What’s the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?
Least informed answer: They’re the same thing.
Somewhat informed answer (and the most common): Well, a cappuccino is a latte with more foamed milk on the top. It’s a little bit frothier.
Actual answer: A cappuccino is a drink of three equal parts espresso, milk, and foam. Since a regular double shot is 2 oz., a true cappuccino must be 6 oz. total. (Though I’ve had a few people tell me it could be closer to 7 oz. if you want to be picky.)
So there really isn’t such a thing as a 16 oz. cappuccino. That really would be just a latte with extra foam.
Some people refer to a “wet” or “dry” cappuccino. This is just an adjustment of the milk/foam ratio. A wet cappuccino has more milk, less foam. It’s inching closer to being a latte. A dry cappuccino has more foam, less milk. The coffee is less diluted and is closer to a macchiato.
To your average Starbucks fan, a true cappuccino would be WAY to strong.
“Macchiato” has an even more problematic definition than “cappuccino”. I’ll deal with it later.
Now, I should probably cite my sources for all of this. However, this is a blog, not a scholarly journal, so to heck with it!
Attaining the correct ratio of foam requires close attention be paid while steaming the milk, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly.
Partial Photo Credit
Filed under: Lore on September 29th, 2007