Difference Between A Latte and A Cappuccino?

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 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, 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 milk foam. This creates what is called a wet cappuccino, whereas there are the dry and bone-dry cappuccinos. Dry cappuccinos have less steamed milk and more foam, whereas the 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.

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.

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 the making of 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 milk 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which contains More Caffeine Between A Latte And A Cappucino?

Both contain the same amount of caffeine if one espresso shot is used. 

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.

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