Difference Between A Latte and A Cappuccino

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There is no denying that cappuccinos and lattes are among the most popular coffee drinks anywhere in the world. Be it at your local Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, lattes and cappuccinos will be among the recommended choices by the barista in charge. However, is there any difference between these two drinks?

The answer to that question is yes, although there are similarities between a latte and a cappuccino. Both drinks are prepared using hot milk and have a shot or shots of espresso as the base. Is it so hard to distinguish between these drinks on a physical basis?

We would look at the differences, similarities, and recipes for each drink in the course of this article. Keep reading until the end to find out all there is to know about lattes and cappuccinos and what variants each has to offer.

What Is A Latte?

A latte (also called caffe latte) is a popular and one of the most widely consumed coffee drinks globally. “Latte” is the Italian word for milk, and “Caffe” is the Italian word for coffee. Hence caffe latte, when translated, means “coffee and milk.” Lattes are believed to have their origins in America.

Most lattes begin with a single or sometimes a double shot of espresso followed by ounces of steamed milk. After this has been done, a layer of foam is then added on top. The flavor can be tweaked further by adding pumpkin spice, hazelnut, or chocolate syrups.

The ratio of espresso to milk in a caffe latte is usually 1:3, which is 25% espresso and 75% milk. This gives the latte a milkier and softer taste.

Latte Recipe

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan (preferably over medium-low heat).
  • Whisk briskly with a wire whisk to create foam.
  • Add in the espresso shots, and pour in the milk while holding back the foam.
  • Add the foam over the top and put in additives or sweeteners like caramel to taste.

Latte Variants

1. Vanilla latte: For a dose of extra sweetness without having a sugar overload, the vanilla syrup is added to the latte.

2. Caramel latte: Caramel gives a buttery taste to an already rich cup of coffee. Caramel syrup is added to get that extra buttery flavor.

3. Mocha latte: Also called a Caffe mocha, steamed chocolate powder and milk added to espresso makes for a superb taste.


A drink of Italian descent, cappuccino’s start with a shot of espresso as the base. There is also the addition of one ounce of steamed milk and one ounce of milk foam.

The key to making a great cappuccino lies in an equal amount of steamed milk and foam. This creates what is called a wet cappuccino, whereas there are dry and bone-dry cappuccinos. Dry cappuccinos have less steamed milk and more foam, whereas bone-dry cappuccino has no steamed milk.

The cappuccino is generally less sweet than a caffe latte and boasts a stronger espresso taste. This is due to having less milk and more foam than a latte. When prepared by a seasoned barista, the liquid-to-foam ratio should be 1 to 1.

Where Does The Term Cappuccino Come From?

The term Cappuccino is derived from the Capuchin order of Franciscan monks. In Italian this means “little hooded one” and the name was given to their coffee because of the color of their habit. The Capuchins were also known as ‘The Cappuccinos’ because they drank a lot of coffee and developed a taste for it, which is why it became associated with the color brown.

Cappucino Recipe

  • After your coffee has brewed, combine the sugar and milk and heat in the microwave for two minutes at the highest setting.
  • Whip the heated milk/sugar milk in your blender for a minute until you get a fluffy foam.
  • Fill your cup two-thirds full with the coffee and top it off with your heated froth.

What Is The Difference Between A Latte and Cappuccino Coffee?

The difference between a latte and cappuccino coffee is in the amount of foam on the top.

A latte has a lot of foam on top, while a cappuccino doesn’t have that much. Latte is also served in larger cups than cappuccinos. Latte is usually made with steamed milk, while cappuccinos it’s usually made with espresso and hot water.

Also worth reading: Difference Between a Latte and Cappuccino

How Many Calories Does a Cappuccino Have?

A cappuccino is usually made with espresso, hot milk, and milk foam. One cup (180ml) of whole milk contains approximately 82 calories.

Which has More Milk Cappuccino or Latte?

One of the key differences between the two is the ratio of milk to coffee. Cappuccinos typically have more milk than a latte but can vary depending on personal preference.

Lattes will always have more coffee than a Cappuccino because they’re meant to be strong and concentrated whereas Cappuccinos are meant to be sweeter and milder.

Which Has More Caffeine Cappuccino or Latte?

When you compare a small latte vs. a cup of regular drip coffee, the caffeine per ounce is less in a latte. For each shot of espresso in your iced latte, you can add 75 milligrams of caffeine

Coffee and Caffeine Content:

Coffee in mlCaffeine content 100mlThe caffeine content in mg per servingDaily recommended dose per serving %.
Filter coffee, hand-brewed 150ml40-65mg65-100mg15%-25%
Filter coffee, coffee maker 150ml26,5-60mg40-90mg10%-22,6%
Instant coffee 150ml40mg60mg15%
Decaffeinated coffee 150ml2mg3mg0,75%
Espresso 25ml100-120mg25mg6,25%-7,5%
Latte 200ml half/half40-66mg 40-66mg 10%-16,6%
Cappuccino 200ml 40ml Espresso + 160ml Milch25-30mg40-48mg10%-13%
Latte Macchiato 200ml 40ml Espresso + 160ml Milch25-30mg40-48mg10%-13%

Varieties of Cappucino

1. Iced cappuccinos: This is a cold version of the hot cappuccino. Cold-frothed milk is added to the top. 

2. Wet cappuccinos: These cappuccinos are made with less foamed milk and hot milk. Cappuccinos made this way are creamier and more diluted in taste than most traditional cappuccinos.

3. Flavored cappuccinos: This is a trendy drink in the United States. Commonly flavored syrups added include vanilla, caramel, chocolate, peppermint, and cinnamon. 

Additives like powdered cocoa, cinnamon, and drizzled chocolate sauce are added on top of the cappuccino’s foam.

Similarities Between A Latte and A Cappucino

1. Both are made using espresso as the base.

2. Milk foam is used in making lattes and cappuccinos.

Differences Between Latte and Cappucino

1. Cappuccinos contain less steamed or textured milk than lattes.

2. Cappuccinos are served in a glass on a saucer with a napkin, while lattes are served in porcelain cups which retain heat better.

3. When making a cappuccino, the foam is poured over the espresso while the espresso and steamed milk are poured into the cup simultaneously. 


You see now that the difference between a latte and cappuccino lies solely in the method of preparation and milk used. Both drinks are great for breakfast and are easy to make while at home. Try out our recipe, and be sure to throw in some caramel or hazelnut for that extra dose of sweetness.

Also interesting: What Is A Breve Latte?

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Has A More Intense State?

A cappuccino, of course. Remember that a latte has more steamed milk, which makes it creamier and milder than a cappuccino.

How Is Latte Art Made?

Latte art is made using microfoam to draw patterns or designs on the surface of the latte. It can be done by anyone with enough skill such as a seasoned barista.

How unhealthy is a latte?

Studies show that drinking black coffee has a positive effect on people with diabetes and disorders of fat metabolism. However, the addition of milk can cancel out the effects of black coffee.

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