Difference Between Cappuccino and Latte

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023

       

Difference Between Cappuccino and Latte

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Introduction

Who does not love coffee? No wonder there are so many types of coffee available. However, Cappuccino and Latte are probably the most popular types (never mind those who say only expresso is coffee in the true sense). Often, people confuse one for the other, as both consist of the same ingredients. In reality, cappuccino has a stronger taste than a latte. The latter is known for its smooth texture and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Of course, when people hear the word ‘latte’ the image that first springs to mind is the latte art. A skilled barista is invaluable to cafés, as latte art is incredibly hard to master. Whether the ‘art’ looks breathtaking or disastrous depends on how skillfully the steamed milk is poured into the espresso. Many stimulating and heated debates on whether cappuccinos are healthier than lattes take place even today. Cappuccinos get brownie points, as they contain fewer calories than lattes; however, that does not make them healthier than lattes. After all, only the ratio of their ingredients differs.

Cappuccinos are often served with a dusting of chocolate, making it an ideal drink for chocolate lovers who consider coffee a lifeline (who needs sleep? People can function perfectly well on caffeine). Usually, those who prefer their coffee to have a milky taste opt for lattes, while those who crave something slightly stronger choose a cappuccino.

Cappuccino Vs. Latte

Cappuccinos consists of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, whereas lattes have more steamed milk than espresso and a lighter layer of foam. Cappuccinos have three distinct layers: the bottom layer consists of one or two shots of espresso, the middle layer is made up of steamed milk, and the top layer has foamed/frothed milk. In lattes, the espresso and steamed milk are mixed.

Difference Between Cappuccino And Latte In Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Cappuccino Latte
Ratio of Ingredients A cappuccino is prepared with equal parts of all three ingredients (1:1:1). In lattes, the steamed milk used is twice the amount of espresso (2:1). The layer of foam milk at the top is approximately half an inch.
Serving Style Cappuccinos are served in porcelain cups, as they are ideal for retaining heat. For people who need to drink on the go, paper cups with plastic lids are used to serve cappuccinos. Lattes are usually offered in a glass with napkins to hold them (so that customers will not get their fingers burnt).
Types Only a limited variety of cappuccinos is available. Iced cappuccinos, wet cappuccinos, dry cappuccinos, and flavored cappuccinos are the various types of this popular beverage. Some like to substitute milk with cream or plant-based milk. A wide variety of lattes is available. Vanilla, caramel, peppermint, gingerbread, and eggnog lattes are some of the popular types of latte.
Scope for Art Unfortunately, baristas cannot show off their artistic skills when serving a cappuccino, as the layers must be distinct. Baristas are free to let their inner artist reign and get creative while serving a latte. Though most people settle for hearts, trees, names, and other simple images, a few like to be surprised now and then. Complex patterns can be created when serving lattes; however, they cannot be expected to be intricately designed.
Flavoring Vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, and caramel are used to flavor cappuccinos (but lovers of traditional cappuccinos frown on such flavors). As many varieties of lattes and their variants are available, the ingredients used to flavor them range from white chocolate and eggnog to turmeric, beets, and lavender (bewildering yet interesting!). Honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar are added to sweeten the drink if required.

What Is Cappuccino?

Cappuccinos are consumed as a part of breakfast. Due to their milk content, they are considered heavy and consequently are not drunk later in the day. However, some people do not care what time of day they drink cappuccino as long as it fulfills their need – boost their energy and make them alert. Cappuccino in the 19th century was black coffee with a few drops of milk or cream. The practice of adding steamed milk emerged as the drink evolved over the decades.

Types Of Cappuccino

The rising popularity of cappuccinos led to many variations in its preparation methods/recipes. Some of the well-known variations are as follows:

Cappuccino Freddo

Fans of cold coffees love drinking Cappuccino Freddo. In this cold version of a hot beverage, the top layer consists of cold, frothed milk. Iced cappuccinos are commonly ordered drinks in Greece, Cyprus, and Italy. If the drink is only chilled or iced and the cold-frothed milk is omitted during its preparation, it is known as an iced latte. Cappuccino Freddo is not as popular outside Greece and Italy.

Wet Cappuccino

Cappuccinos prepared with more steamed milk than frothed milk is known as wet cappuccinos. These drinks have a milkier/creamier taste; one of the reasons why many people confuse cappuccinos with lattes. These cappuccinos are also known as light cappuccinos or cappuccini chiaro.

Dry Cappuccino

Dark cappuccinos or dry cappuccinos have lesser milk than traditional ones. The ratio of foamed milk is higher than steamed milk in this type. The frothy layer prevents the drink from cooling quickly and keeps it hot for a longer time. Dry cappuccinos are darker in color and the taste of espresso is stronger compared to the other types.

Flavored Cappuccino

Not a fan of lattes but love the various flavoring ingredients used in them? Buying a cappuccino and flavoring it with the preferred ingredient is the solution. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel, raspberry, cinnamon, and cocoa are some of the popular flavors. The ingredients are crushed and sprinkled on top of the beverage’s frothy layer.

What Is Latte?

A shot of espresso stirred together with delightful steamed milk with a light layer of foam on the top result in the heavenly drink called a latte. Often referred to as the ‘big brother’ of cappuccino, the latte is one of the most popular types of coffee of all time. However, if people order a latte in Italy, they will end up with a glass of milk.

It is no use glaring blearily at the offending drink; latte in Italian means milk (hey they served what was ordered. Nope, it’s not their fault that customers were not more specific). Therefore, being careful and ordering a caffé latte is much wiser. Soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk may be used as an alternative to cow milk if people are allergic or merely feel like trying something different.

