Difference Between Cappuccino And Latte: How To Know Your Coffee?

Have you ever been to a coffee shop? If so, do you remember the very first time you went? Weren’t you overwhelmed by the menu and the variety of drinks they serve?

Starbucks, alone, serves around 200 different beverages: 9 iced coffee, 12 freshly brewed coffee, 5 chocolate beverages, 44 espresso-based beverages, and 44 frappuccinos. The rest are teas, smoothies, kids’ drinks, and refreshers.

Imagine if someone who has never been to and heard of a coffee house sees that menu, how would they know which one to order?

The most common coffee blends in the whole world are cappuccino and latte. If you do not know much about coffee, you can never go wrong with those two. Although both sound Italian, later on you will discover more about the story behind their delicious flavors.

If you want to know more about the different coffee blends, specifically the difference between cappuccino and latte, so you won’t look like a nomad when you visit a coffee shop, then read along.

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Coffee House Terminologies

Before we tackle the in-depth difference between cappuccino and latte, I think it would be best to know some coffee house terminologies first. This will give you a better idea of the basic coffee blends.

Espresso

Espresso is a brewing technique used to extract the flavor and essence of coffee by subjecting the coffee beans and a bit of hot water to an extreme pressure for 20 seconds.

Café Americano

Americano is probably the most subtle coffee blend. It is a mixture of one shot espresso and hot water. It is more like a diluted espresso. You can add cream and sugar if you want but usually, it is just serve as it is.

Macchiato

Far from what most coffee shops serve now a days, macchiato is a shot or two of espresso with a tiny hint of steamed milk. Don’t get fooled by the overly-commercialized ones.

Café Latte

Latte is probably the most popular coffee blend of all time because it is delicious and versatile. You can add in different flavors and still have a good taste and essence of the espresso base.

Cappuccino

Technically, cappuccino is a latte with 2-3 times more foam. If you do not like too much foam, then just go for latte.

Mocha

Mocha is more like a latte with an added chocolate on top of the espresso. It also usually have whipped cream and marshmallow on top.

Frappe

Frappe is a cold blend of espresso with different added flavors, spices, and steamed milk.

The Origin Of Cappuccino

Most people think that cappuccino originated in Italy, but there had been rumors that Austria already have this coffee blend since early 1800’s and they call it “Kapuziner”. It was a mixture of coffee, sugar, spices, and whipped cream. When Austrian solders were assigned to Italy, they brought their special coffee with them. Italians adapted it but used milk instead of whipped cream.

The version of cappuccino that most coffee houses serve now was from Milan, where the first ever espresso machine was invented by Luigi Bezzera in 1901. Ever since then, cappuccino became more and more popular.In 1980, cappuccino was introduced in the United States and it was an instant hit.

How to Make Your Own Cappuccino

In case you want to invent on an espresso machine with milk steamer, here is the tutorial I found on YouTube.

You can still make your own cup of cappuccino whenever you like even if you do not have a barista machine. Although, you might need a Nespresso Machine or Bialetti Moka if you really want the espresso base or you can just use a freshly brewed black coffee.

What You Will Need:

  • Espresso (or freshly brewed black coffee)
  • Milk
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Mug

How To Make Your Own Cappuccino:

  • Make your espresso (or freshly brewed black coffee).
  • Pour it in the mug and set aside for a while.
  • Pour the milk in a pot or sauce pan then heat it up on a stove until it is super hot, but DO NOT let it boil.
  • Transfer the milk in a heat-proof bowl then vigorously whisk it until you have a thick foam.
  • Pour the milk foam into the espresso-filled mug in a circular or swirling motion.
  • Serve and enjoy!

The Origin Of Latte

There are a lot of different stories about the origin of café latte, but the most popular one is can be traced back to late 1950’s. Caffe Mediterraneum, in Berkley, CA, is owned by an Italian barista named Lino Meiorin. One day, a customer complained that their Italian cappuccino is too strong so he asked his barista to add more milk. Since he is Italian, he used the word latte. From then on, they used latte or café latte (milk coffee) for that blend.

How to Make Your Own Café Latte

That’s how café lattes are made in coffee shops, but if you want to make your own at home but you don’t have an espresso machine, then you can try this one.

What You Will Need:

  • Espresso (or freshly brewed black coffee)
  • Milk
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Mug

How To Make Your Own Latte:

  • Make your espresso (or freshly brewed black coffee).
  • Pour it in the mug and set aside for a while.
  • Pour the milk in a pot or sauce pan then heat it up on a stove until it is super hot, but DO NOT let it boil.
  • Use a kitchen thermometer to make sure you get the correct temperature which is around 155-160°F.
  • Transfer the milk in a heat-proof bowl then start whisking.
  • Stop whisking when you see a sheer layer of tiny bubbles on top.
  • Pour the milk foam into the espresso-filled mug in a circular or swirling motion.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Italian Cappuccino vs. American Cappuccino

Italian cappuccino is simpler yet has a stronger espresso flavor. Technically, Italian cappuccino only contains an espresso shot and steamed milk. American cappuccino, on the other hand, has a thick froth – and chocolate powder sometimes.

Latte Art 101

Are you interested to know and learn how to do latte art? Here are some of the tutorials I found on YouTube. The first one is for the basics and the other one is a higher level latte art.


Which One Should You Choose?

As you have seen, there is really not much of a difference between cappuccino and café latte. It is just the amount of milk and foam that separates latte from cappuccino.

Technically speaking, cappuccino has 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam. Furthermore, café latte has 1/6 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and 1/6 foam.

If you are anything like me who doesn’t enjoy foamy coffee, then you might want to go with latte, but if you want a stronger flavor, then choose cappuccino.

I hope that you find this article helpful.

How about you? What’s your favorite coffee blend? Please leave it in the comment section down below. I would really love to know.Also, if you have any advice or techniques, especially with regards to latte art, please share it with me and your friends.

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Sophia Gardner
 

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

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