Created for Coffee Lovers.

Cappuccino Vs Latte: Differences that All Baristas Should Know!

Dave Carter

Published: October 6, 2022

Last updated: May 21, 2023

Coffee is a typical drink found in most households. There are many types of coffee drinks, with the latte and cappuccino being two of them. The difference between these two popular beverages is not too hard to understand, but some key factors will help you enjoy your coffee even more! Some people prefer lattes because they think they taste sweeter when compared to a cappuccino which can be bitter depending on how dark it is roasted. 

If you have a sweeter tooth, this is a significant factor in choosing your drink. Part of enjoying coffee is being able to enjoy all the different flavors and styles associated with it. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer an espresso vs cappuccino vs latte, as everyone will have their preference when it comes to coffee drinks. Each drink has its ingredients and ratios for the best taste possible. Keep reading to learn more about cappuccino vs latte beverages!

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Cappuccino Vs Latte: Origins

The Origin of Cappuccino vs Latte

Have you ever wondered where cappuccino vs latte originated? Well, cappuccino is a coffee drink that contains espresso, hot milk and steamed milk foam. It originated in the 16th century in Europe. This drink is said to be named after the colour of the robes worn by the monks of the Capuchin order. Cappuccino starts with espresso, followed by steamed milk injected with microfoam to make it light enough to float on top, while cappuccino itself - the top layer should consist of dense foam. 

Cappuccinos are usually drunk with added flavourings such as chocolate powder, cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg. Cappuccino is a popular drink in Europe and America, which you can get at most restaurants or coffee shops.

A latte is a coffee drink that consists of espresso and steamed milk with a layer of foamed milk on top. The origin of the latte dates back to the 19th century in Europe. In Italy, there is a drink called caffellatte crema made from espresso and steamed milk foam. As time passed, this coffee started being served in Japan with some changes such as more cream or less frothed milk for added taste. The name "latte" was derived from Italian. 

However, it didn't mean anything at first. Eventually, it came to describe a specific type of coffee beverage containing hot liquid topped with a creamy coloured layer on top resembling white cow's skin colour – an example would be Starbucks' version which tastes great too!

Difference Between Latte and Cappuccino

What is Difference Between Latte and Cappuccino

Latte vs cappuccino are both coffee drinks that have similar ingredients, but they taste pretty different. Latte is made by pouring espresso over milk, while the milk-free cappuccino is made with steamed milk. A latte has a lighter flavour than the creamy, richer tasting cappuccino. Both of them are popular hot beverages that can be found at cafes around the world. To help you understand the difference between latte and cappuccino, we looked at the three main aspects that sets them apart. They include, ratio, texture and cup.


A cappuccino contains more steamed milk than espresso, and its ratio of espresso to milk can be greater than 3:1. Cappuccino’s espresso is at 25%, while the latte only uses about 5-10%. One reason for this is that the water necessary to produce steam flows through the milk during the steaming process. This makes it harder to keep some of that steamy goodness in your beverage after it has been poured into the cup. To compensate for this, a smaller amount of espresso is used in a cappuccino.

The ratio of latte’s espresso to steamed milk is about 1:1 or 2:1, depending on how much espresso is used or desired. This is not to say that all lattes are watered down. You are most likely getting a latte because it contains espresso, but if your café uses too little milk or skim milk, the resulting beverage may have less flavour than a cappuccino. Additionally, if your barista uses too much milk or full-fat milk, the resulting beverage will likely have more fat and calories than a cappuccino.


The texture of a caffelatte is generally smoother and silkier, with a more petite body than a cappuccino. The main reason for this is the way milk reacts when steam from the espresso machine (or a special cappuccino maker) is forced through it. When steamed at high pressure, as is necessary for making a good cappuccino, the milk is pushed through a fine filter, resulting in an airy beverage with tiny bubbles. 

When steamed at a lower pressure in the espresso machine, the milk moves through the steam wand without much force and creates more giant bubbles that are best described as "rough." This is why when you leave home to order a latte at your local café, you may hear your barista ask if you want the milk micro-foamed or just lightly steamed.

