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Latte Vs. Cappuccino

Latte Vs. Cappuccino

Do you, like me, falter at the counter of a coffee shop and wonder what you want to have? Read this article to make the right choice about your daily cup of coffee.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Latte and cappuccino can be pitted against each other to create a one yummy bout! The explosion of numerous coffee shops in America and their franchisees has triggered artisan coffee beverages from nobodies of the coffee drinkers' world to favorites of the coffee drinkers' world.
Among the many yummy beverages and their exciting flavors that these coffee chains have on offer, the very basic but enjoyable latte and cappuccino have taken center stage.
While cappuccino caught up with Americans in the 1980s, the early 1990s saw the rise of latte, which ever since has been battling with cappuccino for the top spot in any coffee connoisseur's list.
Here's a lowdown on the two.
Take your pick...
Coffee Shops of the Yore
During the 15th century, Persian coffee houses gained immense popularity in the Middle East. They became a melting point for social interactions and gatherings.
Jean Chardin, a 17th century French traveler and author, described a Persian coffee house scene he witnessed during one of his travels - People engage in conversation, for it is there that news is communicated and where those interested in politics criticize the government in all freedom and without being fearful, since the government does not heed what the people say. Innocent games... resembling checkers, hopscotch, and chess, are played. In addition, mollas, dervishes, and poets take turns telling stories in verse or in prose. The narrations by the mollas and the dervishes are moral lessons, like our sermons, but it is not considered scandalous not to pay attention to them. No one is forced to give up his game or his conversation because of it.
Latte or Cappuccino: The Dilemma
The crazy multiplication of coffee shops created a latte vs. cappuccino dilemma for many. Latte and cappuccino may look familiar, sound familiar, but are two extremely distinct beverages. The basics are simple: coffee, milk and optional sweetening, and hence many take replacing one by the other, for granted. The preparation of both the beverages is different.
Cappuccino is prepared with espresso, milk and milk foam. When the milk for the cappuccino is being heated or steamed, froth is formed on the milk. This froth is whipped hard to form a thick but light foam, which is used to top the cappuccino. For whipping, a frothing machine can be used, or the foam can be manually added later or steaming milk can be poured from a height in such a way that the poured milk itself forms a layer of foam. The layer of foam on top should ideally be ⅓ of the content in the cup. Cappuccino is almost always served in a coffee cup with a saucer. Cappuccino, unlike latte, is not considered a trendy drink anymore. It is simple, basic and universal. Cappuccino was traditionally consumed with breakfast alongside cakes or pastries. In modern times, cappuccino has evolved into a routine anytime drink.
Fill a pitcher with steaming/warm milk, and foam the milk. Using an espresso machine, shoot two back-to-back espresso shots in a latte glass. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can just pour two cups of espresso from a considerable height into a latte glass. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso in the glass in such a way that the milk (without the foam) and espresso mix smoothly. Layer the milk foam on top of the latte gently. You can make designs or create shapes and forms of your choice, or just evenly layer the top of the glass entirely with foam. The layer of foam on top should ideally be ½ inch in thickness. The right method of serving the latte is in a 7 - 8 oz. glass. The glass is important, so that the individual drinking it is able to see the amount of milk added to his coffee. Latte in a tall but non-transparent mug is also catching up in the US. Some coffee shops use innovative latte art on the surface to make it appear more attractive. Lattes are consumed more during meetings, dates or reunions. Latte too was a breakfast drink in the 16th or 17th century, especially in Italy, but has eventually grown to be a more 'special occasion' drink in North America. It is served as a stand-alone beverage, but some cafes prefer tagging along a cookie or two with it.
Nutrition Comparison Chart

Coffee Shop Serving Size Calories Fat (gm) Carbs (gm) Protein (gm)
Starbucks 12 oz. 90 3.5 9 6
Dunkin Donuts 10 oz. 80 4 7 4
Tim Horton's 10 oz. 70 0 11 7
Caribou 12 oz. 90 4 9 8
Coffee Beanery 12 oz. 122.5 4.5 13 8.5

Coffee Shop Serving Size Calories Fat (gm) Carbs (gm) Protein (gm)
Starbucks 12 oz. 150 6 14 10
Dunkin Donuts 10 oz. 120 6 10 6
Tim Horton's 10 oz. 80 0 13 8
Caribou 12 oz. 140 6 13 10
Coffee Beanery 12 oz. 130 5 14 9

The latte vs. cappuccino debate is a delicate issue; it's hard to choose one; it's harder to resist either! In the end, both are coffee beverages with varying proportions of espresso coffee, milk and foam. The difference lies in their preparation, serving and consumption style. While both cappuccino and latte come in various (even exotic!) flavors in artisan coffee chains, they are best enjoyed in their original form.