Latte vs. Cappuccino: What’s the Difference and Which is Stronger?

With so many types and categories, differences between coffee types can become challenging to understand. The two most confusing kinds of coffee are a latte and a cappuccino. They are often acknowledged for one another, and most people are unaware of their differences. Let’s take a quick look at Latte vs. Cappuccino.

Latte and cappuccino are both espresso-based drinks. The difference lies in the espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam ratio. Cappuccinos have a stronger taste due to less milk and more espresso, while lattes are creamier with more milk.

Owing to this confusion, people often ask, which is stronger, latte or cappuccino? If you have similar queries, be my guest, as this article will highlight all the crucial differences between a latte and a cappuccino. 

By the end, you shall be able to scrutinize which of these is stronger and is better for people with high caffeine needs. 

Espresso ShotSingleSingle
MilkSteamed milkSteamed milk
VolumeUsually around 10-12ozUsually less than a latte
Caffeine ContentAround 173 mg per 16-ounce servingAround 173 mg per 16-ounce serving

What is the Difference Between a Latte and a Cappucino?

Latte vs. Cappuccino: What’s the Difference and Which is Stronger?
What is the difference?

Latte and cappuccino are the branches of the same tree and stem, i.e., coffee! Yet, they are very different from one another. Thus, to determine which of them is stronger, it is first crucial to scrutinize these differences. 

A cappuccino has more caffeine than a latte, as it has less steamed milk. The basic ingredients of latte and cappuccino are the same, i.e., they both contain espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. However, the fundamental difference lies in the ratio of the ingredients. 

A cappuccino has a 1:1:1 ratio. It implies that all three ingredients are proportioned and added in an identical quantity. Comparatively, a latte has the same ingredients in a 1:2:1 balance, i.e., steamed milk is twice the amount of espresso shots and top-layer foam. 

Since a latte has more steamed milk, it is sweeter and fancier than a cappuccino. Sugar is also often added to it. Therefore, a latte typically has more calories than a cappuccino. But you can give the barista instructions to customize it according to your taste or even curate your recipe at home.

For instance, if you want to reduce the sweetness of a latte, you can opt for non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk. Similarly, you can skip the sugar or add artificial sweeteners like stevia or natural sweeteners like honey. These small recipe alterations will reduce the beverage’s calories and make it healthier. 

Which is Stronger: a Latte or a Cappucino?

Latte vs. Cappuccino What’s the Difference and Which is Stronger
Which is Stronger?

The strength of a coffee is directly related to the amount of caffeine it has. Stronger coffees have more caffeine, and lighter ones have less caffeine with a heavy dose of other ingredients like creamers and steamed milk. 

Between latte and cappuccino, it is evident that the latter one is stronger as it has less milk. Surprisingly, both these beverages have the same quantity of espresso shots. On average, the small cups have one, the medium ones have two, and the larger ones have three to four espresso shots. 

However, since lattes have more steamed milk, their caffeine levels drop, and you taste less espresso in them than in a cappuccino. Thus, cappuccino is the better option if you want a stronger coffee with more caffeine flavor. 

What Factors Affect the Strength of Lattes and Cappuccinos?

Latte vs. Cappuccino

As you know by now, lattes and cappuccinos have the same set of ingredients with a similar recipe. Still, they are so different from one another. One is stronger, while the other one is mild. This happens because of certain factors, which are mentioned below; 

1. Proportion of the Ingredients

The primary aspect that controls a coffee’s strength is the proportion of its ingredients. After all, the variation in the quantitative balance of the elements makes a latte and a cappuccino so much different from each other. 

To get a lighter coffee, go for smaller espresso shots. You can easily do so by reducing the espresso quantity or increasing the steamed milk ratio. However, if you aim for a stronger coffee, add less steamed milk or more espresso. 

Opting for a lighter coffee and adding more steamed milk would be categorized as a latte. But if you want strength in your coffee and add more espresso, the beverage will be considered a cappuccino. 

2. Type of Coffee 

Only a few people know, but the type of coffee you use also determines the strength of the beverage. There are primarily two types of coffees, i.e., light-roasted and dark-roasted. The light-roasted coffee has a lighter taste with a complex flavor. On the other hand, dark-roasted coffee is very strong and deep but has a simpler flavor. 

You may likely find the latter stronger if you make a cappuccino with lighter-roasted coffee and a latte with dark-roasted coffee. It is because the latte is made with dark-roasted coffee that has an intensified flavor. But although the cappuccino had less steamed milk, it tasted blandrous because its espresso shots were made with light-roasted coffee.

3. Adding Sugar 

Only a few people know, but adding sugar to the latte or cappuccino somewhat decreases the strength of the beverage’s flavor. Sugar is a neutralizer to espresso that tones down its taste and impact. Thus, if you want to intensify the flavor of your latte or cappuccino, try skipping sugar. You will notice an instant difference and find the latte/cappuccino stronger. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does a cappuccino have more caffeine than a latte?

Conventionally, cappuccino and latte have the same amount of caffeine, as the number of espresso shots in them is the same. But you will find the cappuccino flavor stronger and more impactful as it has less steamed milk than a latte.

Are lattes sweet?

Lattes are the middle ground of coffee types. They are not as sweet as frappuccinos and mochas but surely sweeter than cappuccinos, drips, and espressos. However, adding creamer on the top layer instead of simple milk foam can make them sweeter.


Both latte and cappuccino offer unique taste profiles due to their different ingredient ratios. While a cappuccino is stronger with a prominent espresso flavor due to less steamed milk, a latte provides a creamier, sweeter experience with more milk. 

Your preference between the two will largely depend on your personal taste and caffeine needs. 

With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate your next coffee shop visit or home brewing session, knowing exactly what’s in your cup and why it tastes the way it does. Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice – just what suits your palate best.

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