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Cappuccino vs Latte: Which Has More Caffeine?

Cappuccino vs Latte

Last updated on May 21st, 2024 at 10:28 am

Certainly! Let’s kick off our coffee journey with an engaging and informative introduction to the fascinating topic of Cappuccino vs. Latte Caffeine. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee lover or just dipping your toes into the world of espresso-based drinks, understanding the nuances between these two popular choices can enhance your coffee experience. So, grab your favorite mug, and let’s explore! 

When it comes to coffee, there’s more to consider than just the comforting aroma and rich flavor. The caffeine content plays a crucial role in determining your morning pick-me-up. In this blog, we’ll unravel the mysteries behind cappuccinos and lattes, focusing on their caffeine levels, origins, and what makes each one unique.

History and Origins

Our journey begins in Italy, where coffee culture thrives. Both cappuccino and latte have deep-rooted histories:

  • Cappuccino: The name “cappuccino” pays homage to Capuchin monks who wore brown robes resembling the color of this coffee. Dating back to the 16th century, a classic cappuccino consists of:
    • A shot of espresso
    • Equal parts of steamed milk
    • A layer of frothed milk (for that delightful creamy top)
  • Latte: Originally known as “caffe latte” (Italian for “milk coffee”), the modern latte evolved from the traditional Italian version. It features:
    • A shot of espresso
    • A higher proportion of steamed milk (resulting in a smoother, milkier flavor)
    • A delicate layer of milk foam on top

The Espresso Base

Both cappuccinos and lattes rely on a strong espresso base. Espresso, extracted by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans at high pressure, forms the heart of these drinks. The quality of the espresso significantly impacts taste, strength, and, of course, caffeine levels.

In the next sections, we’ll delve deeper into the caffeine content of cappuccinos and lattes, helping you make an informed choice based on your preferences. So, whether you’re a caffeine aficionado or simply seeking a delightful coffee experience.

The Role of Caffeine

1. Wake-Up Call:

Caffeine acts as our trusty alarm clock, jolting us awake and ready to face the day. Whether you’re a morning person or not, that first sip of coffee can be magical.

2. Focus and Alertness:

Need to tackle a work project or study for an exam? Caffeine enhances our cognitive functions, improving focus, concentration, and mental alertness.

3. Energy Boost:

Feeling sluggish? Caffeine stimulates our central nervous system, providing a quick energy surge. It’s like a mini power-up for your brain and body.

4. Social Ritual:

Coffee breaks are more than just sips of warmth; they’re moments of connection. Whether catching up with friends or bonding with colleagues, coffee brings people together.


Caffeine Content: A cappuccino contains approximately 150 mg of caffeine. This robust brew is made by combining two shots of espresso with equal parts steamed milk and a rich layer of frothed milk on top. The result? A velvety texture and a caffeine kick to jumpstart your day.


Caffeine Content: A latte, on the other hand, offers a milder experience with around 75 mg of caffeine. It begins with a shot of espresso, but the star here is the steamed milk. Lattes have a higher proportion of milk, resulting in a creamier and more subtle flavor. The thin layer of milk foam adds a delicate touch.

What Is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a classic Italian coffee drink that combines espresso, steamed milk, and a luxurious layer of milk foam. This delightful beverage is known for its creamy texture and bold flavor. Let’s break it down:

Definition and Ingredients

  • Espresso: The foundation of a cappuccino, espresso is a concentrated coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. It’s the robust and intense base that gives cappuccinos their kick.
  • Steamed Milk: To create the perfect cappuccino, baristas steam milk until it’s velvety and frothy. The steamed milk adds a comforting warmth and balances the espresso’s boldness.
  • Milk Foam: The pièce de résistance! Milk foam is the airy, cloud-like layer that crowns the cappuccino. It’s created by aerating the milk, resulting in a delightful texture that melts in your mouth.

Espresso, Steamed Milk, and Milk Foam Ratio

A well-crafted cappuccino follows a precise ratio:

  • 1/3 Espresso: The bottom layer consists of a shot of espresso. It’s the concentrated coffee essence that wakes you up and gets your day rolling.
  • 1/3 Steamed Milk: The middle layer is steamed milk. It adds creaminess without overpowering the espresso.
  • 1/3 Milk Foam: The top layer is the milk foam. It’s light, airy, and provides a delightful contrast to the rich espresso below.

Creamy Texture and Flavor

When you take that first sip of a cappuccino, you’ll notice the harmonious blend of flavors. The creamy texture from the steamed milk and milk foam tempers the espresso’s intensity. It’s like a cozy hug in a cup!

Caffeine Content in Cappuccinos

Now, let’s address the caffeine question. Cappuccinos do contain caffeine, but in a moderate amount. A typical 8-ounce cappuccino has around 80 milligrams of caffeine. That’s less than a regular cup of coffee but enough to give you a gentle boost.

