Lattes, Cappuccinos, and Macchiatos: What’s the Difference?

The difference between a latte, cappuccino, and macchiato

Going to the coffee shop used to be such a simple task – You’d order a regular or decaf, add your cream and sugar, and you’d be on your way.

But then creativity kicked into play, and dozens of new varieties of coffee techniques were created. Nowadays, it’s difficult to enter a coffee shop and even know what you’re ordering off the coffee board with all the different varieties of coffee that have names you can’t pronounce.

Just like the variety of concoctions you’d find on a cocktail menu, alternative variations of coffee types have skyrocketed in trend within the past few years.

For the genuine coffee enthusiast or barista, not knowing different types of coffee can be a considered a cardinal sin. Let’s take a look at some basic types of coffee so you’re better prepared next time you enter the coffee shop!

Latte – What is it?

Sometimes known as ‘Cafe Latte’, this Italian coffee literally translates to “Coffee with Milk”! A latte is made from 1/3 espresso, 2/3 hot milk and a layer of steamed foam. This highly popular coffee option is trending in all major countries of the world. The latte remains high in demand today with most coffee baristas getting creative with this delicious coffee by experimenting with coffee art designs as decoration.

Cappuccino – I’ve heard of that one, but what is it?

Also originating from an Italian tradition, this foamy coffee delight was has been extremely popular since the 1970’s. A cappuccino is made up of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 creamy foam (and we like to dust the top with some chocolate!). Still a popular choice among coffee consumers today, the subtle yet fully flavored cappuccino is definitely one of the top rated coffees at any cafe.

Macchiato – What’s in it?

The macchiato (meaning “mark” in Italian) is basically a cross between an espresso and a cappuccino. A macchiato is mostly espresso based with a dash (or ‘mark’!) of milk and foam on top to give it a creamy texture.

Now you know the difference between a latte, cappuccino, and macchiato! Head into your local coffee shop today and feel like a true ‘coffee snob’ while explaining these differences to your friends!