Cappuccino vs. Latte: What’s the Difference?

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Cappuccinos and Lattes are two of the most popular espresso-based drinks around the world. Both beverages include espresso and steamed milk, but their key differences lie in their proportions, milk texture, and presentation.

In this Coffee Expert guide, we will explore the distinctions between Cappuccinos and Lattes, their origins, ingredients, and how to make and enjoy these classic coffee drinks.

Origins of Cappuccino and Latte


The Cappuccino has its roots in Italy, where it has been a staple of Italian coffee culture for centuries.

The name “cappuccino” is derived from the Italian word “cappuccio,” which means “hood” or “cap,” referring to the frothy milk layer that resembles the hood of a monk’s robe.


The Latte also originated in Italy and has been enjoyed as a comforting milk-based coffee beverage for centuries.

The term “latte” means “milk” in Italian, highlighting the drink’s key ingredient.

Ingredients and Ratios: Cappuccino vs. Latte


A Cappuccino typically consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, resulting in a 1:1:1 ratio.

The steamed milk creates a creamy base, while the frothed milk adds a light, airy texture on top.


As previously discussed, a Latte is made with a single or double shot of espresso and steamed milk, with a milk-to-espresso ratio of approximately 3:1.

The milk is steamed to create a thicker layer of froth on top compared to a Flat White, contributing to a creamier mouthfeel.

Flavour Profiles: Cappuccino vs. Latte


The Cappuccino offers a balanced and full-bodied coffee experience, with a stronger espresso flavour than a Latte.

The equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk create a harmonious blend of bold coffee notes and creamy, airy textures.


The Latte, with its larger milk-to-coffee ratio, delivers a more mellow and smooth coffee experience.

The steamed milk and froth soften the espresso’s intensity, resulting in a comforting and creamy beverage.

How to Make and Enjoy Cappuccinos and Lattes

Making a Cappuccino:

  1. Extract a single or double shot of espresso using an espresso machine.
  2. Steam a portion of milk, creating a creamy and velvety texture.
  3. Froth a separate portion of milk to achieve a light and airy texture.
  4. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso, followed by the frothed milk.
  5. Serve immediately, optionally with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon.

Making a Latte:

  1. Pull a single or double shot of espresso using an espresso machine.
  2. Steam a larger portion of milk, aiming for a thicker layer of froth compared to a Flat White.
  3. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso, preserving the 3:1 milk-to-espresso ratio.
  4. Serve immediately, optionally with latte art.

Cappuccino vs. Latte: Which One to Choose?

When deciding between a Cappuccino and a Latte, consider your personal taste preferences and desired coffee experience.

If you prefer a more balanced and slightly stronger coffee flavour with a mix of creamy and airy textures, a Cappuccino may be the better choice.

However, if you enjoy a creamier and smoother coffee experience with a more mellow espresso flavour, a Latte might be the ideal option for you.

It’s important to remember that personal preferences play a significant role in determining which beverage you’ll enjoy more.

Experiment with different coffee drinks, and don’t be afraid to ask your barista for their recommendations based on your taste preferences.

Customising Your Cappuccino or Latte

Feel free to customise your Cappuccino or Latte to suit your preferences even further.

Some popular customisations include adding flavoured syrups like vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut, adjusting the milk-to-espresso ratio, or trying alternative milk options like almond, soy, or oat milk.

Our Conclusion on the Cappuccino vs. Latte

Understanding the differences between a Cappuccino and a Latte will not only enhance your appreciation for these classic coffee beverages but also empower you to make better choices when ordering or making coffee at home.

Whether you prefer the balanced and full-bodied flavour of a Cappuccino or the comforting and creamy taste of a Latte, these popular espresso-based drinks showcase the wonderful versatility of coffee.

So, don’t hesitate to explore the vast world of coffee culture, sampling a variety of drinks and discovering which ones best suit your taste buds.

Remember, the journey through coffee is all about finding your personal preferences and embracing the diversity and richness of coffee experiences!