National Latte Day

February 11th marks National Latte Day – a day to celebrate one of the nations most loved drinks! But while many of you may order or make your own latte on a regular basis, you may be surprised that there can be a lot of confusion over the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.  

The latte originated from Italy. The word ‘latte’ is derived from the Italian ‘caffe latte’, which translates as ‘milk coffee’. The latte gained popularity in other parts of Europe and North America in the late 20th century and has since become a staple in coffee culture worldwide.  

What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?  

Both are espresso-based drinks, but they differ in their ingredients and proportions.  

1. Ratio of Espresso, Steamed Milk and Foam

  • Latte: A latte is made with a larger proportion of steamed milk than espresso. It typically consists of one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam on top.   
  • Cappuccino: A cappuccino has a more balanced ratio of espresso, steamed milk and foam. It’s typically made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam. This results in a stronger coffee flavour compared to a latte.  

2. Texture & Consistency

  • Latte: The texture of a latte is smooth and creamy due to the higher amount of steamed milk. It has an overall lighter consistency with less foam.   
  • Cappuccino: A cappuccino has a thicker and creamier texture due to the equal parts of steamed milk and foam. It has a velvety mouthfeel and a thicker layer of foam on top. 

Some cafes may differ the serving size of the latte and cappuccino, but overall, the main difference lies in the proportions of espresso, steamed milk and foam, as well as the resulting texture and consistency of the drink.  

Of course, how you enjoy your latte is up to you. Perhaps you prefer it in the classic way with just espresso, milk and foam. Or maybe you add a dash of syrup for some extra flavour. Or perhaps you take yours iced with non-diary milk – there are tons of ways for you to enjoy it. So go on and order yourself a latte to celebrate National Latte Day!