Cappuccino vs. Latte – Differences And Similarities

Last Updated on: 25th August 2023, 07:21 pm

Do you find yourself standing in line at a coffee shop, deciding between a cappuccino or a latte? Both drinks are popular choices among coffee lovers but have distinct differences that may affect your preference. Understanding the key characteristics of each drink can help you make an informed decision and enjoy your beverage to the fullest.

Firstly, it is important to understand that cappuccino and latte originate from Italy and combine espresso shots with milk. However, the two drinks’ ratio of espresso to milk and foam differs.

Cappuccinos typically have equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam on top, while lattes generally have more steamed milk than foam and only a thin layer on top.

Knowing these basic differences can help guide your choice depending on your preferred taste and texture.

Latte Vs Cappuccino – A Quick Table

IngredientsEspresso, Steamed Milk, Milk FoamEspresso, Steamed Milk
Preparation1/3 Espresso, 1/3 Steamed Milk, 1/3 Foam1/6 Espresso, 4/6 Steamed Milk, 1/6 Foam
Texture and FoamThicker foam, equal parts of espresso, milk and foamMore liquid, less foam, larger portion of milk
Taste and Flavor ProfileStrong, rich espresso flavorMilder, milkier flavor
Serving SizesTypically 6 ozTypically 12 oz or more
Caffeine ContentVaries, but generally around 63 mg for a 6 oz servingVaries, but generally around 77 mg for a 12 oz serving
Popular VariationsFlavored syrups, different types of milk, dry (more foam, less milk)Flavored syrups, different types of milk, latte art
Nutritional ValuesDepends on milk and additional ingredients used, typically lower in calories than a latteDepends on milk and additional ingredients used, typically higher in calories than a cappuccino due to more milk

What Are The Main Differences Between Cappuccino And Latte

So, you’re curious about the main differences between cappuccino and latte? Let me break it down for you.

The main difference lies in their composition. Cappuccinos comprise one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam. Lattes, conversely, comprise one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk with a thin layer of foam on top.

Another key difference is the taste. Cappuccinos have a stronger flavor due to their higher concentration of espresso and less milk. They also have a thicker foam layer, adding an extra dimension to the texture and mouthfeel. Lattes, conversely, have a milder taste since they contain more milk than cappuccinos. However, they tend to be creamier in texture due to the greater amount of steamed milk used.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference when choosing between these two popular coffee beverages!

Cappuccino And Latte Ingredients

When it comes to the ingredients in these two popular coffee drinks, a few key elements differentiate them. Let’s start with a cappuccino.

This classic Italian cappuccino drink comprises equal parts espresso, steamed, and frothed milk. Some baristas might add a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top for extra flavor.

In contrast, a latte combines one or two shots of espresso with steamed milk and just a small amount of froth. Unlike cappuccinos with equal amounts of milk and foam, lattes are more heavily dominated by the milk component.

Some lattes may include added flavors such as syrup or spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to enhance the taste experience further. So whether you prefer your coffee creamy or bold, there’s sure to be an option that suits your taste buds!

Cappuccino And Latte Preparation

To prepare these two popular espresso drinks, cappuccino, and latte, it’s important to know the differences in their preparation. Both drinks start with a shot of espresso as the base, but then they differ in the amount and type of milk used.

Here’s a helpful table showcasing the main differences between cappuccino and latte preparation:

DrinkEspresso ShotsSteamed MilkFrothed Milk
Cappuccino1-2 shotsEqual parts to espresso shotsThick layer on top
Latte1-2 shotsMore milk than espresso shotsThin layer on top

As you can see from the table above, cappuccinos have equal parts steamed milk to espresso shots and a thick layer of frothed milk on top. Lattes have more steamed milk than espresso shots and only a thin layer of frothed milk. Understanding these differences is crucial when preparing either drink to ensure they turn out right.

Cappuccino And Latte Taste

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the unique flavor experience that each of these two popular espresso drinks offers.

The cappuccino provides a rich and creamy taste from the perfect balance of espresso, steamed, and frothed milk. The layers in the drink give it a velvety texture that makes it a favorite among coffee lovers worldwide.

On the other hand, the latte has a more subtle sweetness compared to the cappuccino. This is because it contains more steamed milk than frothed milk, giving it a smoother texture with less foam. It’s also slightly milder in flavor than its counterpart but still packs enough punch to satisfy even those who prefer their coffee strong.

Despite their differences in taste, both cappuccino and latte share similarities, like being made with espresso as their base ingredient and being versatile enough to be flavored with various syrups or spices for an added twist to your morning cup of joe.

Variations and Customizations Of Cappuccino And Latte

If you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with various syrups or spices to add a personal twist to your favorite espresso drink. Both cappuccino and latte offer endless opportunities for customization.

Here are four variations to consider:

  1. Caramel Macchiato Latte: Add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top of frothed milk to create a sweet and indulgent treat.
  2. Iced Vanilla Cappuccino: Swap out hot milk for cold milk and add vanilla syrup for a refreshing twist on the classic cappuccino.
  3. Pumpkin Spice Latte: Mix pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger into steamed milk for a seasonal take on the latte.
  4. Mocha Cappuccino: Add chocolate syrup or cocoa powder to your cappuccino for a deliciously rich and decadent beverage.

Remember that the possibilities are endless when customizing your cappuccino or latte. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different milks (such as almond or oat), flavors (like hazelnut or peppermint), or even add whipped cream for an extra special treat.

The beauty of these drinks is that they can be tailored to your preferences, so go ahead and create your perfect cup!


Congratulations! You now know the main differences between a cappuccino and a latte. These drinks are made from espresso shots, steamed, and frothed milk.

However, cappuccinos have a higher percentage of foam, while lattes have more steamed milk. A cappuccino may be your go-to drink for a stronger coffee taste with less milk. On the other hand, if you prefer a creamier texture with more milk, lattes may be more suited to your taste buds.

It’s important to note that both drinks can be customized by adding syrups or whipped cream. Whether you’re sipping on a cappuccino or latte, these drinks are beloved worldwide as symbols of sophistication and indulgence in everyday life.

So, next time you order one of these caffeinated beverages at your local coffee shop, take pride in knowing the nuances behind each sip!

Mike Shaw

Mike is a fervent aficionado of all things coffee. His journey has taken him from the verdant coffee farms of South America to the vibrant coffeehouses of Europe and many places in between. Over the years, he's delved deep into the intricate tapestry of coffee, savoring, brewing, and analyzing myriad varieties. For Mike, coffee transcends its role as a morning energizer; it's a world waiting to be explored and cherished.