Cappuccino Vs. Americano Vs. Latte: What’s The Difference?

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Which coffee beverage will give you the best morning boost? If so, you’re in luck. We’ve done all of the work for you! This post discusses and compares cappuccino vs. americano vs. latte. 

Everyone’s taste buds are different when it comes to coffee. But choosing between a cappuccino, americano, or latte can be tricky if you’re looking for an invigorating caffeine hit without compromising taste. 

So let us help ease your decision-making process with a comprehensive guide to these three popular coffee drinks. 

We’ll explain where each drink originates, how they differ in taste and caffeine content, and why some might suit your needs better. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Cappuccino?

cappuccino coffee

Cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink traditionally prepared with espresso, steamed milk, and foam. It originated in the 16th century in the Italian city of Venice and has since become a popular beverage worldwide. 

The traditional cappuccino comprises one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third frothed or foamed milk. Depending on where it’s served, cappuccinos can be made with various types of coffee beans and flavored syrups added to them. 

The word ‘cappuccino‘ comes from Capuchin friars – members of a religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi – who wore hoods similar to those seen on some versions of this beverage today.

What Is Americano Coffee?

Americano coffee is an espresso-based drink prepared by diluting an espresso shot with hot water, resulting in a beverage similar to filtered coffee. It originated in Italy but has gained popularity worldwide for its taste and convenience. 

Americano coffee combines one or two shots of espresso with hot water, typically served over ice or as a regular warm cup. Some variations may include adding crema, sweeteners such as sugar or syrups, and milk. Its name originates from the Italian phrase “caffè americano,” which means “American Coffee.” 

The name was initially used sarcastically by Italians because the diluted version of espresso was considered less flavorful than traditional Italian-style espressos. 

Today Americano coffees are enjoyed worldwide due to their unique flavor profile and convenience compared to other brewed coffees.

What Is Latte?

Latte is a coffee beverage that usually contains espresso and steamed milk. It has become increasingly popular over the last few decades, with specialty cafes featuring multiple variations. 

The name “latte” is derived from the Italian word for “milk” (Latte macchiato), which refers to its combination of espresso and milk. This drink originated in Italy, where it is widely consumed as part of traditional café culture. 

It typically features one or two shots of espresso combined with steamed milk or foam on top. Depending on preference, this could be served hot or cold, with flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla syrup, or cocoa powder added to create different varieties. 

Related: Cappuccino Vs. Macchiato Vs. Latte: A Guide To The Differences.

Cappuccino Vs. Americano Vs. Latte: The Key Differences

Cappuccino Vs. Americano Vs. Latte

Taste And Flavor

Cappuccinos are espresso-based drinks with a thick foam layer on top. The flavor is strong and intense, with the espresso taste taking center stage. The milk used in cappuccinos has been steamed and aerated to create a creamy texture. 

An americano is an espresso-based drink that dilutes an espresso shot with hot water. This makes for a less bitter and more mellow flavor than regular espresso shots and a richer mouthfeel due to the addition of water. 

It also has more caffeine than coffee drinks such as lattes or cappuccinos since it uses two shots of espresso instead of one. 

Lattes are espresso-based drinks made by combining steamed milk and one shot of espresso in a ratio typically three parts milk to 1 part coffee (though this can vary). 

The result is a milder, creamier coffee with less bitterness than its counterparts—it may even be sweetened depending on how much sugar you add!

Brewing Method

Cappuccino is made by pulling a shot of espresso and then adding an equal amount of steamed milk and foam on top. The espresso is brewed using a traditional, high-pressure machine that forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

On the other hand, Americano is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. This method dilutes the espresso’s intense flavor while retaining its smoothness and crema. The coffee grounds are typically coarser than those used for cappuccinos or lattes because they need to allow water to pass through easily.

Latte involves more milk than either cappuccino or Americano. It begins with a shot (or two) of espresso added into steamed milk, in which the barista has created some microfoam – small bubbles that give the latte its signature velvety texture. 

A latte also usually contains less foam than a cappuccino but more milk than an Americano.

All three beverages have unique brewing methods based on what ingredients make up their recipe – from grinding coffee beans correctly to finding perfect ratios between shots and pouring liquids.

