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Cappuccino vs. Latte: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 18, 2023
Cappuccino is a coffee drink with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam; latte is espresso with more steamed milk and less foam.

Key Differences

Cappuccino and latte are both popular coffee drinks but have distinct differences in their composition. Cappuccino typically consists of one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam. On the other hand, latte is made primarily of espresso and steamed milk, with only a small amount of foam on top.
Originating in Italy, cappuccino took its name from the Capuchin monks due to the color resemblance of their robes with the beverage. Latte, deriving from the Italian "caffè latte" or "milk coffee", emphasizes the milk-heavy nature of the drink.
While cappuccino has a strong coffee flavor due to the balanced ratio of its components, latte provides a creamier taste because of its higher milk content. The thick layer of foam in cappuccino offers a textured feel in each sip, whereas the smoother consistency of latte gives it a more velvety mouthfeel.
When ordered at a café, cappuccino is often served in smaller cups, emphasizing its dense and flavorful nature. A latte, conversely, is generally presented in larger cups or glasses, showcasing its milky abundance.
In terms of presentation, cappuccino often has a rich, dark coffee appearance beneath its foam layer, making the foam stand out prominently. Latte, with its minimal foam, can be artistically topped with latte art, where baristas create designs using steamed milk.

Comparison Chart


Equal parts espresso, milk, and foam.
Espresso with more milk and minimal foam.

Taste & Texture

Strong coffee flavor, textured feel.
Creamier taste, velvety feel.

Origin of Name

Resembles Capuchin monk robes.
Italian for "milk coffee".

Serving Size

Typically smaller cups.
Larger cups or glasses.


Dark coffee beneath prominent foam.
Minimal foam, often with latte art.

Cappuccino and Latte Definitions


A café offering that's often garnished with cocoa or cinnamon.
My cappuccino came with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.


An Italian-inspired beverage emphasizing its milk content.
The latte had a delightful creamy texture.


A coffee style characterized by its three-layer composition.
The distinct layers in my cappuccino were a treat to the eye.


A popular café order, often adorned with artful milk designs.
The barista drew a heart on my latte.


A beverage resembling the brown robes of Capuchin monks.
The rich hue of my cappuccino reminded me of history.


A coffee drink made primarily of espresso and steamed milk.
After dinner, he usually sips on a latte.


A coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and topped with foam.
I ordered a cappuccino to kickstart my morning.


A drink known for its milder coffee taste due to high milk ratio.
For those who like it mild, a latte is the perfect choice.


A drink with a balance of strong coffee flavor and milk smoothness.
She preferred a cappuccino for its harmonious blend.


A creamy concoction served in larger volumes than its foamy counterpart.
I was in the mood for a big cup, so I chose a latte.


Espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream.


A caffe latte.


A serving of this beverage.


A drink of coffee made from espresso and steamed milk, generally topped with foam.


(uncountable) An Italian coffee-based beverage made from espresso to which milk that has been steamed and/or frothed is added; (countable) a cup of this beverage.


A similar drink, where the espresso is replaced with some other flavoring ingredient such as chai, maté or matcha (green tea).


Any of various similar drinks.


Same as cafe latte; a type of espresso coffee served with foamy steamed milk, and usually served in a tall glass or mug.


A medium- to dark-brown colour like that of the coffee drink (sense 1) or the habit of a Capuchin monk.


Strong espresso coffee with a topping of frothed steamed milk


Can I have a cappuccino with no foam?

Without foam, it's closer to a latte.

Can I have chocolate in my cappuccino or latte?

Yes, when added, it's often called a "mocha" for both drinks.

What's the primary difference between cappuccino and latte?

Cappuccino has equal parts espresso, milk, and foam, while latte has more milk and less foam.

Which has more calories, a cappuccino or a latte?

Lattes, due to their higher milk content, generally have more calories.

Which is creamier, cappuccino or latte?

Latte is creamier due to its higher milk-to-espresso ratio.

How is the milk texture different in a cappuccino vs. a latte?

Cappuccino has textured foam, while latte milk is velvety.

Is latte art possible on a cappuccino?

It's more common on lattes due to their smoother surface, but some baristas can craft art on cappuccinos too.

Is the espresso shot the same in both cappuccino and latte?

Typically, yes, but the milk quantity varies.

How important is the foam in a cappuccino?

It's a defining feature, making up one-third of the drink.

Where did the name cappuccino originate?

It's inspired by the brown robes of the Capuchin monks.

Which drink is larger, cappuccino or latte?

Lattes are typically served in larger volumes than cappuccinos.

Do cappuccinos have more caffeine than lattes?

The caffeine content is primarily from the espresso, so it's similar if both have the same number of espresso shots.

Can I have a cold cappuccino or latte?

Yes, iced versions of both drinks are available in many cafes.

Are cappuccino and latte Italian inventions?

Both have Italian roots, but their modern forms have evolved globally.

Can I have alternative milk in my cappuccino or latte?

Yes, many cafes offer options like almond, soy, or oat milk for both drinks.

What does "latte" mean?

Latte means "milk" in Italian, referring to its milk-heavy composition.

Which has a stronger coffee taste, cappuccino or latte?

Cappuccino typically has a stronger coffee flavor due to its balanced components.

Can I get a flavored cappuccino or latte?

Yes, many cafes offer flavored syrups for both.

Is cappuccino sweeter than latte?

Neither is inherently sweeter, but the milk in lattes can give a perception of mild sweetness.

Can I make a cappuccino or latte at home without a machine?

While machines help, you can froth milk manually and use strong brewed coffee as a substitute for espresso.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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