Difference Between Latte and Cappuccino: Know your Drink

When it comes to espresso-based drinks, lattes and cappuccinos are two of the most popular. Almost every decent coffee shop will serve them. A lot of people, however, are guilty of not knowing the differences between the two. Yes, they are different from each other. But, what makes them different?

If you are interested in knowing the difference between latte and cappuccino, you have one good reason to keep on reading the rest of this post. Do not be baffled the next time you order your drink. Impress your friends with new knowledge as you learn more about the key differences between two of the favorites of many coffee lovers.​

History of Latte and Cappuccino

One of the easiest ways to tell the differences between the two is to trace their origins. Both of them have been around for a long time, and they originated from two different countries. Over the years, however, there have been variations from the recipe as more and more people experiment with unique flavors.

Latte is a drink with its origins in Italy. It is from the Italian word caffe latte. In English, it translates to milk coffee. For centuries, it has been a popular drink in the country. The modern latte, on the other hand, is believed to have originated in California in the 1950s. In the 1980s, it became more popular in Seattle, along with the rise of commercial coffee shops.

On the other hand, cappuccino is a drink that originated in Vienna, Austria, which has been around since the 19th century. Locally, it is called Kapuziner, which contains coffee, cream, sugar, and spices. Nonetheless, the cappuccino that we all know today can be credited to the Italians as it was first introduced in 1901 in Milan.​

How They Are Made

Another key difference between the two is the manner by which they are prepared. To have a better understanding, here are the steps that are involved in making a latte:

On the other hand, here’s how you will make a cappuccino:

  • Extract a shot of espresso and pour it at the bottom of the cup.
  • Now, pour steamed milk.
  • Pour the milk foam on the top, about two to three centimeters.
  • Finish by sprinkling cocoa powder on the top of the drink.

Like art in the case of latte, the powder on the top of a cappuccino is optional. In some countries, it is not even a practice, especially in Italy. In places like the United Kingdom and Australia, on the other hand, it is likely that your cappuccino will be sprinkled with powder on top.

From the steps that have been mentioned above, there is one obvious difference between the two – the amount of milk foam that you can find in an individual drink. The milk foam is thicker in a cappuccino. On the other hand, when it comes to the steamed milk, there is more in a latte.​


Because they are made in different ways, and the amount of milk varies, you can also expect that there will be notable differences when it comes to the way they taste. If you want the drink to be darker and richer with more pronounced espresso flavor, a cappuccino is what you should order. On the other hand, if you want the coffee to have a subtle taste, a latte will be suitable.

Also, it is important to note that in cappuccino, it is usual to sprinkle powder on the top. Therefore, depending on what is sprinkled, there could be a difference in flavor. Latte art, on the other hand, is just for aesthetics. It does not affect the flavor of the latte. It just makes it more Instagram-worthy.

Size and Serving

Different countries all over the world will have different ways of serving their coffee. In fact, each coffee shop may also have their respective ways. Nonetheless, cappuccino is generally served in a porcelain cup, which is known for having excellent heat retention. Latte, on the other hand, is served in a taller glass.

The difference in the serving method can be attributed to the difference in the size of each drink. Cappuccino is served in a small cup since it is usually anywhere from 150 to 180 ml. For lattes, on the other hand, they are in a glass because they are usually 200 to 300 ml.

Which One Should You Choose?

We are not in any position to answer this question for you. It all boils down into a matter of personal taste and preferences. Whatever tickles your taste buds may be different from what tickles ours. Generally, however, if you need a perk me up strong coffee with robust flavor, cappuccino is the best. If you want it with more milk, on the other hand, a latte is a drink for you.


Not that you are done reading, we hope that you already know the difference between latte and cappuccino. From its history to the way it is made, from serving to the way they taste, it is pretty much obvious that the two are very much different from each other. Your personal preferences will dictate which one is more suitable for your taste.

Here is a quick summary of the things that have been mentioned above:

  • Latte is originally from Italy. Cappuccino, on the other hand, is from Austria.
  • While both of them have a shot of espresso at the bottom of the cup, a latte comes with more steamed milk while the foam is thin. Cappuccino, on the other hand, has lesser steamed milk but comes with a thick and airy foam.
  • Cappuccino is perfect if you want your drink to have a robust coffee flavor. If you want it to be subtle, choose a latte.

Is there anything else that you would like to add? Did you learn a thing or two from this post? Did you enjoy reading? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

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