What is the difference between Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino?
Food

What is the difference between Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino?

Ever been to a cafe and wondered what an espresso, latte and cappuccino are? All three look the same and have almost the same ingredients, yet they are different from one another. Read the blog below to understand better their differences and how they are unique in their own way. 

Introduction:

People have their own preferences when it comes to coffee. Some like it light, some medium, and there are some who like to taste the pure, bitter taste of coffee. Over the years, coffee has evolved, and it now has several variations that people can choose according to their tastes. Some of the most popular variations are espresso, latte, and cappuccino. 

Before we get deeper into the differences between these three types of coffee, we will see why coffee is one of the most beloved drinks of people around the world.

For the love of Coffee:

Coffee is a drink that has fascinated many people worldwide. Its bitter-sweet taste is what most people crave when they wake up or when they are tired. One of the main reasons for this coffee craze is the amount of caffeine present in it. The caffeine present in coffee stimulates the body’s metabolism, making them feel less tired and increasing productivity. 

Coffee is a social drink. It is what many drinks during gatherings or business meetings. Be it a gathering of friends, an official meeting with your clients or superiors, or a date with your crush, coffee is your best companion.

Did you know?
Coffee is the second largest trading commodity in the world, the first being crude oil. It is the most liked beverage to drink by people after water. 
  • Espresso:

If you are a coffee lover, you would have definitely heard of espresso, but do you know what it is and how it is made? You can walk into any coffee shop, and you will notice that some people order a straight espresso while others order a shot of espresso in their regular coffee. To put it in simple words, espresso is a coffee brewing method where a small amount of boiling water is forced through finely ground coffee. It can be made with various coffee beans and roast degrees. 

It’s LeviOsa…not LevioSA!!!
Just like that, it’s eSpresso… not eXpresso!!!
  • Brewing Methods:

There is no standard method for brewing espresso, but it is generally made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground-pressed coffee. This process is called “pulling” a shot. A handle is connected to a spring-loaded piston in the espresso machine, which the barista pulls down to force hot water through the ground coffee beans. The latest types of espresso machines, however, have an electric pump to produce the pressure.

Brewing the perfect shot of espresso can be a complex and elaborate process. It requires a perfect combination of coffee quality, extraction pressure and time, water temperature, coffee grind, and more. If only one of these is not done right, then your espresso shot will only be average. Here is how you can make the best espresso with an espresso machine.

  • Use quality water: Fill up the water tank with good-quality water. 
  • Turn on the machine: Turn on the espresso machine and heat the boiler.
  • Dose coffee: Make sure you use the right amount of coffee. For a single shot of espresso (solo), you can use up to 7-9 grams of coffee. For a double shot espresso (doppio), use 14-18 grams of coffee beans.
  • Grind coffee: Grind your coffee beans finely. The texture should be comparable to that of table salt. 
  • Fill Portafilter: Distribute your coffee grounds into the portafilter evenly. Give the portafilter a light tap for perfect distribution. 
  • Tamp it: Give it a good tamp. Use about 30 pounds of pressure.
  • Time to brew: Lock the portafilter onto the brew head of your machine and start brewing.
  • Pull the Shot: Aim for about 25 seconds of extraction time. It can vary up and down by 5 seconds based on the fineness of the coffee grind.
How espresso was born…
Did you know that espresso machines were first called “Fast Coffee Machines”? Its inventor, Luigi Bezzera, ended up brewing espresso because he wanted his coffee to be made faster.  
  • Latte: 

Caffè latte, or latte in English, is a type of coffee beverage made with espresso and steamed milk. The term “caffè latte” literally means “coffee and milk”. It has many variants, including the chocolate-flavoured mocha latte, replacing coffee with masala chai, matcha (green tea), or turmeric. There is also the Iced Latte, which is a combination of espresso and chilled milk poured over ice. The espresso is pre-chilled in order to avoid warming up the milk. 

