What Is the Difference Between a Latte and a Cappuccino?
Fundamentally, these drinks are defined by their texture, which is determined by the ratio of ingredients: A cappuccino has more foam by volume than a latte does. A latte tends to comprise mostly of gently steamed milk with a kiss of foam on top, just enough so that it’s mostly gone after a sip or two, though it informs the overall mouthfeel of the entire delightful drink. One really easy way to remember this is to translate the word latte from the Italian to the English: It simply means “milk.” (In fact, in lots of smart-alecky Italian bars, if you simply order a latte they will give you a glass of milk; a caffe latte is actually what you want, and will more often produce the correct results.)
The term cappuccino has disputed origins, but many repeat the legend that the drink is named for the Capuchin monks, an order of Catholic brothers who wore brown cowls and shaved their heads bald. If you look down on a properly poured cappuccino, it has a design on it called a “monk’s head,” a ring of brown espresso circling a thick white ball of foam—just like an aerial view of one of these monks, or so it goes. (Just think of a “cap” as a hat, or a topping, of foam—that should help you remember the difference.) Ideally, or traditionally speaking, a cappuccino is meant to be a perfect ratio of the components: 1/3 espresso coffee, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam.
Once you’ve gotten your milk just gently textured, you’re ready to rock and roll with some of the hottest drink trends. A little sprinkle of turmeric into your espresso or strong-brewed coffee will bring you close to the Instagram craze of a golden latte (or, fine, a golden cappuccino—whatever you prefer). PS: Replace the “instant coffee” in this recipe with the real stuff. You’re worth it. Get the recipe.
Technically an “iced cappuccino” doesn’t really exist (who wants to scoop hot foam onto an iced drink?), but iced lattes are so easy and so delicious you won’t even care. Shaken all together, they can even have a fizzy texture that delights without the fuss! Get the recipe.
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