Milk Preparation

Cappuccino: Milk is steamed or frothed using a steam wand and added to espresso in a proportion of 1/3 and 2/3 steamed milk. 

Americano: Hot water is added to one shot or two shots of espresso.  It may also be made with cold water, producing a different flavor.  No milk is used for an Americano.

Latte: Milk is steamed (or heated) using a steam wand until it reaches about 150°F and then poured into the coffee cup. The ratio of coffee to milk in a latte should be 1 part espresso to 3 parts steamed milk.

Caffeine Content

When it comes to caffeine content, cappuccino is the winner! It contains around 145mg of caffeine per cup. The americano follows close behind with an impressive 80mg, and a latte lags far behind at only 75mg per cup. 

But remember, these measurements are based on one-cup sizes, so if you’re looking for a real pick-me-up, a double espresso may be the best choice!

Health Considerations

When considering the health implications of cappuccino, americano, or latte, it is important to consider the calorie count. 

A standard cappuccino contains approximately 62 calories per 12-ounce cup; an americano has 15 calories, and a latte has 130 calories per 12-ounce cup.

 Additionally, if you’re looking for added benefits from your coffee drink, try adding milk substitutes like almond milk, which is high in calcium and protein but low in fat and cholesterol.

The Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison table highlighting the key differences between cappuccino, americano, and latte:

DefinitionEspresso, steamed milk, and foam.Espresso diluted with hot water.Espresso and steamed milk.
Taste and FlavorStrong and intense espresso flavor.Mellow flavor, less bitter than espresso.Milder, creamier, and customizable.
Caffeine ContentApprox. 145mg per cup.Approx. 80mg per cup.Approx. 75mg per cup.
Brewing MethodEqual parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam.Espresso shot diluted with hot water.Espresso shot combined with steamed milk.
Milk PreparationSteamed or frothed milk is added in a proportion of 1/3.No milk was added.Steamed milk is added in a ratio of 3 parts milk to 1 part espresso.
Calorie Content (12-ounce cup)Approx. 62 calories.Approx. 15 calories.Approx. 130 calories.
Milk SubstitutesCan be used with various milk substitutes.It can be used with various milk substitutes.It can be made with milk substitutes like almond milk.

Similar Coffee Comparison Guides

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cappuccino, americano, and latte offer a unique coffee experience. Cappuccino is strong and creamy, the americano is mellow and convenient, and the latte is creamy and customizable. 

The caffeine content varies, with cappuccino having the most and latte having the least. Consider the calorie count, with americano being the lowest and latte being the highest. Ultimately, choose based on your preferences. 


Is Americano Sweet Or Not?

By itself, an Americano is not sweet as it is simply a diluted espresso shot. However, you can add sweeteners like sugar or flavored syrups to customize the taste according to your preference.

Why Is Americano The Best Coffee?

The idea of “the best” coffee is subjective and varies from person to person based on individual preferences. However, some people enjoy Americano for its milder flavor than espresso, the convenience of customizing the strength by adjusting the amount of water added, and its versatility in serving both hot and iced.

What Is Healthier, Americano Or Latte?

In terms of calorie content, an Americano is generally lower in calories than a latte. A latte contains more milk, which adds to the calorie count. However, when it comes to health considerations, it depends on individual dietary needs and preferences. 

Can You Add Milk To Americano?

Yes, you can add milk to an Americano if desired. Some people enjoy adding a small amount of milk or cream to customize the flavor and texture of their Americano. However, it’s important to note that traditionally, an Americano does not contain milk by default.

Why Add Water First In Americano?

The water is added first in an Americano to dilute the espresso shot. This process replicates the strength and volume of a regular brewed coffee while maintaining espresso’s characteristics. Adding water first helps achieve a balanced flavor profile and allows for customization by adjusting the drink’s strength.

Written and Published by:

Hello! I'm Joe, the face behind this myperfectgrind,com. While I may not be an expert, my love for coffee runs deep. Through my website, I aim to share my personal experiences, discoveries, and the joy that coffee brings me. Join me as we explore the world of coffee together, learning, growing, and enjoying every cup along the way. Learn more.