Latte can also be vegan-friendly
Lattes can also be made using almond, soy, or oat milk since they foam the same way as cow milk. This variant is popular among vegans and lactose-intolerant people.

Preparation method:

A latte is basically one part espresso and two parts steamed milk, with a layer of foam on the top. It is usually served in a large cup with latte art or decorations made using milk foam. Below is how you can make the perfect caffè latte.

  • Cool the milk: Fill a stainless steel frothing pitcher about halfway with wholemilk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes since cold milk produces more foam than warm milk. 
  • Get your espresso ready: Freshly ground coffee beans produces the best coffee grounds. So get  your coffee beans ready and make the perfect espresso using the methods we saw above.
  • Prepare the cup: Warm up your latte cup with boiling hot water.
  • Time to steam: Your espresso machine will have a steaming wand that will produce steam. Take your milk out of the fridge and submerge the steaming wand into the centre of the frothing pitcher. Release steam until milk is frothy and reaches 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. (Note: Keep the wand near the top initially, then gradually lower it as the milk increases in volume, but don’t let it touch the bottom of the pitcher).
  • Prepare your latte: Pour espresso into your latte cup and top it with milk and froth. You can add sugar or other flavours to your preference.

Cappuccino:

Cappuccino is also a type of coffee made using espresso as the base. But unlike latte, which has more steamed milk with a thin layer of foam, cappuccino has equal amounts of milk and foam. It is typically smaller in volume than a latte and has a thicker layer of foam.

When it comes to making latte, the most important factors you need to focus on are the temperature and texture of the milk. A usual cup of cappuccino is made with a single shot of espresso on which hot foamed milk is added to form a thick layer of foam on the top. Two shots of espresso with more foamed milk can be added to get a larger cup of cappuccino.

Did you know?
The name ‘cappuccino’ is derived from the Capuchin friars, an Italian order of monks, since the capuchin robes are of similar colour to the cappuccinos.

Steaming the milk for cappuccinos requires accurate skill and close attention to attain the correct ratio of foam. Due to this, cappuccinos are one of the most challenging coffee beverages to make. Lattes can be made in two ways. One is to have a thick layer of foam on the top, or you can make them artistically using ‘latte art’.

Variations of the drink include the use of cream instead of milk, using non-dairy milk substitutes (soy milk or almond milk), and adding flavours like chocolate or cinnamon powder. 

Comparison: 

EspressoLatteCappuccino
Contents100% brew⅓ espresso⅔ steamed milk with a layer of foam⅓ espresso⅓ steamed milk⅓ milk foam
Caffeine LevelApprox 63mg in 1 ounceApprox 173mg in 16 ouncesApprox 173mg in 16 ounces
TasteBitter-sweet tasteSubtle coffee flavour with a sweet tasteMore coffee flavour with mild sweetness
ColourA dark colour – between brown and blackLight brownDark brown
Calories3 per shot19080
PriceApprox Rs. 116Approx Rs. 235Approx Rs. 175

The perfect coffee powder for the perfect coffee:

Now, you have seen that espresso is the main ingredient for latte and cappuccino, and the quality of the coffee beans used to brew espresso determines the taste of the coffee. It is better to have freshly ground coffee beans to brew espresso. But if you don’t have them, you can always opt for high-quality coffee powders produced by well-known coffee brands. 

Levista is a renowned coffee brand with more than 60 years of experience in the coffee industry. We, at Levista, aim to provide our customers with premium, high-quality coffee powder. Our coffee powder is made from finely picked Arabica and Robusta beans that are then expertly roasted to provide you with the best coffee experience.

We offer you three choices of strong, premium, and classic pure instant coffee. Whatever type of coffee you find that suits your taste, Levista has it for you.

Conclusion: Choosing your coffee:

In this blog, we have seen the differences and the preparation methods for espresso, latte, and cappuccino. So, based on your preferences, you can choose your type of coffee and enjoy it every day. Hope this blog was helpful to you in choosing your favourite coffee type.