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Cappuccino vs. Latte: What's the Difference?

11.11.19By
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Team

Cappuccinos and lattes are perhaps the most popular beverages in the country other than a traditional cup of drip coffee or, possibly, water. These two espresso drinks contain many of the same ingredients, but the craftsmanship of your favorite barista at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® leads to two drinks that have distinct tastes, textures, and finishes. Order like a pro and finally learn the difference between a cappuccino vs. a latte.

 

Cappuccinos Vs. Lattes

 

Both espresso drinks contain espresso and two additional ingredients: steamed milk and foamed milk. Before we dive into the details, the key differences are:

 

  • A traditional cappuccino has an even distribution of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. A latte has way more steamed milk and a light layer of foam.
  • A cappuccino is distinctly layered, while in a latte the espresso and steamed milk are blended together.


What is in a Cappuccino?

 

Perfected and made popular during both World Wars, a cappuccino starts with a bottom layer of one or two shots of espresso (typically two in the United States). A second layer of steamed milk is added on top, followed by a thick and airy layer of foam to lend the drink a luxurious velvety texture.

 

A cappuccino boasts a much stronger espresso flavor than a latte due to having less milk and more foam than a latte. A barista is up to snuff when they can craft the perfect cappuccino — when made correctly our cappuccino will have a 1-to-1 ratio of liquid to foam, which experts can determine based on the drink’s weight.

 

What Is In a Latte?

 

A latte begins with the same base — a single or double shot of espresso. This espresso is then combined with several ounces of steamed milk to create a rich, creamy beverage that has a more subtle espresso taste. The typical ratio for espresso to steamed milk is about 1-to-2. The latte is then topped with a layer of foam.

The exact preparation of a latte varies widely, as their popularity has exploded in the last 20 years. The latte is tweaked endlessly and often made into a sweet version by adding flavors like Vanilla and Hazelnut.

 

Is a Cappuccino or Latte Healthier?

 

This depends on your definition of “healthy.” A cappuccino will likely have fewer calories because it has less milk. At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® our 12-ounce cappuccino is made with whole milk and has 130 calories, while our 12-ounce latte has about 210 calories. Non-fat milk or alternative milks like almond, coconut, or oat milk are also great options for these drinks.

 

 

Want to craft a cappuccino or latte at home? Get started with our Espresso Roast Coffee. Stop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® in your area to order both classic espresso drinks and customize your order with our signature flavor powders like hazelnut, vanilla, and mocha.