The mighty espresso is the base of a wide range of delicious brews, each with qualities that make it unique. But if you’ve ever wanted to concoct one yourself at home, you might have wondered what the difference between latte and cappuccino actually is – and we’re here to help.
Armed with a little knowledge about different coffee drinks, you’ll be whipping up your own flat whites and macchiatos in no time (no espresso machine necessary!).
So what’s really the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?
They’re two mainstays of any coffee shop menu, and the difference lies in the ratio between espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk.
So, what is a latte? It’s a smooth and milky coffee, consisting of a double shot of espresso with steamed milk and just a dash of microfoam to top it off.
And what is a cappuccino? A frothy favourite the world-over, the cappuccino also has a double shot of espresso, but the rest is equal parts steamed milk and thick, foamed milk.
What about the difference between a latte and a flat white?
The flat white has a reputation for being the hippest coffee on the block and what sets it apart is its minimalist attitude to microfoam.
While made in a similar way to the latte, the flat white is a shorter drink – with less than half the milk of a latte, meaning a stronger tasting coffee.
The milk should have a thin, or ‘flat’, layer of velvety foam at the top, perfect for practising your latte art with! See our top tips on achieving the ultimate flat white.
What is a latte macchiato? The macchiato coffee explained
The word macchiato means ‘spotted’ or ‘stained’. There are a few variations on the macchiato, so let your taste buds guide you in deciding which to try.
First we have the classic macchiato coffee – simply a shot of espresso with a small amount of milk foam spooned over the top, so the milk ‘spots’ the coffee.
Next, the latte macchiato. Usually served in a tall glass, it has distinct layers with steamed milk poured in first, followed by a shot of espresso and a topping of foamed milk.
You’ll find variations of this drink on offer in many cafes, with the caramel or vanilla versions being popular – both easily achieved with a dash of syrup in the espresso (although we let speciality coffee’s flavours do the talking!).
Top tips for creating different types of coffee at home
Even if you don’t have an espresso machine or milk steamer at home, there are still ways and means to master these coffees yourself.
Use your pod machine
Our newly improved Pods are the best in class, delivering espresso-hit strength, freshness, quality and flavour.
But what about the milk?
We have a few tricks up our sleeve. First, you should warm up the milk. In a pan on the stove is best for temperature control – you want it hot, not boiling.
A whisk is a simple way to get you some frothy goodness. Another effective method is to use a cafetiére. Pour your warmed milk in and place the lid on. Then push and pull the plunger up and down into the top of the milk to create thick and glorious foam.
What coffee works best for which drink?
We have some superb espresso blends that are ideal for these drinks.
Our Fruit & Nut Espresso has smooth milk chocolate and dried fruit characteristics – a contemporary twist on the classic Italian blend. It’s perfect for macchiatos and flat whites. Meanwhile, intensely chocolatey notes and a dark roast make our Bourbon Cream Espresso an ideal choice for both the latte and cappuccino.
Ready to brew some coffee?
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