With corporate advertising, words like cappuccino and latte are thrown around so much it has almost lost its original meaning. So when you go from a big chain to an independent cafe, the drinks will more than likely look and taste completely different.
The main reason these drinks taste so different is because larger chains have “Americanized” the cappuccino so the coffee taste isn’t as pronounced. Smaller cafe’s, especially independent specialty shops, care more about quality, traditional espresso drink sizes, and educating customers so you’re most likely to receive a traditional version.
What IS the correct definition of these drinks and how do you remember the difference?
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), a competitionTraditional Cappuccino is a single shot of espresso with “equal amounts of milk and foam in a 6oz. ceramic cup”.
A great Barista will have a nice silky mix of milk and foam-micro foam. Once poured over the espresso, there will be a brownish tint on top of the drink. So, when you drink the cappuccino, you can taste all three- espresso, milk, and froth, in one sip. So, a Cappuccino is more concentrated and more foam than a Latte.
A Cafe’ Latte is a single or double espresso with mostly steamed milk and a little micro-foam. This drink is much heavier in weight and great if you want to start drinking espresso drinks. A traditional cup size is 7 oz. In the states, a Latte is usually found as an 8 oz drink up to 20 oz.
And what about that design in your milk? Free pour Latte art not only looks pretty,but shows that the milk is the right consistency. It doesn’t take any longer to do free-pour latte art.