What Is the Difference Between a Latte and a Cappuccino?

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In general, there are a large number of people who cannot distinguish between a Latte and a Cappuccino. Therefore, if you are one of them, you do not have to worry. They are mainly two drinks that are very famous nowadays. For several decades, both have been promoted and marketed throughout the world.

However, each of them has its particularities, so it is not the same drink. If this were the case it would not make much sense to have two names for the same drink. Therefore, in this case, we will see what are the similarities and differences between a Latte and a Cappuccino.

In this way, with the right information, you will be able to enjoy your next drink much better.

What is Latte?

Although the name may have an Italian origin, the reality is that this drink is enjoyed throughout the world. A Latte, or coffee with milk, is one of the favorite drinks of many people in the United States. It is one of the products that can wake you up, provide a warm temperature to your body, and satisfy many palates. That’s right, all of that with just a Latte.

Also, it is quite common to find a great variety of different Lattes. So, to better enjoy this particular type of coffee with milk, let’s look at what it is all about, where it comes from, and how it is prepared.

The word Latte is derived directly from the Italian language, and is related to the words “caffé latte”. This does not mean anything other than coffee with milk. Although, if you go to Italy and order a Latte in a restaurant or bar, they will bring you a glass of milk.

Therefore, when you are in Italy you must specifically order a “caffé latte”. Although in France, and northern Europe, you must order a “café au lait”.

Where does it come from?

The rise of coffee with milk is somewhat confusing. However, we could say that it is a European invention. Mainly, in some European places, like Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, coffee and milk have been mixed for several centuries.

Today the white coffee of our times is prepared differently. If it is made with espresso, we could say that it is an invention of the United States. This type of work became very fashionable in the 1980s, and especially in the 1990s.

From there, steaming coffee with milk became very popular and prepared in an espresso style.

A perfect Latte, please!

The Latte, as well as the rest of the coffee-based drinks, has its preparation. A regular Latte can be made with about 8 ounces of steamed milk, combined with a regular dose of espresso.

By contrast, a large size Latte is usually made with double size of an espresso. Also, as with the rest of the espressos, it can be covered with some foam to improve its presentation. On the other hand, there are many different ways to prepare a Latte.

The key is espresso

Today in the vast majority of bars or restaurants, a Latte is prepared using an espresso machine. In this way, it is possible to offer a concentrated drink in a very short time. Furthermore, the concentration of coffee indicates a higher level of caffeine, and therefore more energy for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, the normal presentation of most Lattes is done in a transparent cup to appreciate their color in a better way. You will notice a general white drink at the top.

This is thanks to the fact that the espresso is first prepared in a cup. After that, the milk is gently steamed. In this process, white milk is kept on top of the cup. Finally, the last remnants of milk are poured into the top layer of the drink in a particular pattern or pattern.

What is a Cappuccino?

You shouldn’t feel bad if you ask “what is a cappuccino?” since there are many people who ask themselves the same question. A Cappuccino is simply one of the many styles of Italian coffee-based drink. Usually, it is brewed with Italian coffee using an espresso machine, and adding steamed milk.

The key is knowing the correct proportions of espresso, steamed milk, and frothy milk. You may also add sweetener or syrup, although they are not served in this way in bars and restaurants. It is also one of the well-known drinks throughout the world.

Cappuccino rise

After espresso machines became famous throughout the 20th century, different types of drinks began to emerge. A large number of people incorporated long periods in different cafeterias into their routines. This is something that happened in Italy and is where perhaps the first Cappuccino-style drinks have appeared.

These first drinks were offered “Viennese” style, or what is the same with chocolate shavings and covered with whipped cream.

But to better understand its origin it should be mentioned that the word cappuccino is related to the Italian word “cappuccio”. This word referred to the friars who wore a brown hood, that is, the Capuchin friars.

Therefore, when the Cappuccino was created, the milk and coffee mixture offered a color similar to the aforementioned friars’ hoods. That is why this drink began to be called Cappuccino.

Preparation of a good Cappuccino

First of all, it should be noted that a Cappuccino, like a Latte, is prepared in an espresso machine. But of course, it has a different preparation, as well as a different amount of ingredients.

To start, the milk is poured into a steaming jug. After that, using the espresso machine, it is turned on and the contained steam is released. Typically, the barista ends up lowering the jug as the volume of milk increases, which is done at an angle.

When the milk is at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, its volume should be doubled. The surface is then flattened to compress the foam. Depending on the size of the Cappuccino, the barista can make one or two shots of espresso.

After pouring the espresso measurements into the bottom of the cup, comes the final part. It is simply a matter of pouring the milk from the center to the outer edge. Although it seems like a complicated process, most baristas are experienced in making these types of drinks.

Different styles of Cappuccino

As we said, there is not a single type of Cappuccino, but several. Specifically, anything you combine with milk can be added. Also, instead of using regular milk, you can use coconut milk, soy milk, plant-based milk, among others.

Other variations of Cappuccino can be wet or dry styles, that is, with more or less steamed milk. Finally, frozen Cappuccinos are an innovative option. Therefore, it turns out to be an interesting option in the days of high temperatures.

Latte vs Cappuccino

So, we can mention that both Cappuccino and Latte have different preparations. First of all, they are both made with the same ingredients and even with the same espresso machine.

Also, both will use a normal shot of espresso. Therefore, up to this point, there are no differences. From here, you will notice that these are different drinks when paying attention to milk.

On the one hand, a Latte is prepared with a lesser amount of frothy milk, and with a greater amount of steamed milk. On the contrary, the Cappuccino incorporates more quantity of frothy milk and less quantity of steamed milk.

By drinking both drinks, you will notice that the Cappuccino offers a stronger coffee flavor. This occurs because the steamed milk ends up mixing with the coffee.

Difference between Latte and Cappuccino (comparison table)

Latte Cappuccino
Service Porcelain cup is used or in a tall glass The ceramic cup is used on top of a plate
Origin Italy Italy
Name’s origin Latte comes from the Italian, which means milk Cappuccino friar, for its similarity to the color of the drink
Styles Ice can be added Dry, wet, icy
Milk quantity More steamed milk, and less frothy milk More frothy milk, and less steamed milk
Frothy milk Thin layer Thick layer
Flavors With vanilla, caramel, buttered rum, amaretto, cinnamon, English caramel, almond, Irish cream With vanilla, cinnamon, raspberry, mint, caramel, chocolate

Final Words

To end this article we can mention that although they are two different drinks, each of them has its strengths. Quite simply, these are two different styles that allow a large number of people to enjoy espresso coffee.

All people have different tastes of coffee, and therefore some will be able to enjoy these two drinks, and others only one. With which, it only remains for you to decide which will be the next drink that you will order.

Beyond enjoying a Latte or a Cappuccino, you will most certainly be enjoying a good coffee from different angles.


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