A little bit of caffeine in the morning can be just the right way to start the day or a little bit during the middle of the day can be the perfect way to relax. Choosing a good coffee can be the perfect way to get that caffeine. But knowing the difference between latte and cappuccino drinks can help you figure out just which one is the best way to get that caffeine you’re really looking for. After all, they can get you just the right amount of caffeine with just the right flavor too, in slightly different ways.
The Difference Between Latte And Cappuccino is Simple
There’s actually only one difference between a latte and a cappuccino and it’s a super simple thing. The milk. With a latte, you’re going to have an espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. With a cappuccino, you’ll have the same three ingredients but you’re going to have a higher foamed milk to steamed milk ratio than with a latte. It’s just that simple.
With milk foam and no steamed milk, you’re getting a macchiato. With no milk foam and some steam milk, you’re getting a café au lait. So there are plenty of choices that are similar but just a little differently. The best thing is that you’re going to have the option to make it all exactly the way you like. If you’re making yourself a coffee drink at home it really doesn’t matter what you call it.
The best thing you can do is make sure that you put in all the ingredients that you like to get just the right type of balance. If you like a lot of foam and only a little-steamed milk or vice versa that’s entirely up to you. And if you want to call it a latte when it’s technically a cappuccino… well, no one is going to care but you (unless you order it out somewhere that is).
Making a Latte
Many people find it easier to make a latte with an espresso machine, complete with a milk frother. But you don’t need either of these things to get a great latte. You can actually make one quickly and easily without these expensive or specialty tools. All you need to do is get together all the ingredients and you’ll be ready to go.
- 2% milk
- To start making your latte you want to start with your espresso. If you’re not a fan of a true espresso you can use a strong brewed coffee to get a similar outcome without the super concentrated aspect of espresso. You can brew espresso in a specialty machine or you can simply brew your own coffee with a standard machine.
- You’ll need some frothy milk to go with it and that comes from pouring half a jar of milk and screwing on the lid. All you have to do to froth the milk is shake it up for about 30 seconds to a minute. It’ll start to froth and it’ll even start doubling in volume (which is why you only want to fill it up halfway).
- Now take the lid off your jar of frothy milk and put it in the microwave. You want to keep that foam and the best way to do it is in the microwave. Your foam will start to rise to the top of the rest of the milk in about 30 seconds, without overheating it. You’ll be all set to top off your coffee but wait a moment.
- Pour your espresso or strong coffee into a cup. A traditional latte goes into a slightly wider and shorter coffee cup than a regular coffee. You want to leave a bit of space in the cup since you’re going to add foam and warm milk to go along with the coffee.
- Once you’ve added your espresso you want to carefully pour the warm milk from underneath the foam. Try to keep the foam out of the way while you do and put just as much warm milk as you want (it’s entirely up to you).
- If you want some flavoring you can add syrup to the coffee right now to get just the right balance. You want to do this before you put the foam on the top. Use a teaspoon of vanilla or even almond extract or you can add your favorite syrup to get a little more flavor.
- Now use a spoon to pick up the foam off the top of your microwaved jar and add as much (or as little) foam as you want. Sprinkle a little bit of cocoa powder over the top and you’re all set and ready to drink your great latte. It’s really that simple.
- Adjust the warm milk and foam as you like to get just the right ratio for your own preference and taste. You can also add a little more or less espresso or opt for stronger brewed coffee as you prefer.
Making a Cappuccino
A cappuccino is actually extremely easy to make, even without any specialty products or tools. You can do it with your traditional coffee making ingredients and before you know it you’re going to have a great tasting drink that you can enjoy as often as you want, without having to get up super early to have one before you head off to work.
- 2% milk
- You’ll want to start out your cappuccino by making your steamed milk. You can make it the same way as with the latte above, but to give a little bit different option; you can also make steamed milk directly on the stove. You just need 1 cup of milk and a 2 quarts saucepan. Make sure not to heat it too quickly as it could burn. You want a little bit of bubbles, raising your milk to a simmer. Remove it from the heat before you get to a boil.
- Take the milk and use an electric mixer to start whipping it. You want to slowly increase the speed so you don’t get a huge mess (putting the mixer in too high when the milk is too thin can cause it to spill). As you increase the speed the milk will start to get thicker. You get to choose when the froth is right where you want it to be.
- Make up your coffee or espresso to the concentration that you want. You want to make sure you have a good amount of strength to it or you won’t have a really good cappuccino. You can use a French press, a traditional coffee maker or an espresso machine to get just the right type of coffee for your drink.
- Pour your coffee into a cup, which is generally the same type of cup as with a latte. You get a slightly wider and shorter cup than for a traditional cup of coffee. Remember to leave plenty of space for the warm milk and foam as well. You don’t want to overfill the cup.
- Next, pour some steamed milk into the cup to get the desired level. Typically you’ll want 1/3 of each ingredient to get just the balance, but this is going to depend on you and your personal preference as well.
- If you want a little bit of flavoring or some sweetener in your coffee you’ll want to add it right here. Put in a couple tablespoons of your favorite syrup or use a flavored milk to add some additional flavor and accent. The amount that you use is entirely up to you.
- Next, add just the right amount of foam on the top of your drink. With the 1/3 ratio for each, you’re going to have a good amount of balance and you’ll be ready to drink.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the ratio a little or opt for a little bit more or less strength to your coffee. You want it to be an enjoyable drink choice, after all.
- You can top your cappuccino with a little bit of cocoa powder or even a little bit of nutmeg like you would with a latte or you can leave it entirely plain on top. No matter what you like you can add a little bit of flavor to the top of the foam.
No matter which type of coffee you decide to go with, the difference between latte and cappuccino drinks is very simple and very small. It’s mostly about your own personal preference and the strength of the coffee, milk foam or steamed milk flavor that you’re looking for. Once you have your drink it’s time to start getting ready for the day or find a nice place to relax with a good book, a nice view, or whatever else you might want. After all, your coffee is the perfect complement to anything.