Types Of Latte

Traditional/basic lattes are perfect as they are, but sometimes people need something extra to brighten their bleak day. Besides, people like to experiment with different flavors. That is why flavored lattes are becoming increasingly popular. Some of the trending types of latte are:

Vanilla Latte

Surprisingly, a vanilla latte is a hit with almost everyone who tries it. The vanilla syrup tamps down the bitter taste of espresso and makes the latte sweeter than traditional ones. The only downside of choosing this latte is most people consider vanilla synonymous with plain or boring. However, vanilla lattes are pretty addicting once one has had a taste.

Caramel Latte

Caramel lattes are prepared using espresso, steam and foam milk, and a dash or two of caramel sauce. This drink is most often confused with caramel macchiato (vanilla syrup along with caramel sauce is added to macchiato). Caramel has a way of making even the bitterest drink bearable. That is why these lattes are among the most popular lattes.

Hazelnut Latte

Have trouble waking up a friend who is a notorious sleepyhead? Prepare a cup of hazelnut latte (use powdered hazelnut as a topping or mix it well with the latte) and wave it under the nose of the said friend. The delightful smell wafting from a freshly brewed hazelnut latte is powerful and enticing enough to wake the dead (not really, but it can help people find the energy to roll out of bed. Do not attempt to raise an army of zombies with this trick). The nutty, slightly sweet, and rich flavor of this latte is definitely worth losing sleep for.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Made using brewed espresso, steamed milk, pumpkin spice sauce, sugar, whipped cream, and toppings like ginger, nutmeg, or cloves, pumpkin spice lattes are an excellent festive drink. The traditional pumpkin spice latte will be a treat for the drinkers’ taste buds. However, though this latte has protein and calcium, they are high in calories, too. Fitness nuts often opt for non-fat lattes with no whipped cream or half the regular amount of sugar (but why? Where is the fun in drinking that?).

Cinnamon Latte

Many people have the habit of adding cinnamon to their coffee. Therefore, it is no surprise that some prefer flavoring their lattes with cinnamon. Using cinnamon sticks or powder to make the latte instead of cinnamon syrup is considered a healthier option.

Pistachio Latte

One of the popular lattes offered by Starbucks is the Pistachio latte. But who says one has to visit Starbucks to drink this trendy winter drink? Add a dash of pistachio syrup to prepare it at home. Some make the drink using pistachio milk to avoid using syrups. There is no hard and fast rule as to how to make this latte; it is a matter of preference.

Eggnog Latte

Eggnog lovers will not be disappointed with eggnog lattes. The festive spirit of eggnogs and their unique taste is captured by infused into lattes using eggnog extracts. A milky, creamy, rich latte combined with an intriguing hint of eggnog causes the drinker to experience a wonderful explosion of taste.

Peppermint Latte

Drops of peppermint syrup are added to lattes to make peppermint lattes (too much peppermint can be overwhelming). Some cafés add chocolate toppings to the lattes, as chocolate makes everything taste better (do not heed the words of nay-sayers who take joy in undermining chocolate flavor).

Turmeric/Golden Milk Latte

Turmeric Latte is predominantly made using cow milk but almond, oat, or coconut milk may be used, too. Ground turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger are added to the milk with a dash of black pepper. Either maple syrup or honey is used as a natural sweetener. Turmeric latte is not for everyone, as people need to get used to the taste. However, it is an incredibly healthy alternative to traditional lattes.

Layered Lattes

People who love how lattes taste but are fascinated with the distinct layers of cappuccinos may try layered lattes. Instead of pouring steamed milk into the espresso, the latte is prepared the other way around. The espresso is poured into the steamed milk to form layers. The rate of speed at which the espresso is poured matters, too. If the barista pours it too slowly, the milk and espresso mix/blend perfectly (no layers are formed. The poor barista would probably be out of a job sooner than one can say ‘latte’).

Main Difference Between Cappuccino And Latte In Points

  • A cappuccino has more foam compared to a latte. The fundamental difference between the two is merely the ratio of the ingredients used.
  • The rich texture of the latte gives it an edge over its little brother, cappuccino. However, cappuccinos have distinct layers that will please those who like order and symmetry (Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot would have been delighted with the aesthetics of a cappuccino even if he was horrified by its taste).
  • Cappuccinos are flavored using various ingredients as toppings. On the other hand, lattes are flavored by adding drops of syrups or mixing crushed ingredients. Moreover, cappuccinos have only a limited variety of flavors, whereas a latte is flavored with a wide variety of popular and unconventional ingredients.
  • A barista will have a harder time preparing a latte than a cappuccino. The main reason for the barista’s predicament is the expected latte art. It is not uncommon to come across cafés that serve lattes with white blobs called latte art.
  • Cappuccinos are convenient for drinking on the go. Who has the time to admire the interesting patterns in their latte when running pell-mell to reach their workplace n time?

Conclusion

In short, those who like to add milk to their coffee but require the strong flavor of espressos will love cappuccinos. People who crave something creamier, richer, and aesthetically pleasing will love lattes. It is marvelous how two different-tasting drinks can be made using the same ingredients. Some people consider drinking cappuccinos and lattes elitist behavior; however, there is no denying their delightful taste, so everyone (whether high-profile or low-profile clients) love these popular types of coffee.

References

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latte#Origin_and_history
  • https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-a-cappuccino-765321
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latte_art
  • https://dripped.coffee/different-types-of-latte-flavors/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappuccino
  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/physics-behind-layers-your-latte-180967546/

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"Difference Between Cappuccino and Latte." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cappuccino-and-latte-1241>.



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