Cappuccino vs. Latte vs. Macchiato — What’s the Difference?

Cappuccino vs. Latte vs. Macchiato — What’s the Difference?

A cappuccino is an Italian coffee made with espresso, steamed milk, and cocoa or cinnamon powder on top. Most North American baristas would call a dry cappuccino “espresso with foam.” That’s because when you order one in the U.S., they tend to use too little steamed milk.

A proper cappuccino has 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam—and many Italians might complain if it weren’t scorched (the “European style”). It should never be topped with more than a dusting of cocoa or cinnamon powder; anything else is considered very unappealing to an Italian.

A latte is a North American invention that you’ll find in most places across the States and Canada, though not so much in Europe. Espresso and steamed milk are usually topped with a little bit of foam (aka microfoam); it can be made wetter by using more steamed milk than dry.

This makes it more like what you get at Starbucks or Tim Hortons on this side of the Atlantic—it’s often referred to as an “americano.” A latte macchiato is a latte with a touch of foam on top (macchia means mark/stain/spot). It should never be too wet; some people think that making it any wetter than steamed milk with tiny foam ruins the espresso taste.

Cappuccino vs. Latte :

1. Cappuccino is typically served in a 6- to 8-ounce cup, while latte may be performed in a 9- to 12-ounce glass.

2. With the addition of foam on top of cappuccinos, it is sometimes difficult to tell where the steamed milk ends, and the foamed milk begins, while with latte macchiatos or lattes with large amounts of steamed milk, distinct layers are visible.

3. Lattes have more steamed milk than cappuccinos; the ratio is usually nine parts milk for everyone part espresso.

4. Lattes are typically topped with just foam or microfoam that sits atop the steamed milk, not dry frothed foam like cappuccinos.

5. The espresso used in lattes is usually more nuanced than in cappuccinos, and the espresso/milk ratio is higher with lattes.

A latte contains more steamed milk than a cappuccino; the nine-to-one ratio mentioned above means that about nine ounces of milk are added to every one ounce of espresso (although this can vary).

Many baristas will steam extra milk to top off your cup when they make you a latte, making it closer to what we think of as “frothy” in North America. Still, if yours comes topped with just microform, you know you’re getting an adequately made Italian latte macchiato.

Latte vs. Macchiato:

1. A latte is typically served in a 9- to 12-ounce glass, while macchiato may be served in an espresso cup.

2. Macchiatos and lattes are made by adding steamed milk and foam to espresso shots; however, the espresso shot is “marked” with just a tiny amount of foam (hence the name).


3. Macchio means mark/stain/spot in Italian; thus, when you order a macchiato, all you want is a bit of foam as a “mark” on top of your drink.

4. With lattes and cappuccinos, milky foam sits atop the drink. Only a thin layer of foam sits on top of the macchiato, allowing the drinker to see the espresso underneath.

5. Lattes are typically topped with just foam or microfoam that sits atop the steamed milk, not dry frothed foam like cappuccinos.

6. The espresso used in lattes is usually more nuanced than in cappuccinos, and the espresso/milk ratio is higher with lattes.

A macchiato contains no more milk than a regular espresso shot; it should have just enough steamed milk “marked” by a bit of foam on top (hence its name).

If you order one in Italy, your barista will probably ask if you want your espresso topped with more foam than that; the answer is yes. If yours comes without much milk at all, it’s probably because they made it incorrectly and didn’t steam and froth enough milk.

Difference between latte and macchiato

Latte vs. mocha vs. macchiato:

It is often confusing to find out what exactly goes into a latte, mocha, and macchiato. These are all different kinds of coffee drinks made with espresso. The difference between these beverages lies in the types of milk used and their proportions. Here is everything you need to know about three of the most popular types of coffee drinks: latte vs. mocha vs. macchiato!

What Does Mocha Mean?

Before we talk about the differences between latte vs. mocha vs. macchiato, it helps to understand precisely what “mocha” means. A mocha drink gets its name from the chocolate-flavored powder added to this coffee drink to mimic the flavors of chocolate. This powder is typically made from cocoa powder, sugar, and crushed vanilla beans.

Adding a chocolate flavor to coffee can be traced back to 18th century Yemen, but this mixture did not contain the ingredients we would consider mocha today. Turkish drinkers added the chocolate flavor, ground coffee beans, and sugar cane molasses. This concoction caught on around Europe, becoming popular in France and Italy before crossing North America.

Macchiato vs cappuccino:

Once coffee drinks with these flavorful ingredients caught on, the term “mocha” became used to refer to any hot or cold drink that included chocolate flavors. This is why you have mocha brownies and ice cream today! However, three different mochas are most commonly seen in North American coffee shops: latte mocha vs. cappuccino mocha vs. macchiato mocha.


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