It can be embarrassing to ask the barista what the difference is between coffee drinks, we have all been there. Though to be completely honest, they won’t care at all and if you do get spoken down to I would suggest not going back!
Anyway, the good news is you won’t need to ask them as the answer is easy. This article will teach you the difference between a Latte (also known as a Caffè Latte) and a Cappuccino and will also answer some frequently asked questions that are associated with the Espresso based beverages.
You will be strutting into that coffee shop like a pro in no time.
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Lattes don’t really have an official size but are commonly served in an 8 ounce (240ml) cup.
They are made up of approximately 1/5th Espresso (usually 1 shot) and 4/5ths steamed milk, with a small amount of (approx. 1 – 2cm) foamed milk on top.
If you would like to learn more about the Latte you can find everything you need to know in our comprehensive article including a step-by-step guide to making the perfect Latte with an Espresso machine and at home.
If you would like to learn more about the Cappuccino you can find everything you need to know in our comprehensive article including a step-by-step guide to making the perfect Cappuccino with an Espresso machine and at home.
Cappuccinos and Lattes have a lot in common. In Italy, both are considered morning (and only morning) coffees, at their core they are predominantly made up of 2 main ingredients; Espresso and milk and in both types of coffee some of the milk is foamed and some of the milk is steamed. The (main) difference between the 2 drinks is the proportions of these main ingredients.
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Cappuccino vs Latte – what is the difference?
Beyond the proportions a Cappuccino is officially 5 – 6 ounces (150 – 180ml) and is commonly topped (though, not in Italy) with chocolate or cocoa dusting. Other topping variations can include cocoa grades, sugar granules coated in cocoa, cinnamon or nutmeg.
A Latte is a little less official with its measurements due to the fact that is more commonly made at home in Italy rather than ordered in a café. Outside of Italy, it is commonly served as an 8 ounce (240ml) beverage.
For an example of the difference the following calorie information has been taken from Starbucks UK:
Calories in a Starbucks Latte made with skimmed milk
Short: 60 Kcal
Tall: 102 Kcal
Grande: 128 Kcal
Venti: 168 Kcal
Calories in a Starbucks Cappuccino made with skimmed milk
Short: 49 Kcal
Tall: 93 Kcal
Grande: 103 Kcal
Venti: 144 Kcal
Calories in a Starbucks Latte made with whole milk
Short: 108 Kcal
Tall: 181 Kcal
Grande: 228 Kcal
Venti: 298 Kcal
Calories in a Starbucks Cappuccino made with whole milk
Short: 85 Kcal
Tall: 163 Kcal
Grande: 181 Kcal
Venti: 253 Kcal
For the whole list of Starbucks’ nutritional information click HERE.
Though, keep in mind that caffeine levels can and will vary in the Espresso shot depending on which café you are buying your coffee from or which barista is pulling the shot.
So in conclusion, if both drinks have 1 shot of Espresso then technically both drinks should have the same amount of caffeine but more likely they won’t. Though, the difference in the amount of caffeine has nothing to do with whether you are ordering a Latte or a Cappuccino.
If you are wondering which of the 2 drinks will taste stronger, then that will be the Cappuccino. This is due to the fact that a Cappuccino has less milk than a Latte, thus less milk equals stronger coffee taste.
Firstly, I would always suggest trying both and seeing what you prefer, but if you can’t decide which of the 2 drinks you should try first, ask yourself these questions:
Do you like foam in your coffee?
Do you prefer a stronger coffee taste?
If the answer is yes to both, then go for the Cappuccino.