Two cups of cappuccino

Latte vs Cappuccino: 8 Major Differences to Know

Henry Muller

Have you ever gotten confused while choosing between a Latte and a Cappuccino?

Don't worry! You are not alone. It happens to each of us. At first glance, they might appear the same to you.

Now many of you might wonder what makes them different or how you can end up bifurcating each while both are an espresso blend.

Thus to cater to you and to answer your queries, here I am. In this article, I will share with you details about Latte and cappuccino and how you can make it at home.

Plus I will also share with you how they both differ and will help you make the right choice based on your preferences.

So let's get started.

Latte Overview

What is Latte?

A latte is a flavorful, smooth, and creamy coffee. It is made of steamed milk, an espresso shot, and has a top layer of milk foam.

It is just like a comforting hug in a mug. If you want a balanced and slightly sweet flavor then latte is perfect for you. People also call it Caffe Latte in Italy.

History and origin of latte

It is believed that it originated in Italy in the 20th century.

Traditionally it was made with the idea to serve the quest of coffee lovers preferring coffee with light caffeine.

Latte is more inclined to target the sweet tooths. With time coffee lovers started trying flavored and iced lattes.

It is a versatile drink that goes well with different ingredients and pairings.

How to Make Latte?

Step 1: Pull an espresso shot

Grind your beans and pull an espresso shot using your favorite espresso machine. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can try an alternative like Nespresso to make an espresso.

Step 2: Steam the milk

To create a smooth, microfoam layer on top of your latte, follow this step. Use milk that is warm enough between 140°F - 150°F (60°C and 65°C).

Step 3: Mix espresso and milk

Pour steamed milk slowly into the espresso so that it does not spill. The standard is using 1/3 of espresso with 2/3 of milk. Hold back the foam with a spoon.

Step 4: Layer the foam

Top your Latte with a thin layer of milk foam for a delightful finish. You can also enhance your drink with some flavorings like vanilla syrup or caramel sauce. Pair it with a Tiramisu for a delightful treat.

Cappuccino Overview

What is Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a coffee drink made of equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.

Best known for its foamy texture and frothy balance of dark and light taste, it is a perfect drink to have any time of the day.

History and origin of Cappuccino

The cappuccino's origin belongs to Vienna. In the early 1900s, cappuccino became the center of attraction for coffee lovers.

It's inspired by the "Kapuziner", a coffee drink that is famous in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The name "cappuccino" is believed to be taken from the Capuchin friars(meaning "custom" or "habit") of wearing brown robes which are similar to the color of the cappuccino.

How to make Cappuccino?

Step 1: Brew your espresso

Begin by pulling an espresso shot from your favorite espresso machine. Just make sure that the shot you pull is strong and full-bodied. We will take an equal amount of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam i.e. 1/3 here.

Step 2: Steam your milk

Turn on your heat and steam your milk well until it reaches a consistency, creating a texture that is creamy enough. Go for a milk temperature between 140°F - 150°F (60°C - 65°C).

Step 3: Froth your milk

Take a frother or a steam wand and froth your milk. It must create a thick layer of foam on top.

Step 4: Mix espresso, milk, and foam

Take a mug and mix the freshly brewed espresso. Once done gently pour the steamed milk and top it with milk foam.

Step 5: Give it a final cocoa powder or cinnamon touch

Finally, sprinkle some cocoa powder or drizzle some cinnamon syrup for more flavor.

Your Cappuccino is now ready to sip. Pair it with an apple pie or some chocolate cookies for a wholesome treat.

Latte vs Cappuccino: Differences explained in-depth

The main difference between a latte and a cappuccino is that a cappuccino has equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, while a latte has more steamed milk and a light layer of foam on top. Also, a latte has a creamier texture which makes it smooth to drink while a cappuccino is much stronger.

1) Milk ratio

Latte uses more milk (2:1 or 3:1 ratio) for a milder taste, while cappuccino uses equal parts of espresso and milk for a bold, concentrated flavor.

2) Flavor & froth

Latte offers a balanced sweetness, while cappuccino has a stronger taste with a thicker layer of foam.

3) Caffeine kick

Both have caffeine, but the cappuccino might have slightly more per volume due to less milk dilution.

4) Food pairings

Latte is complemented with pastries and sweet treats, while cappuccino is served with breakfast as a morning pick-me-up.

5) Ingredients needed

Lattee uses ⅓ espresso for ⅔ milk while cappuccino uses an equal amount of espresso and milk i.e ⅓.

6) Origin

Latte was born in Italy while cappuccino belongs to Vienna. Both drinks have their own characteristics and unique flavors.

7) Serving size

Latte is served in larger cups or glasses. Its larger size makes it best for a more leisurely coffee experience, best to sip the creamy and balanced coffee. On the other side, cappuccino is served in smaller cups, a more compact serving size.

Its smaller portion size stresses the bold coffee flavor and thick foam layer which makes it a classic choice for a quick morning pick-me-up or espresso break.

8) Texture

Marked for its smooth and creamy texture, the latte has a velvety mouthfeel thanks to its higher milk content. While cappuccino is appreciated for its dense and foamy texture and has a luxurious layer of microfoam on top of the espresso.

Latte or Cappuccino: Which is right for you?

The choice between Cappuccino and Latte comes down to your flavor preferences. Thus if you prefer a creamy and mild coffee experience, Latte is the perfect one for you.

On the other hand, if you like a bold and concentrated coffee with a frothy texture, Cappuccino is sure to serve your cravings.

Wrapping up

That's all for this article. I hope now you know what differentiates these two frothy espresso-based drinks.

So whether you like the creamy Latte or the bold richness of Cappuccino, these two coffee drinks will make your brewing adventures more happening. Try both of them and pick your favorite.


Henry Muller

Team TAB
View Profileright-arrow

I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...