Latte vs. Cappuccino – Which is the Better Coffee Drink?

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Latte vs. Cappuccino

Going to your favorite coffee place? No one these days seems to order a “regular” coffee (with milk and 2 sugars). Everyone has a more elaborate coffee. Two of the most popular coffee drinks are the latte and the cappuccino So which of these delicious drinks is going to win this battle?

Some people just can’t start their day without their preferred brew. Others couldn’t imagine their weekend without indulging in that favored coffee drink. It used to be the only place you could find these drinks would be at a coffee place or in your own home with an elaborate espresso machine. But today you can find your latte and cappuccino just about anywhere, from your neighborhood diner, the place you pick up your bagel and almost anywhere you enjoy a great meal. Many people love these drinks.

We don’t know which one you’d rather have in your cup. But we do know that coffee drinkers are a bit particular. Now we are not going to call you a snob by any stretch of the word, maybe a little fussy though – you just want exactly what you want. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing we think. So let us know which you’d drink: the latte or the cappuccino!





The yummy latte is a coffee drink that is made with just two ingredients: espresso and steamed milk. But somehow these two ingredients make it taste delicious every time! The actual coffee drink is called a “caffe latte” which translates into “milk coffee.” But just about everyone calls it a latte, and we all know what they want to order or are drinking.

The latte is thought to have been created in the 1950’s by one of the owners of the Caffe Mediterranean in Berkeley, California. Lattes really became popular in the 1980’s in Seattle – with great thanks to Starbucks one might think – and then they traveled across the USA over the next decade. At this point, just about everyone who has wanted to have a latte, has had one.

Lattes have a mild taste, almost sweet. The espresso has a richer taste than coffee, so this is much different from drinking “just” coffee with milk.


The latte can have slight variations with the addition of syrups – both with sugar or sugar free. These can include caramel, vanilla and chocolate to name a few flavors. Soy milk can also be substituted for the steamed milk.

Latte art has become popular, as baristas create awesome “paintings” using the steamed milk poured into the espresso, or using the white foam that tops the drink. The heart, rosette and fern are popular forms of latte art. But elaborate images have been created by accomplished artists who love lattes.

Baristas and amateurs even have latte art competitions. Latte art began in the USA in the 1980s but originates from Italy. This is a favorite for many latte drinkers and fans.

The latte is a generous drink, often served in a large cup the size of a soup bowl. If you are looking to warm up on a cold day, the latte can be an ideal choice.



For many, the preferred specialty coffee drink is a cappuccino. You’ll find espresso and hot milk in this drink. It is topped with lots of frothy steamed milk foam. The top often has lots of yummy cinnamon or something sweet and delicious like bits of chocolate that go so well with this rich, hot coffee drink. The name “cappuccino” originates from the Capuchin friars, the color of the drink is similar to the color of their habits (religious clothing). The hoods these monks wore was a similar color to the drink we’ve all come to know and love.

The cappuccino has been around since the 17th century. That’s a lot of people drinking cappuccinos! If you order it in a European coffee house, be prepared to be served a smaller drink. In the USA you’ll get a 12 oz, or even larger cappuccino. But in Europe you’ll see a drink that is about ½ the size of that. One thing is for sure: this is a drink to savor and enjoy.


Many love the cappuccino because it is topped with something sweet. It is the perfect choice if you have a sweet tooth, or want a coffee drink to compliment a biscotti or cookie.

The cappuccino is a favored drink because of its rich flavor. The espresso in it gives it a far richer flavor than coffee would.

This is a classic “coffee house” drink to order. You can get this drink hot or iced if you are looking for a refreshing summer treat.

While it is called “latte” art, you’ll often find baristas that will create this artistic images on your cappuccino too!


This is often a mild tasting drink, with the rich taste of espresso as an “aftertaste.” If you are looking for a stronger tasting drink, you’ll want something other than a latte.

If you have frugal tastes, you wont be pleased ordering lattes (or other coffee house drinks for that matter). Expect to pay at least $3 to $4 for a single drink. A regular coffee is often less expensive, and still gives you that “jolt” of caffeine if that’s what you need to start your day.


Some would consider the latte to be a more popular drink. It is a more “mainstream” drink that is easier to find at places that are not coffee houses.

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to be sure to tell the barista before they add raw sugar to the top of your drink. Otherwise your drink will have a taste that you aren’t expecting and wont like very much.

And Finally…

If you’re standing on line at the coffee house, you’ll want to know which drink to pick. Both of these drinks are available either hot or iced, so they are the perfect accompaniment to your day no matter the season or temperature. Some may prefer the cappuccino because it satisfies the sweet tooth. Others may reach for the latte because of its milder taste. Both drinks have espresso and milk in them and are considered favorite coffee drinks. Enjoy your latte or cappuccino!

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