Difference Between Cafe Latte and Cappuccino

Cafe Latte vs Cappuccino

Have you been to a coffee shop and could not decide between cafe latte and cappuccino as you did not know the difference between cafe latte and cappuccino? You are not alone, many people face this situation. The popularity of coffee among people all over the world remains undisputed. Owing to its popularity, there exists quite a number of ways to prepare this beverage that one can have either hot or cold. In fact, coffee making has become an art in itself and the crowds have always appreciated a talented barista. Café latte and cappuccino are two types of coffees that are almost always confused with one another.

What is Cafe Latte?

A cafe latte, which translates itself to mean milk coffee, is a coffee beverage that is made with steamed milk and espresso. The term café latte had first been used in 1867 by William Dean Howells in his essay Italian Journeys.However in Italy, café latte is almost exclusively prepared at home and is had only at breakfast. In this version, coffee that is brewed in a stovetop Moka pot is poured into a cup that contains heated milk. However, outside Italy, café latte is typically presented in 240 ml glass cup filled with steamed milk along with a standard shot of espresso, either single, 30 ml or double, 60 ml topped with a layer of foamed milk approximately 12 mm. A café latte can also be prepared in a combination of strong coffee and scalded milk in 1:1 ratio. However, a typical café latte would consist of 1/4 espresso, 1/2 steamed milk, and 1/4 of milk foam on top.

cafe latte

What is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is an essentially Italian coffee beverage prepared with hot milk, espresso and steamed milk foam. The name derives from the habit of the Capuchin friars, the colour of which resembles the colour of the cappuccino.

Cappuccinos are typically prepared in an espresso machine. The espresso is poured into the bottom third of the cup with the same amount of hot milk that has been prepared by the steam wand of an espresso machine by way of heating and texturing. The top part of the drink consists of foam upon which the popular latte art can be performed. A traditional cappuccino would be a beverage that would be about 150–180 ml, consisting of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 milk foam. However , commercially, a cappuccino would be around 360 ml.

Difference Between Cafe Latte and Cappuccino

What is the difference between Café Latte and Cappuccino?

For the non-coffee drinker, there would not be much difference between a café latte and cappuccino. However, for the coffee aficionado, a café latte and a cappuccino may be worlds apart.

• A cappuccino is traditionally served in a smaller size (150–180 ml) while the amount served in a café latte is much more (200-300 ml).

• A cappuccino is usually served in a coffee cup with handle. A café latte is served in a tall glass.

• A cappuccino is prepared with steamed milk. A café latte is prepared with steamed or scalded milk.

• A cappuccino has a 1cm+ topped layer of textured milk micro foam. A café latte either does not have a layer of foam or the layer of foam would only be about 12 mm.

• The café latte originated in the United States. The origin of the cappuccino is Italy.


Photos By: Mechie Choa Yu (CC BY 2.0), Sven Lindner (CC BY 2.0)

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Latte and Coffee
  2. Difference Between Latte and Mocha
  3. Difference Between Mocha and Cappuccino
  4. Difference Between Espresso and Cappuccino