There is nothing more exhilarating than waking up to the smell of coffee as you begin your day. But amid the rising numbers of gourmet coffees out there, one still cannot help to choose the comforting flavors of latte and cappuccino. A little on the sweet side, these two flavors have sprinkled many coffeeholics lives with excitement and heavenly pleasure. But amid all these declaration of loyalty to a cappuccino and the other to a latte, many are still dumbfounded on which is which between the two. What make these coffee beverages distinctive of each other? To get your caffeinated blood flowing, here’s a quick take on café latte vs cappuccino.
Caffe latte, or simply latte, is bred out of the coffee-loving regions of Italy. It literally means “milk coffee”. It is often prepared at home intended for breakfast. Using a “Moka” pot, coffee is brewed and then, poured into a cup or mug that holds a rich portion of heated (not foamed) milk. American “latte” is predominantly patterned to that of its Italian predecessor. So is the flat white Down Under. In some places in the US, coffeeholics refer to the caffe latte as “wet cappuccino”.
Caffe latte is purely made up of coffee and hot steamed milk. Its difference to cappuccino is that it can be made from any kind of coffee or no coffee at all. Modern day latte may even be made without coffee by mixing milk into tea, macha, matte, or cocoa. Traditional Italian caffe latte usually does not contain foamed milk. In some areas around Europe and America, a stronger version of caffe latte is also being served at 1:1 ratio of strong bold coffee and scalded milk. Today, standard caffe latte servings are made with one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk, and approximately 5mm layer of foamed milk which either floats on top and often, with artistic concept.
Now, let’s scrutinize its almost-identical twin..
Originally called “kapuziner” in Austria, cappuccino used to contain be a delightful mixture of coffee, cream, spices and sugar. Cappuccino is adopted by Italy and is simply its Italian term for “kapuziner.” Sorry to burst your bubble but it really does not originate from the capuchin monks. The venerable Italian cappuccino rose to fame during Luigi Bezzera’s discovery of the expresso machine, which we now aptly called “espresso maker”. The rise to fame of cappuccino is attributed to the popularity of cream after World War II leading to its introduction to US soil in the 1980s.
Unlike caffe latte, the main base of cappuccino is espresso coffee. Traditionally, it is made of 1/3 espresso coffee, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foamed milk. Today, however, the froth on top often is too thick at 2cm sprinkled with spices, chocolate shavings or powder, sugar-y flavorings, and sometimes with fruit or protein. Unlike café latte where the attention is often directed to the coffee, the temperature and texture of milk is deemed crucial in a cappuccino. It must be steamed to create a microfoam to eventually produce a sweet sensational milk with smooth texture. This is why much of the cappuccino variations rely on its use of milk such as cappuccino chiaro and cappuccino scuro.
What’s Your Flavor
It is all about personal preference when it comes to picking which is best between caffee latte vs cappuccino. Aside from variety, this is even more so today when there are iced or cold versions of the said coffee beverages. Add to that the growing numbers of single-serve coffeemakers that allow home-made concoctions of lattes and cappuccinos. If you are into gourmet coffee, you may even make your own blend of caffee latte or cappuccino to suit your quirky taste.