What Is a Latte?

A latte, also known as caffè latte, is a delightful milk coffee that boasts a silky layer of foam as its real highlight. This popular drink combines the richness of espresso with the comforting embrace of steamed milk. Let’s dive into the details:

Explanation of Café Latte

  • Café Latte: The name itself translates to “coffee milk” in Italian. It’s a fitting description because a latte is all about the harmonious marriage of coffee and milk.

Steamed Milk and Espresso Combination

  • Espresso: The foundation of a latte begins with a shot of espresso. This concentrated coffee essence provides the strong base that wakes you up and gets your day rolling.
  • Steamed Milk: Unlike its cousin, the cappuccino, a latte contains a higher proportion of steamed milk. The result? A creamier texture that envelops your taste buds in warmth.
  • Thin Layer of Milk Foam: To complete the latte, a delicate layer of milk foam is added on top. It’s like a cozy blanket for your coffee—a smooth and gentle touch.

Mild, Slightly Sweet Flavor

When you take that first sip of a latte, you’ll notice its mild and slightly sweet flavor. The espresso’s boldness is tempered by the velvety steamed milk, creating a balanced and delightful experience.

Comparing Caffeine Levels in Lattes

Now, let’s talk caffeine in latte. A 12-ounce latte contains approximately 155 mg of caffeine1. It’s a moderate amount—enough to give you a gentle boost without overwhelming your senses.

Caffeine Comparison

Cappuccino and latte are both beloved espresso-based drinks, but how do they stack up when it comes to caffeine? Let’s break it down:

  1. Cappuccino:
    • Contains a shot of espresso.
    • Equal parts steamed milk and espresso.
    • A layer of frothed milk on top.
    • Approximately 173 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving.
    • Perfect for those seeking a balanced coffee experience.
  2. Latte:
    • Also starts with a shot of espresso.
    • Higher proportion of steamed milk.
    • Thin layer of milk foam.
    • Approximately 155 mg of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving.
    • Ideal for those who prefer a creamier, milder coffee.

Cappuccino vs. Latte: Nutritional Showdown

When it comes to coffee, cappuccinos and lattes are like distant cousins—both part of the espresso family, but with their own unique twists. Let’s explore the health benefits of coffee, how these two popular drinks differ in terms of nutritional value:

1. Milk and Foam Proportions


  • A cappuccino is a harmonious blend of espresso, steamed milk, and frothy milk foam.
  • The milk-to-espresso ratio is balanced, resulting in a bold yet creamy flavor.
  • The foam on top adds a delightful touch.


  • Lattes, on the other hand, lean more toward the milky side.
  • They have a higher proportion of steamed milk, making them smoother and less intense.
  • The milk foam layer is thin, allowing the coffee flavor to shine through.

2. Impact on Nutritional Profiles


  • Cappuccino: Lower in calories due to less milk content.
  • Latte: Slightly higher in calories because of the extra milk.


  • Cappuccino: Less fat, thanks to the balanced milk-to-espresso ratio.
  • Latte: Creamier texture means a tad more fat.


  • Both cappuccinos and lattes provide protein from the milk.
  • It’s not a significant source of protein, but every little bit counts!

3. Highlighting the Differences

In summary, if you’re watching your calorie intake and prefer a stronger coffee flavor, go for a cappuccino. Its foam-to-espresso ratio strikes a delightful balance. On the other hand, if you crave a creamier experience and don’t mind a few extra calories, opt for a latte.

Conclusion: Cappuccino vs. Latte—Which Brew Wins Your Heart?

In this delightful coffee showdown, we’ve explored the nuances of cappuccinos and lattes. Let’s wrap it up with a quick recap and some friendly encouragement:

Recap of Key Points

  • Cappuccino: A harmonious blend of espresso, steamed milk, and frothy milk foam. Balanced in flavor, with approximately 173 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving.
  • Latte: Creamier and smoother, with a higher proportion of steamed milk. Contains approximately 155 mg of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving.

Personal Preference and Taste Considerations

Your coffee choice depends on your mood, taste buds, and the moment. Here’s how to decide:

  • Cappuccino Lovers: If you crave a bold coffee kick and appreciate the art of foam, cappuccinos are your jam. Sip it slowly and savor the balance.
  • Latte Aficionados: For those who enjoy a velvety, comforting cup, lattes are the way to go. They’re like a warm hug in a mug.

Encouraging Exploration

Why limit yourself? Coffee is an adventure waiting to happen. Try both! Explore the cozy corners of your local coffee shop, chat with the barista, and discover your favorite. Whether you’re team cappuccino or team latte, the journey is half the fun.

Remember, coffee connects us all—across continents, cultures, and sleepy mornings. So raise your cup, salute the beans, and keep sipping! 


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