If you are starting to learn about coffee drinks, the perfect starting point is mastering the espresso. From there, proceed to the Cappuccino and the Latte.
They are the most popular and most ordered espresso drinks and are found in almost every corner of the world.
But how do these two drinks compare?
That’s what this post is about. We will explore these two drinks by comparing their origin, ingredients, preparation, taste, and nutritional facts.
In the end, you will have the know-how and skill to differentiate the two drinks. You will also be more confident when ordering.
Having said that, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Italian-origin Cappuccino and Latte are two of the most popular espresso-based drinks. While a Latte is made with 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a 0.5 cm foam layer on top, a Cappuccino contains equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam.
Here is a simple table comparing the key areas of these two drinks.
|Ratios||1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 microfoam||1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and 0.5 cm microfoam|
|Number of espresso shots||1-2||1 or 2|
|Serving size||5-6 Oz||8 to 20 Oz|
|Caffeine content||63-126 mg||63 – 126 mg|
|Calories||70-100 depending on the size||100-250 depending on the size|
|Toppings||Chocolate powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon||Cinnamon Caramel|
|Taste||Bold espresso taste. Slightly sweet. Smooth and creamy.||Mild espresso flavor. Milky. Sweet|
Both Latte and Cappuccino are one of the many Italian inventions.
In Italy, a Latte is called Caffè Latte, which translates to “coffee with milk”, while the Cappuccino name was inspired by the hooded robes worn by the Capuchin friars.
While the Latte was technically invented in Italy, the current Latte as we know it today was invented and popularized in the US.
In Italy, Caffè Latte is typically prepared at home. And unlike the US Latte, the Italian Caffè Latte is prepared with brewed coffee and hot milk
While both Cappuccino and Latte are prepared with the same ingredients, the amount and ratios differ.
A Latte is typically 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a small microfoam layer to allow for Latte art. As you can tell from the ratios, the drink has more steamed milk than the espresso.
Almost all Latte recipes use 1 or 2 shots of espresso. The drink is then topped up with steamed milk depending on the size.
Latte is the largest and milkiest espresso drink.
The standard Cappuccino recipe is equal to thirds of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam.
It is traditionally the foamest espresso drink but the size of the foam is slowly shrinking especially in third-wave coffee shops.
Since Italians are very protective of their coffee drinks, they have the Certified Italian Cappuccino, which is prepared with 25 ml of espresso and 125 ml of steamed milk.
The drink is then served in a white 150-160 ml cup.
There is also the World Barista Championship Cappuccino, which is a 240 ml or less coffee drink prepared with a single shot of espresso and steamed cow milk.
See our step-by-step guide on how to make a Cappuccino.
Here is the thing:
Traditionally a Cappuccino is a small-sized drink of between 5 and 6 Oz. The smaller the size, the lesser the amount of milk giving the drink the desired strong espresso taste.
However, you will also find bigger Cappuccino servings of up to 20 Oz. For instance, Starbucks’ Cappuccino ranges between 8 and 20 Oz.
On the other hand:
A Latte is supposed to be a large drink served in a glass mug. The serving size ranges between 8 and 20 Oz.
Since a Latte contains more milk than espresso, it has a milky coffee taste. Apart from the mild espresso taste, the drink is also smooth and creamy thanks to the steamed milk.
A Latte is a warm and comforting drink. And because it’s large, it lasts longer.
On the contrary:
A Cappuccino is supposed to be a quick drink. The three distinct layers make sure you can taste the microfoam, steamed milk, and espresso.
Compared to a Latte, a Cappuccino has a stronger espresso flavor. On the other hand, a Latte is calorie-heavy.
Since Cappuccinos and Lattes have 1 or 2 shots of espresso, they have the same amount of caffeine. Any serving of a Latte containing 2 shots of espresso has 126 mg of espresso, just like a Cappuccino.
A Latte contains more calories than a Cappuccino as it has more steamed milk. For instance, 8 Oz Starbucks Latte has 100 calories, while a Starbucks 8 Oz Cappuccino has 70 calories.
In terms of strength, a Cappuccino is stronger than a Latte.
The difference between a Cappuccino comes down to the amount of milk and foam. Below is a recap of the differences between these two drinks.
- A Latte contains 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steam milk, and a small layer of microfoam.
- The most common Cappuccino recipe is 1/3 espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ microfoam
- A Cappuccino has more foam than a Latte.
- Lattes have more milk and calories than Cappuccinos.
- A Cappuccino is typically a small drink while Lattes are large.
- Since it has less milk a Cappuccino has a strong espresso flavor
- Both Cappuccino and Lattes are made with 1 or 2 shots of espresso.
And that is it for this comparison. Was this comparison helpful? If I left something out, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comment section below. It’s always great to hear from my readers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any Cappuccino serving containing 1 shot of espresso has 63 mg of Caffeine and 126 mg when there is a double shot.
No matter the size, a serving of a Latte containing 1 shot of espresso will have 63 mg of espresso and 126 mg when it has 2 shots of espresso.
The major difference between a Latte and Cappuccino is the amount of milk and foam. A Latte contains more milk, is larger, and has more calories than a Cappuccino.
On the other side:
A Cappuccino has less milk and more foam than a Latte giving it a strong espresso taste.
Both Cappuccino and Latte are healthy coffee drinks.
The only key thing to note is that a Latte contains more milk than a Cappuccino. So, If you are a calorie-conscious drinker then a Latte is not ideal for you.
A Latte is sweeter than a Cappuccino. Because there is more milk, the espresso flavors are masked producing a smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet espresso drink.