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Cappuccino vs Latte: More Different Than Alike

Dave Carter

May 29, 2020

We all love a good coffee cup, especially during busy mornings, helping us get through the day with ease, but have you ever wondered what the different types of coffee there are? And just how many drink variations can you make by combining ingredients such as steamed milk, foam, and espresso? These two drinks are everyday staples at famous coffee shops such as Starbucks. However, they consist of the same ingredients there are important differences that you should be aware of, so let's begin our discussion on Cappuccino vs. Latte.

There are many variations to coffee drinks with these ingredients, such as famous espresso drinks such as cappuccinos, macchiato, americanos, flat white, and more.

Cappuccino vs. Latte: The Origins​

The origin of this beloved coffee drink goes way back even before the invention of the espresso machine. The real cappuccino was invented in Italy and was made back in the early 1900s when Italians referred to their coffee with cream and sugar as "cappuccino" because the taste reminded them of Capuchin monks who wore light-brown robes.

The invention of the espresso machine has paved the way for the beloved espresso drinks we all know and love today, especially the cappuccino, which saw a surge in popularity in the 1950s.

Although the name for drink is Italian in origin, the widely accepted origin story of the latte is that Lino Meiorin invented it as a renowned Italian barista in the 1950s. However, the drink reached its peak in the coffee world in the early 1980s in Seattle, Washington.

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Espresso Based Drinks Comparison: Cappuccino vs. Latte​

What is coffee, and why do many around the world, so love it? It is a cup of bliss that helps everyone survive throughout the day. In the world of coffee and caffeine, the cappuccino and latte are undoubtedly the most popular beverages globally, aside from the traditional cup of drip coffee or water that can consist of different types of coffee beans.

These two espresso drinks are made of the same ingredients: the espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk; they are also the same when it comes to their layers, having three layers. Their key differences being:

  • A latte consists of more steamed milk and a     light layer of foam.
  • The cappuccino's layers are more even and     distinct.
  • A cappuccino has an even distribution of the three ingredients.
  • The latte's layers are more uneven because the steamed milk and espresso are mixed.


Layers - This drink starts with a bottom layer of espresso (depending on your preference), the second layer of the drink consists of hot milk, which is added on the top. Finally, the last of the three layers is filled with a thick and airy foam that gives the drink its velvety texture (Cappuccinos are 33% foam).

Flavor - This cappuccino has a stronger espresso or coffee flavor than a latte because it has less milk and foam than the latter.

Ratio - The ratio, when made correctly, the cappuccino should have a 1:1 ratio of liquid to foam; thus, it is considered a well-rounded drink that blends and retains the coffee's flavor with the addition of milk.

  • Origin: Italy
  • Ratio: 1:1 (2 ounces of espresso shots, 2 ounces of steamed milk, 2 ounces of     smooth microfoam)
  • Strength: Medium to strong
  • Milk: A cappuccino contains less steamed or textured milk
  • Serving style: It may be served in a traditional cappuccino ceramic mug or a plain     glass on a saucer with a tissue napkin

Cappuccinos, with its one to one ratio, is considered a well-rounded drink and famous for its dense foam that leaves a milk-stache that we all are familiar with.


Layers - The latte begins with the same base as cappuccino, which starts with a bottom layer of shots of espresso (depending on your preference). Still, it is combined with several ounces of texture or steamed milk, and this drink is topped with a layer of foam.

Flavor - Because of the combination of the espresso and milk, it results in a rich and creamy beverage with a more milky taste and a more subtle espresso or coffee taste.

Ratio - The ratio, when made correctly, the latte should have a 1:2 ratio of espresso to the milk, it is recommended for those who do not want a strong drink since it tastes milder than coffee.

  • Origin: America
  • Ratio: 1:2 (1 ounce of a shot of espresso, 8 to 16 ounces of steamed or texture milk, 1 to 2 ounces of microfoam)
  • Strength: Light
  • Milk: A latte contains more steamed or textured milk
  • Serving style: In the US, it is typically served in a ceramic mug while it is     mostly served in a tall glass around the world, which usually has better heat retention properties.

