Cappuccino vs Latte: What's the Difference?

May 18 , 2023

Levista India


Coffee culture has exploded recently, with people worldwide seeking their perfect caffeine fix. The most popular coffee drinks, cappuccino and latte, often need clarification or use interchangeably, but they are quite different.

Both of these drinks are created with espresso and milk, but the quantities and techniques of preparation distinguish them. Understanding the distinctions between cappuccino and latte will help you order the perfect drink for your taste buds and amaze your coffee-loving pals.

What is Cappuccino and Latte? 


Cappuccino is a traditional Italian coffee drink from the early twentieth century. It's traditionally made with one shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a layer of foamed milk. The espresso-to-milk-to-foam ratio is typically one-third, resulting in a robust, bold coffee flavour with a light, frothy texture.

On the other hand, Latte is a more recent coffee drink that first appeared in the United States in the 1980s. It's created with one or two shots of espresso and steamed milk, then topped with a thin foam coating. While both cappuccino and latte can be customised with extra flavours and toppings like caramel, vanilla, or whipped cream, it's crucial to grasp the fundamental differences between the two drinks before getting started.

The Popularity of Coffee Culture 

Coffee culture has taken over the world, and it's no surprise that cappuccino and latte are two of the most popular coffee drinks. These drinks have become classics in coffee shops worldwide due to their distinct flavours and textures.

Drinks like cappuccino and latte, which have become the go-to drinks for coffee enthusiasts everywhere, are at the centre of this culture. And, with so many varieties and customising possibilities available, there is no limit to the coffee world's inventiveness and innovation.

So the next time you sip on your favourite cappuccino or latte, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and culture behind these iconic coffee drinks. Cheers to the world of coffee, where every sip is a new adventure!

Quick Facts about these Espresso-Based Drinks

  • Both cappuccino and latte are espresso-based drinks, which means they contain one or two espresso shots.
  • Cappuccino milk is often heated and frothed to produce a light, airy foam, whereas latte milk is steamed to produce a creamy texture.
  • The ratio of espresso to milk to foam in cappuccino is typically one-third each. In latte, the ratio of milk to espresso is usually three parts milk to one part espresso.
  • The cappuccino is a stronger and bolder coffee drink with a light, frothy texture, whereas the latte is softer and smoother.

Cappuccino vs Latte: Differences Explained





The origins of cappuccino may be traced back to Italy in the early 1900s. 

On the other hand, Latte has a more recent origin, first appearing in the United States in the 1980s. 

Ingredients & Preparation 

Traditional cappuccino is made with one shot of espresso and steamed milk, then topped with a light and fluffy coating of frothed milk. 

In contrast, a latte is made with one or two shots of espresso and steamed milk, then topped with a thin layer of frothed milk. 

Quantity of milk required 

In cappuccino, the espresso-to-milk-to-foam ratio is typically one-third each, resulting in a robust and rich flavour with a light, foamy texture.

Latte is often made with three parts milk to one part espresso, resulting in a milder flavour with a smooth and creamy texture.

Serving style and variations

Cappuccino is traditionally served in a small, porcelain cup with a saucer, often decorated with latte art.

Latte, on the other hand, is typically served in a larger glass or ceramic cup with a handle, allowing for a greater volume of milk.

Popularity & cultural significance 

It has gained widespread popularity worldwide and is often associated with Italian coffee culture. 

It has grown in popularity and is now a standard in many coffee shops worldwide. 

Nutritional content & coffee intake 

Cappuccino typically contains less milk than latte, which means it has fewer calories and fat.

Conversely, Latte contains more milk than cappuccino, which means it can have a higher calorie and fat content. 

1. Origin

The term "cappuccino" is derived from the Capuchin friars, a religious order famed for their brown hooded robes, which resemble the colour of coffee when blended with milk. The frothy foam on top of a cappuccino gets generated by heating and foaming the milk.

The term "latte" is derived from the Italian phrase "caffè latte," which translates as "coffee and milk." Latte is produced from espresso and steamed milk, typically topped with a thin froth coating. 

2. Ingredients & preparation

The cappuccino preparation begins with whole milk, skim, or almond milk for a lighter version. The espresso shot is brewed directly into the cup, followed by steamed milk and frothed milk on top.

 Latte preparation is with whole milk, skim or soy milk for a lighter version.

3. Serving style and variations

Variations of cappuccino include dry cappuccino (with less steamed milk and more foam), wet cappuccino (with more steamed milk and less foam), and flavoured cappuccinos (with added syrups such as caramel or hazelnut). Variations of latte include flavoured lattes (with added syrups or spices such as cinnamon or pumpkin), iced lattes (with ice and cold milk), and latte macchiato (a layered drink with milk on the bottom and espresso on top).

4. Popularity & cultural significance

Cappuccino is prominent for its unique serving method and latte art, a popular trend in coffee shops worldwide. Furthermore, a cappuccino can be a morning beverage with breakfast and brunch.

Latte is frequently connected with modern coffee culture and is particularly popular among younger coffee lovers. Furthermore, latte is commonly used as an afternoon or evening beverage and is associated with relaxation and socialising.

5. Nutritional content & coffee intake

Cappuccino also has a higher caffeine content per volume than latte, which means it may have a stronger impact on coffee intake. Additionally, latte can be served in larger sizes than cappuccino so that coffee intake can be higher.

Levista: Ultimate Solution for the Best Coffee Experience 

Levista provides the best solution for coffee enthusiasts. We provide the finest coffee experience through our commitment to quality and innovation. Our premium coffee products, whether cappuccino or latte, are expertly made to delight your taste buds and enrich your coffee experience. Try Levista today and see the difference for yourself!

Wrapping Up

Cappuccino and latte are two prominent espresso-based drinks that share and differ in their origin, ingredients, preparation, serving style, popularity, nutritional value, and cultural importance. While both drinks are popular among coffee fans worldwide, they each have distinct features that cater to different tastes and circumstances. There's a coffee drink for everyone, whether you're a traditionalist who likes the foamy texture of cappuccino or a modernist who prefers the creamy texture of latte. So go ahead and try them both and see which one best matches your taste buds!


What is the distinction between a cappuccino and a latte?

The amount of milk used is the primary distinction between cappuccino and latte. Cappuccino has a stronger espresso-to-milk ratio and is topped with a thick foam coating, whereas latte has a higher milk-to-espresso ratio and a thinner foam layer.

Which is a better coffee drink, cappuccino or latte?

Because of the lesser milk content, cappuccino has fewer calories and fat than latte. However, latte can be made with other milks, reducing calorie and fat content.

What is the cultural significance of cappuccino and latte?

Cappuccino and latte are two drinks synonymous with coffee culture worldwide, each with cultural importance. Cappuccino is connected with traditional Italian coffee culture, whereas latte is more widespread in modern coffee shops and associated with speciality coffee culture.

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