Cappuccino vs Latte: Which One is Better?

Latte and Cappuccino. They are the two of the most popular espresso-based beverages in the whole world. When you think of ordering coffee, these two would come to your mind first. Comparing them is like comparing Michael Jordan and LeBron James, it’s simply too hard, but we’ll try. In this guide, we’re going to explain what a cappuccino and latte is and how they differ from one another.

What is a Cappuccino?

what is a cappuccino
“A soy cappuccino at Roy’s Station.” by marioanima is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

There are several myths about origin story of Cappuccino, but the most common one is this: Cappuccino’s name was given to it because its color was similar to hood’s colors which was worn by Capuchin monks, and the monks were named after Capuchin monkeys as their hoods colors were similar to monkey’s fur.

Anyways, Cappuccino was born in Italy and it had started to become famous in Europe and the US around 1975. Now, it is the second most popular coffee in the world and it is being consumed by thousands of people every day.

Basically, it’s a mixture of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk and it has a unique ratio called “rule of thirds”. It is obvious, but it means 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 microfoam. This ratio is the reason why Cappuccino is so famous. It is also worth mentioning that it is typically served in 6oz glass or ceramic cups.

A well-made Cappuccino should be the mixture of delicious espresso-shot and creamy hot foamed milk. The bold coffee taste and sweetness from the milk are combined perfectly in Cappuccino. It has rich, creamy textures and its signature, microfoam. Microfoam is what makes Cappuccino so special, the foam should be dense and has little bubbles which feel soft along your lips. Simply delicious.

What is Latte?

Latte literally means “milk” in Italian, and therefore caffe latte can be translated in English as “milky coffee”. The caffe latte has been consumed by Italians for centuries, yet it is fairly new to the other countries.

Traditional Italian latte is a mixture of a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam on top and it is served in 8-ounce mugs. On the other hand, in the US, it is served with 15-20 ounce mugs and as a result, it is less strong than the Italian one.

If you are going to drink caffe latte, you should know this: lattes have double the amount of milk than that of other espresso-based drinks. You can still taste the distinctive espresso flavor, but as it’s more milky, the latte has far less acidity than others.

Remember how Cappuccinos have a unique ratio as a signature? Yeah well, what makes lattes incredible is the technique called “latte art” and it is impressive. You can check our article about latte art.

What’s The Difference Between Latte And Cappuccino


It may surprise you when I tell you that a caffe latte and a cappuccino has exactly the same ingredients. They both contain:

  • Steamed milk
  • Espresso
  • Microfoam

You might be thinking that: “why are they different then?”. Let’s explain why they distinguish from each other.

Extra Tip: Both of these delicious drinks become much tastier when added flavored syrups. You can check our article about coffee syrups which make everything added 10x delightful!


“My favorite cappuccino at Calafia Cafe” by Jun Seita is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

As you’ve probably guessed, the real deal is the ratio. Cappuccino and latte are two different drinks because their ratios of ingredients are not the same. That’s why you need skilled baristas to make Cappuccino or Latte, you have to maintain the perfect ratio balance.

Cappuccino has the perfect balance; each ingredient has a 1/3 ratio. Because of this ratio, it has a stronger espresso taste and less milky flavor compared to the Latte. In addition, Cappuccino has sharply defined layers and lighter foam on its top as the milk is not mixed.

In contrast, Latte has the same amount of espresso shot but more steamed milk that is blended with espresso. Thus, a traditional Latte has less but denser foam and much more creamer taste than Cappuccino. Having a denser foam allows you to shape the foam, thus latte art was born.

Barista Effect

The Barista Factor is vital in making both Cappuccino and Latte. He or she must be really good at it because if he/she isn’t, you can’t differentiate these two drinks from each other. In addition, some of the chain coffee shops made the differentiation process much harder as they give importance to speed, which is the main reason for inconsistent coffees, rather than quality.

If your Barista screws up the foam, then both drinks would be almost the same. Cappuccino has airy and light foam while latte has a much denser one. We can understand that microfoam on top of the both drinks, are the separator factor here as their uniqueness shapes around foam’s characteristics.


To sum up, these two, Cappuccino and Latte, are the most popular drinks in the world which have slight differences that make them unique. If you want to drink a strong and large drink that has fluffy microfoam on top of it, Cappuccino is your drink. On the other hand, if you want a mellow drink that has less foam, Latte is the one for you. Ultimately, whatever you drink, either Cappuccino or Latte, will satisfy you as they are two of the most delicious drinks in the world. Enjoy your drink and have a nice day!


Which has more caffeine: latte or cappuccino?

As we’ve answered it before, they have the same amount of caffeine as it depends on the number of espresso shots used. Both drinks have 1-2 espresso shots in them.

Which has more calories: latte or cappuccino?

The winner in this competition is latte because of the higher milk content it uses. Although it depends on serving size and amount of milk used, to give a reference point, Starbucks’s 16-ounce latte has 190 calories while Cappuccino has 120.

Which has more milk: latte or cappuccino?

A latte has way more steamed milk but less foam compared to Cappuccino.

Cappuccino vs Latte: Which One is Better?

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