The extra milk makes lattes taste more milk since it has twice as much milk compared to other drinks. The coffee flavor is there, but it is just more subtle, making the most approachable coffee concoction when compared to a cappuccino. Its light strength is why it is often flavored with sweet syrups, sweet caramelized milk, and mild espresso. It is the perfect base layer for other flavors that you can add, like caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

What is a Cappuccino?​

You may wonder what is a cappuccino is? And why is it so popular? The cappuccino is considered as one of the most popular coffee drinks globally. It is a coffee drink made of espresso and topped with texture milk and foam (1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 wet foamed milk). It gained its popularity because of its even textures and its bold flavor.

This espresso-based drink originated in Italy, and they consider drink as a classic morning staple. The world followed. There are other variations of the drink that replaces milk with cream, non-dairy milk, and the addition of chocolate and cinnamon powder for added flavor.

The cappuccino is considerably stronger in terms of strength when compared to macchiato and latte because it contains less milk. Coffee establishments have made it easier for people to order and get this drink at any time of the day because of their never-ending improving menu. Nothing beats making a good old cup of coffee at the comfort of your home with the best cappuccino maker.

What is Latte?​

Caffe latte or known as a latte is a coffee drink that consists of steamed milk and espresso. The word "latte" comes from the Italiane phrase café e latte, which means coffee and milk—passing macchiato, americano, and cappuccino in the popularity rankings.

This is a popular drink throughout America, because of its mellow and sweet flavor, a latte is a basic coffee drink that anyone can order at any coffee establishment, another factor for its popularity is because of its simplicity, only consisting of milk and espresso.

Latte is milk with coffee, this drink is trendy because of its subtle coffee content, and the recipe of this drink can be easily changed with slight adding of various flavorings, its frothed milk layer allows baristas to create on top of the art. The automatic latte machine was invented because of its ever-increasing popularity, giving people the convenience of preparing great lattes at the comfort of their homes.

What is the difference between cappuccino and latte?​

Both coffee beverages contain the same amount of espresso, usually 1 to 2 shots (the second shot of espresso is practiced more in America because they use larger cups).

Their difference is that the latte drink contains more of the dairy product, which is then combined into the espresso. And cappuccinos contain less dairy and have more foam (6 ounces in a 12-ounce drink), and its second layer is not mixed into its espresso, giving you more defined layers in the drink.

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Which is better latte or cappuccino?​

This depends on your taste since people have different preferences over their coffee. The better choice of these drinks will depend on the taste of the person from latte to cappuccino.

However, for strong coffee lovers, cappuccinos may be the choice for you since it only contains half as much steamed milk as Caffe lattes, making them stronger. They are also a well-rounded drink that still emits the delicious natural coffee flavors.

For those who are not fond of stronger coffee beverages, lattes are the choice for you since they are known to be more mellow and sweet and can easily be altered with the addition of flavorings while still having a subtle hint of the natural coffee flavor.

Which has more caffeine latte or cappuccino?​

Since you know the significant differences between the two drinks, you may wonder how much caffeine in a latte? Roughly, they have the same amount of caffeine, although these drinks have alterations in their recipes.

A latte usually has 2 ounces of espresso and roughly 6 ounces of milk per serving. A cappuccino will have 2 ounces of espresso, which typically packs about 128 mg (0.128 gram) of caffeine since the latte has the same amount of coffee in its recipe. It also exhibits the same amount of caffeine.

Is Cappuccino stronger than a latte?​

Yes, it is slightly stronger than a latte because it contains less steamed or textured milk, but it is stronger in terms of its original form. Because cappuccinos have only half as much steamed milk as the beloved latte drink, it makes them a bit stronger. But a latte drink can become stronger if a person asks to add an extra espresso shot, so it still varies.

Making a Latte Macchiato vs Cappuccino​

You can create macchiatos by adding just a dollop or splash milk in contrast to one shot of espresso. Cappuccinos are created using equal parts of milk, foam, and espresso. But making a macchiato is still easier vs. when creating a cappuccino because the latter requires more skills and mastery.

Latte Macchiato:

  • One shot of espresso with a dollop of milk.
  • The ratio is 9:1 (90% coffee and 10% milk).


  • 1 to 2 shots of espresso.
  • Steamed milk.
  • Foam
  • The ratio is 1:1 for all ingredients, but it is made of 15% coffee and 85% milk (including the foam).

A latte macchiato can be misinterpreted as a cappuccino because of their similar ingredients, but a macchiato has a stronger taste when compared to the former.

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Whatever drink you may prefer, there is always the perfect caffeinated drink out there made for your taste and preferences. We hope this guide on cappuccino vs. latte helps you widen your perspectives of these beloved beverages.


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