Difference between Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso [Complete Guide]

Difference Between Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso [Complete Guide]

Are you a fan of coffee? If yes, then you might want to try out some different types of coffee drinks available.

Coffee is a popular drink, which has a global consumption of around two billion cups daily. It will always be a hot topic that people will love to talk about no matter what.

However, there have been some changes to the traditional coffee methods. Whether it is the brewing method or the presentation, everything has changed over time. Today you’ll find a variety of coffee drinks, such as latte, cappuccino, espresso, etc. But what is the difference between these three?

As a coffee aficionado, I’ll cover some of the key differences between Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso. It will give you a better idea of how the taste, presentation, and other things of these coffee drinks are different from each other.

So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso: What Do These Drinks Entail?

Before we move on to the differences between these three drinks, let’s go over their similarities. One thing that you’ll find in a latte and cappuccino is that it would have a strong shot of espresso.

There are further additions to it that give the latte and cappuccino a different taste, colour, and texture. Let’s start by understanding what an espresso is.

What is an Espresso?

There are two Espresso coffee cups

An espresso is a traditional Italian drink which is made through the same coffee beans used to make American coffee. The main distinction between coffee and espresso is in the treatment of the beans and the grinding process.

You would have to grind the coffee beans to a finer consistency compared to the coffee. Next, you would need to securely pack the coffee into the portafilter, before the hot water passes through it, resulting in a shot of espresso.

If you want to enjoy the espresso as it is, you can go ahead. Or, you want to use it as a base to make different other drinks such as latte, cappuccino, etc.

Note: Some studies show that a single shot of espresso contains around 63 mg of caffeine. So make sure to count that in your daily intake.

What is a Cappuccino?

Cappuccino coffee cup

A cappuccino is an espresso-based drink which has the same layer of espresso, foamed milk, and steamed milk. The cup size of the traditional cappuccino is small than the latte, which is around 160 to 170 ml.

It is vital to choose the right cup size if you want to get a balanced flavour of espresso and milk. The cappuccino foam can either be dry or smooth, depending on your taste.

The smooth foam (also known as the micro or velvety foam) will have no bubbles in it. On the other hand, you’ll notice large and airy bubbles on a dry foam.

Let’s move on to our final drink.

What is a Latte?

a Latte coffee cup

A latte is another popular espresso-based drink, and you can consider it to be cappuccino’s big brother. The entire process for making the latte is the same as the other two drinks — it has a base of single or double-shot of espresso.

Next, you need to combine it with steamed milk which will cover around 2/3 of your drink. Additionally, it would have a small layer of frothed milk that would give it a unique and beautiful appearance.

However, the preparation method will vary widely since it has become a popular drink in the last couple of decades. You can also add some flavours, such as vanilla, to slightly tweak its taste.

Now that you have a clear idea of these three drinks, let’s go over the key differences. 

Difference between Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso

One of the main differences between the latte and cappuccino is the distribution of foamed milk. In a cappuccino, you’ll find distinct layers of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. Conversely, the steamed milk and the espresso are mixed in the latte.

Moreover, there is also a difference in the calories that you can get from these drinks. In a 75 ml double shot espresso, there are around 50 calories.

Whereas, the 350 ml cappuccino that contains whole milk will have around 130 calories. The 350 ml latte will contain around 210 calories. Below are some other differences between these three drinks.

  Latte Cappuccino Espresso
Ratio milk and coffee One or two shots of espresso: around 170 ml to 220 ml steamed milk, 1 cm foam One or two shots of espresso: the same amount of steamed milk and micro foam Just coffee with no milk
Serving style In a cup or a glass of 240 ml In a cup of 160 to 170 ml In a demitasse cup
Origin America Italy Italy

What about Latte Macchiato?

What about Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato is a popular drink that many people tend to confuse with a latte. The latte macchiato is also an espresso-based drink that contains steamed milk. It has single or double shots of espresso and a spot of milk foam.

One of the main differences between a latte macchiato and a simple latte is the amount of milk it contains. The macchiato has relatively less milk compared to the latte.

Additionally, the latte contains more steamed milk with a topping of frothed milk. On the contrary, the latte macchiato contains only steamed, hot milk. Understanding the difference between both these coffee drinks will allow you to enjoy different experiences.

Also read on How to Make a Latte with Oat Milk

Final Word

With that said, our blog comes to an end and we believe you now clearly understand the difference between a latte, cappuccino, and espresso. Each of these drinks offers a unique taste and it is an amazing experience to try them. So, you can head over to the nearest coffee shop to get one for yourself.

But, if you want, you can enjoy these drinks at home without going through a lot of hassle. There are no long recipes that you need to follow.

All you need is a couple of things and you can create magic in your home. Thus, you can enjoy the same flavour for a hot latte, cappuccino, or espresso that you can get at a coffee shop!

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