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Cappuccino vs. Coffee: A Specialty Beverage and a Regular Brew

Dave Carter

August 17, 2020

Coffee is one of the world’s most versatile drinks. People can have coffee in the morning, afternoon or anytime in between. It is always offered during meetings, conversations and visitors. Throughout the years, you would discover many ways to enjoy freshly brewed coffee. There are instant fixes, and there are artisan types too. With coffee the possibilities seemed endless. Depending on your tastes, you might find yourself choosing between cappuccino vs coffee.  But which of these two is the best for you? Let's find out more about these two types of preparations to discover more about its similarities and differences.

Cappuccino is a famous coffee mix that produces a creamy drink with frothy milk and a solid punch of the bitter coffee brew. If you prefer a strong morning drink with a mild blend of milk, this one is an ideal choice for you.

This Italian espresso-based classic is standardized with 1:1:1 mixture. It has been served this way since the 1940's and since then, it became a favored drink in Europe and the US.

A well-made cappuccino is usually served in 6oz cups to showcase its layering. It has two shots of espresso and equal portions of steamed milk and topped with milk foam. The precise portions makes this beverage a low-acid espresso flavor. It is milky but it does not overwhelm its rich coffee taste.

On the other hand, traditional coffee can be considered as a simple and regular brew. You will not need any fancy cappuccino maker because a drip coffee maker will do. Most American homes have this kind of coffee making machine and have memorized by heart how to prepare their morning joe this way.

What’s the Difference: Cappuccino vs. Coffee​

While both these beverages can perk you up anytime, there are significant differences between a cappuccino and your regular cup of joe. More so, depending on your tastes, there are some key points to help you pin-point the drinks you should order. However, you should also keep in mind that cafe’s differ on how they prepare drinks. You may get a cappuccino that tastes stronger in one cafe, and lighter from another. Sometimes, it’s all up to the barista.

Compared with regular coffee, it is often readily available and served without milk. It is up to you to add creamer or regular milk. Brewed coffee is common in most homes or business establishments. It is usually served plain and milk does not form part of its regimen.  So if you prefer a more flavorful cup that’s milky and creamy, have a cappuccino.

Another significant difference between these two drinks is the caffeine content. The type of coffee bean influences how much caffeine you might be brewing on your cappuccino maker or your drip machine. If you will take a single batch from your Cuisinart coffee maker grind, and use the same amount to prepare a brewed drip or a shot of espresso, there is a difference. But it is not sky-high nor will be it noticeable for most.

Drip coffee or your regular coffee contains higher caffeine than a serving of cappuccino. It is because brewed coffee holds hot water with the grounds for longer than the espresso. With an espresso machine, water comes in contact with the grounds for only 15-30 seconds. But with drip coffee machines, the brewing time is about two to four minutes.

More than the Difference Between Coffee and Cappuccino, It’s the Culture​

Major Difference Between Coffee and Cappuccino

Another major difference between cappuccino and coffee is its culture of preference. Normally, people order their coffee whenever they please, but most have a pattern on what we drink at certain hours of the day. For instance, cappuccino coffee is best consumed in the morning. It is because of the milk and sugar content which makes it a heavy drink for the evening.

On the other hand, brewed coffee made using high end coffee makers can be served at any time of the day. It is especially true if it is served without milk. Thus, you can take any of these two if you want to perk up in the morning, but plain brewed coffee served without milk is a better choice if you want a cup for the night.

Apart from the culture of preference, cappuccino and coffee also use different sizes for it’s grounds. It matters when you want to produce different coffee tastes and caffeine content.

Even when you use high quality coffee beans, each grind size will produce a different brew. Espresso needs fine ground coffee for quick brewing. While medium grounds are mostly used for drip coffee maker for a slow brew. You need to follow the best coffee to water ratio and time your brewing precisely.

Brewing finely ground coffee for the drip coffee maker will give you a bitter and strong brew. And if medium grounds are used to make an espresso, it would be a weak shot without much crema.

The type of grounds used translates to the flavors of your coffee. It is also one of the reasons why espressos are strong with a definite kick in them. When finely ground coffee is used, you get fuller flavors in a shot. More so, cappuccino are thicker than drip and latte coffee. Even if you add milk, it does not thicken the way capps do.

Is Cappuccino healthier than coffee?​

One cup of black coffee has few calories when compared with a cup of cappuccino. It has about 2 calories per 8oz cup. But it will still depend on individual tastes.

Some people will add up cream, sugar or half-and-half, then you are adding no less than 20 calories per cup. Consuming near-black coffee means you are going good in terms of low-calories count.

In case of a cappuccino, the espresso contains low amounts of calories, but the milk-based potions packs in about 110 calories and 6 grams of fat. Adding extra syrup, sugar and cocoa bits will increase its caloric content even more.

Where do coffee beans come from​

Where do coffee beans come from facts

There is a surrounding debate on how much caffeine a cup of cappuccino has. But this is impacted by several factors. For instance, different brewing methods extract different amounts of caffeine and flavors from the grounds used. Sometimes you get more, sometimes it would be less. What matters is the type of beans and how much of it you use for making your coffee.

There is no fixed recipe for brewing coffee. An espresso normally has seven to nine grams of coffee grounds, but the caffeine extracted can range from 60 to 130 mg. Most people agree on a standard 60 mg of caffeine in every shot of espresso. Still it can range lower or higher depending on the type of coffee bean you use. It is not simply about Arabica or Robusta beans.

Even for one type of beans, caffeine and flavors is still influenced by where they are grown or if they are specific subspecies. They can be milder or stronger depending on these factors. So unless you get a cup from the same batch of brew, the caffeine content is bound to differ.

Is Cappuccino Coffee?​

All these debates about which is better between a cappuccino and coffee might get you wondering, is cappuccino coffee or not? Cappuccino is a coffee drink that is composed of espresso and milk. Often it is prepared using an espresso machine and mixed with steamed milk and topped with milk foam. There are many variations of this drink and all of them contain a shot or two of espresso. So, despite having a different name and means of preparation, cappuccinos are indeed beverages that contain coffee!

Cappuccino Vs Coffee caffeine: Which One Has More Kick?​

Comparing Cappuccino Vs Coffee caffeine

Comparing cappuccino and coffee largely depend on your personal preferences. Some people are only after getting a tasty coffee drink with nice flavors and smooth texture, so they’d order a cappuccino. It is served in fancy cups and decorated with much artistry.

But if you don’t care about such things and you only want to be perked-up with a quick coffee fix, regular drip coffee will do for you. Both drinks contain enough caffeine to wake you up whenever you need.


Looking at the differences between cappuccino vs coffee, you will find that the only significant thing that sets them apart is the inclusion of milk in cappuccino. Many people are wondering though which is which and so it matters to settle differences and look at their similarities. More so, the deciding factor on other questions about these two drinks largely depends on one’s personal preferences.

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