Difference Between Latte and Cappuccino

Visiting your local coffee shop to enjoy a latte or cappuccino is one of the few pleasures that life has to offer. But what makes a cappuccino different from the latte? Learn the difference between the two popular drinks and order like a pro the next time you are on your coffee break.

Cappuccinos vs. Lattes

Cappuccinos and lattes are two distinct beverages but originate from the same country, Italy. The cappuccino was named after a group of monks known as the Capuchin friars. The beverage was made to resemble the long robes worn by the monks in the 16th century.

While the latte’s origins are less intriguing, people consider the espresso-based drink the cappuccino’s big-brother. In Italian, “latte” means milk. In local shops, some refer to the latte as a “café latte.” Café latte translates to “a coffee and milk” drink.

What is in a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino starts with a shot or two of espresso as a bottom layer. A layer of steamed milk follows the espresso. On top of this layer, the beverage has its signature airy foam. This foam is made from micro-foam or frothed milk. If you were to make a diagram of the cappuccino, you’d see that it has a third of everything, the espresso, the steamed milk, and the frothed milk.

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What is in a Latte?

The latte starts with a bottom layer of a shot or two of espresso, like the cappuccino. A barista will then pour a layer of steamed milk and add a significantly smaller topping of foam. Unlike the cappuccino, the latte is a third espresso, two-thirds of streamed milk, and at least a 1 cm foam topping (that’s barely half an inch). Over the years, baristas worldwide have tweaked the formula, adding sweeter flavors with ingredients like hazelnut and vanilla.

What is healthier between the two?

What makes one of these drinks healthy? You could say that cappuccinos are “healthier” than the latte since technically, they contain 1/3 less milk. While each serving of a cappuccino or latte, has some calories, fat, and protein, those watching their nutritional intake have some options. Replacing whole milk with skim or 2% milk reduces the calories while retaining the great taste associated with the beverages.

Now that you know the difference between lattes and cappuccinos, you can finally enjoy the great taste that each drink offers. Which espresso-based beverage do you prefer, the Capuchin friar legacy or Italy’s café latte?

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