce the creamiest and most traditional latte.
  • Pour the espresso shot into a coffee cup, then slowly pour the steamed milk over the espresso. If you want to get fancy, you can use a spoon to hold back the foam and pour the warm milk first, then scoop the foam on top.

And that’s it! You’ve made yourself a latte coffee. Enjoy!

How’s Cappuccino Coffee made?

A cappuccino is a delicious espresso-based drink made with equal parts of steamed milk, milk foam, and espresso.

The frothed milk in a cappuccino is usually denser and drier than the frothed milk in a latte.

Cappuccino

To prepare Cappuccino follow these steps:

  • Just like with latte coffee, you begin with a shot of espresso.
  • The next step is to froth some milk. This step is essential since the thick, creamy foam on top of cappuccino coffee is essential.
  • Once your espresso shot has finished brewing and your milk has frothed, pour your espresso shot into a small coffee cup and then pour the steamed milk over it slowly.
  • Lastly, top the espresso with frothed milk using a spoon. The foam should resemble whipped cream in thickness and creaminess.

That’s all! You’ve prepared a lovely cup of cappuccino coffee for yourself. You can add a little cinnamon or cocoa powder at the top for extra flavor.

Difference Between Latte and Cappuccino

Latte and cappuccino are almost similar popular espresso-based drinks, but they do have some differences in the ingredients and ratios.

Cappuccino vs Latte

The amount of milk and the serving size

The quantity of milk used is one of the primary differences between latte and cappuccino coffee.

A cappuccino is prepared with 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 Steamed milk, and 1/3 Foamed milk at the top while lattes have a milk to Espresso ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 and a small layer of foam on the top.

Both recipes have different serving sizes. Cappuccinos are normally served in small ceramic cups, around 6 ounces, while lattes are typically served in bigger cups, around 8 to 16 ounces.

Differences in the taste and flavors

Having loved coffee my entire life, I have noticed that lattes and cappuccinos taste quite different.

Lattes are creamy and sweeter as they are prepared with more milk. The espresso flavors are masked with the creaminess of the milk, so it is a great choice for those who prefer a milder taste to their coffee.

On the other hand, cappuccinos have a stronger espresso flavor and are less sweet than lattes. The foam topping gives them a light, airy texture, which adds to their unique taste and mouthfeel.

My personal favorite is Cappuccino because of the bold coffee flavors and subtle smoothness of milk.

Spices or syrups can be added to either beverage to add unique flavors. Cappuccinos are often served plain or with a dusting of cocoa powder on top, and lattes are frequently served with vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut syrups.

If you’re in the mood for a creamy and sweet coffee, go for a latte. If you’re looking for a stronger espresso taste with a light and airy texture, a cappuccino is a drink to go.

Which Drink is healthier: Latte or Cappuccino?

A typical serving of a Cappuccino has around 70-90 calories while a typical serving of a Latte has 140-180 calories.

Their calorie count is further influenced by the type of milk used (for example skimmed or oat milk has fewer calories than whole milk), as well as if any sugar, syrups, or sweeteners are added.

As both Latte and Cappuccino are prepared with double-shot Espresso as the base the amount of caffeine is virtually the same in both drinks (which is around 120-133 mg).

So Calories-wise Cappuccino is a healthier drink than Latte.

Read about the amazing health benefits of Espresso

The Art on the Top of Cappuccino and Latte

One of the unique aspects of cappuccinos and lattes is the art that can be created on top of steamed milk. This art, also known as latte art, involves using the milk’s texture and consistency to create intricate designs.

Common latte art designs include hearts, rosettas, and tulips, while cappuccinos often have more traditional designs like a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon.

Latte art can add an aesthetic appeal to the coffee, making it an Instagram-worthy drink.

Creating latte art takes skill and practice, as it requires steaming the milk to the right consistency and pouring it carefully over the espresso. Some baristas have become famous for their latte art skills, and competitions are held around the world to see who can create the best designs.

Latte art

How is Macchiato Compared to Cappuccino and Latte?

A macchiato contains just a dollop of foamed milk compared to the bigger milk portions in cappuccinos and lattes.

This results in a stronger espresso flavor with a hint of milk sweetness.

Macchiatos have an Espresso-forward taste – the espresso’s bitter notes are complemented by the milk’s creaminess without being diluted.

Espresso-Macchiato

WHich is Better Latte or Cappuccino?

Choosing between a latte and a cappuccino ultimately depends on your personal preference.

I personally prefer a strong flavor of espresso with less milk and sugar. So, I surely go with a cappuccino, but for you, I advise you to go ahead and try both, switch it up every now and then, or stick to your favorite.

Whatever you choose, just make sure to enjoy every sip!

So, what do you like more, A Cappuccino or a Latte? Do let us know in the Comments!

Also check out related comparisons

FAQs

Which Is Sweeter Cappuccino Or Latte?

Generally speaking, lattes tend to be sweeter than cappuccinos due to their higher milk-to-espresso ratio. But if you add some sugar syrups to your cappuccino, then that can definitely sweeten things up.

What’s The Best Time To Drink Latte And Cappuccino?

The best time to drink a latte or cappuccino is whenever you want!
But Generally, it is suggested to avoid high-calorie and caffeine drinks at night.

Is a latte stronger than a cappuccino?

A latte is not necessarily stronger but has a thicker texture than a cappuccino.
While a latte feels richer, a cappuccino actually packs more of a coffee punch in terms of flavor intensity.

Do Italians prefer latte or cappuccino?

Italians traditionally prefer cappuccinos over lattes, as they view the latte as too milky.
Cappuccinos are considered more of a morning drink in Italian culture. Meanwhile, lattes are generally seen as an American drink.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About, bringing passion and expertise to the world of coffee.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.