The texture of a cappuccino is generally airy and light, with tiny bubbles that are "fluffy." This is because it is made with espresso that has been forced under high pressure through finely-ground coffee to produce the crema on top. It also contains microfoam.


Latte drinks are served in a glass cup. Cappuccino is served in a porcelain or ceramic mug. If your café doesn’t use natural milk and skim milk, they most likely use fake milk to make it silkier and creamier and serve the latte in a glass cup.

Difference between Cappuccino Vs Espresso

Things You Should Know About the Difference Between Cappuccino and Latte

The difference between a Cappuccino vs Espresso is the amount of espresso that goes into it. The main component in both drinks is coffee, but for a true espresso to be made, you need about twice as much coffee used in the drink than you would use for a cappuccino. This means that if you want to make yourself a single dose of each drink, then there should be two shots of espresso in your cup when making espresso and only one espresso shot when making a cappuccino. That being said, many people will often mix all their ingredients after they have brewed the coffee so that they can get rid of any excess grounds or taste from their grinds since it is not going to affect the drink.

A traditional cappuccino ratio includes 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foamed milk. You can add in sugar or any other flavorings you want to personalize your cup of cappuccino. It tastes sweeter because the milk is added in with it, diluting the flavor a tad bit. The espresso used for this drink should be strong and have a rich aroma to give the beverage contrast. Cappuccinos are usually made with an espresso machine that uses steam to brew a shot of espresso and separate the steamed milk and milk foam. 

If you are looking for a sweeter coffee drink, then cappuccinos are the way to go! On the other hand an espresso is simply made of one shot of espresso in a cup of hot water. It does not include any milk or other additives like sugar unless requested otherwise. This beverage is a lot stronger and more concentrated because it does not include milk. If you are looking for a bold taste, then this beverage is for you! Espresso drinks have a much richer flavor without any added dairy products. 

You can ask for sugar or other sweeteners if desired to give the drink some form of sweetness. The coffee beans used for espresso drinks usually are dark roasted which can give the drink a stronger or bitter taste. Below are the differences between cappuccinos vs espresso.

Foam: This is where all the controversy starts. The foam on a cappuccino should be very thick and heavy, much thicker than an espresso. Espresso drinks should have a lighter froth which resembles a brown cream colour.

Size: A cappuccino should be 6 ounces (170 millilitres) or less. A cappuccino is traditionally served in a 6-ounce cup, but some cafes serve them in 8-ounce cups. An Espresso should be only 1.5 to 2 ounces (45 ml to 60ml).

Ratio: In espresso, the ratio of espresso to water is 1:1 or 2:1; in cappuccino, it's equal parts espresso and milk.

Method of Preparation: Espresso is prepared by forcing hot water via a fine filter at high pressure (9 bars) that seeps into the grounds to produce thick cream-like foam on top, known as crema. Cappuccino is prepared by combining espresso and frothy milk, with the whole mixture poured simultaneously into a cup.

Type of Beans: For cappuccino, the beans should be roasted finely and darker than those used for espresso. Espresso beans are typically lighter in roast than traditional coffee beans.

Price: Cappuccino typically costs more than an espresso in most cafes.

Served Hot: Cappuccinos are usually served warm, while espressos are served hot but not piping hot.

Texture: Although cappuccino and espresso can be made with steamed milk, the final product's texture will differ dramatically depending on which method is used.

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Coffee lovers will debate for a long time whether cappuccino or latte is the better drink! However, there is no correct answer to this question. It all comes down to personal taste preferences. If you want to enjoy both drinks with your morning cup of joe or afternoon tea break, try ordering an Americano (espresso + water). This drink contains elements from both beverages without leaning too far in either direction!

Dave Carter

As a coffee enthusiastic Dave share with you his latest and greatest coffee news and insights. He es always interested in trying out new things about the best bean of the world!

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Cappuccino Vs Latte: Differences that All Baristas Should Know!


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