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Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
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Jimmy325
Senior Member


Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 6
Expertise: Beginner

Posted Mon Jun 30, 2003, 12:43pm
Subject: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Can someone tell me what the difference are between the 3 beverages?  Difference in foam or milk?

Thanks!

Jimmy
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Jun 30, 2003, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Here's the drinks with no milk:

  • Espresso is the straight shot of coffee, roughly 1 ounce for a single, 2 ounces for a double, served in a small cup. The amount of water can be varied. A Ristretto has about 1/2 to 2/3 the water of a regular shot, and a more intense, but slightly less bitter taste. A Lungo has 1 1/2 to 2 times the water and a weaker taste. Properly extracted it tastes only slightly more bitter.

  • Americano is a straight shot of espresso pulled into 4 ounces of water. It is the espresso machine approximation of regular coffee.

  • Cafe Crema is 5 to 6 ounces drawn through the portofilter, a sort of super-lungo. It is the Swiss variant on the Americano, and somewhat more popular in most of Europe. In many places, it is displacing regular coffee.

Here's the drinks with milk:

  • Macchiatto is an espresso with a dollop (a table spoon to 1 ounce) of milk froth served in the small espresso cup.

  • Cortado is a Spanish drink using an espresso and 2 ounces of frothed milk served in a demi-tasse cup. A few Baristas can consistently pour latte art cortados, even shorter 1 ounce cortados in espresso cups.  This is my drink of choice; since it gives the full taste of the espresso along with the nice mouthfeel of microfoam.

  • Cappuccino is an espresso with 4 ounces of frothed milk served in a regular coffee cup or a wider, specially designed cappuccino cup. The traditional format is to use 2 ounces of milk with a cap of 2 ounces of soft milk foam. The newer format is to use 4 ounces of microfoam (pourable foam) in a decorative pattern called "latte art" about which one can use "search" to find lots of threads on this board. Traditionally minded Italians only drink cappas before lunch. "Cappuccinos" served in mega-containers with a mystifying blather about froth/milk ratios are not the real thing, but a marketing ploy by coffee chains.

  • Latte is a Seattle invention. It is an espresso with 8 to 10 ounces of frothed milk, traditionally with a small cap of soft foam. Basically a cappa with twice the milk. In Australia/New Zealand, the same drink is called a "Flat White." One should use a slightly darker roasted, Indonesian based blend to get sufficient coffee taste. This marks the Seattle style of coffee roasting and blending. The newer style is 8 to 10 ounces of microfoam poured in  a latte art pattern. Again, "lattes" in mega-containers are inventions by chains looking to get out of the coffee business and into the milk business.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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Jimmy325
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Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 6
Expertise: Beginner

Posted Mon Jun 30, 2003, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

WOW Jim.  Thanks for the information!  I never knew there were so many variations to coffee drinks.  I mean I knew there were different names, but I didn't know it was this scientific.  Hehe.

Thanks again.

Jimmy
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Chuck_the_Coffee_Geek
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Joined: 1 Jul 2003
Posts: 1
Location: Boston
Expertise: Intermediate

Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 9:13am
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Jim, you are always a wealth of information.

Why is it that Latte art can be done in a Cortado and a Latte, but never is done in a Cappachino?



-Chuck
Gotta love the microfoam
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 9:31am
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Chuck_the_Coffee_Geek Said:

Jim, you are always a wealth of information.

Why is it that Latte art can be done in a Cortado and a Latte, but never is done in a Cappachino?



-Chuck
Gotta love the microfoam

Posted July 1, 2003 link

For me, anything but microfoam is as antiquated as a steam driven espresso machine; the taste of the old style cappa simply doesn't hack it compared to the microfoamed ones.

I texture all my cappas; and milk texturing in a less formal way started with cappas in Italy before the current patterns were perfected in Seattle (at least according to Schomer and Luigi Lupo).

Some cafes may put the old cap on the cappas and only texture their lattes; but that would be because of antiquated customer expectations. If the Barista can texture a latte, she/he will be able to texture a cappa too; I'd just ask them to do it.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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E61
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E61
Joined: 28 Apr 2003
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Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 11:24am
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

How can you do it? :-) Forgetting the all important Caffé Correto?

A Caffé Correto is - for the few that might not know - an espresso "corrected" with a bit of spirit. In Italy often a grappa.

Apart from this important variety, I also think Café au lait should be mentioned.

Café au lait is traditionally an espresso and the same amount of warm (not steamed) milk. Café au lait is the typical morning drink in France and more often than not drunk out of a big bowl (just see the movie Betty Blue). This is also known as Café con leche in Spain and to confuse as Caffé latte in parts of Italy.

And what about Café Vienna aka Espresso con panne which is espresso with whipped cream on top. A very old fashioned drink but still found in Vienna and Budapest's old Coffee houses

Poul
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glashoppah
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glashoppah
Joined: 2 Jan 2003
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Location: Ramona
Expertise: Advanced

Espresso: WEGA commercial EVD
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Drip: Mr. Coffee Speedbrew
Roaster: Hearthware Precision
Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Well - and all y'all forgot about the most important one of all - Cafe MyMomma, which is a big ol' mug of bitter Folgers or Maxwell House brewed by a giant porcelain Corning percolator, the kind with a blue flower on its white side and a glass handle on the lid so you can watch your $5/ton Robusta being made even more bitter.  The kind whose sound and aroma was always a nice thing to wake up to as a little kid.  :)

g.
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Frenchie
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Joined: 4 Jun 2003
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Location: Sydney
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Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 3:46pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

another_jim Said:

Here's the drinks with milk:

Latte is a Seattle invention. It is an espresso with 8 to 10 ounces of frothed milk, traditionally with a small cap of soft foam. Basically a cappa with twice the milk. In Australia/New Zealand, the same drink is called a "Flat White."

Jim,

The way I've always been told is that here, in Australia, the "Flat White" is the equivalent to the french "cafe au lait" - add heated milk, though not any (or little) micro foam. Normally served in a cup, here.

The "Latte" pretty much matches your Seattle description. In Oz, usually served in a glass.

Truth is, the few times I have ordered a flat white or a latte, I pretty much got the same beverage - either in a cup for the former or glass for the latter. So I just order a flat white as I prefer drinking out of a cup.

Frenchie
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Jul 1, 2003, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Thanks for all the corrections. I deliberately left out alcohol added drinks, since there's so many, but the corretto is pretty traditional.

In my day, cafe au lait, served all through Europe, was not made with espresso, but with a pot of coffee and a pot of heated milk, both poured in equal volumes into ones cup for breakfast. Caffee mit schlag (whipped cream) was a Viennese (old Austrian empire) drink served with demi-tasse strength mocha rather than espresso. My guess is that all these drinks are being moved to the espresso machine, just as regular coffee is often morphed into cafe crema.

It just goes to show that there's no "official" espresso drinks; it's an evolving scene. Even as a purist, I can't complain; micro-foam is a real improvement to the old style milk drinks; and the "high Seattle style" (Schomer, ESI, et al, not Starbucks) of carefully prepared and high-tech double and triple ristrettos are also high on my list of real improvements.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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handcannon
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Joined: 5 Jun 2003
Posts: 237
Location: Ames, IA
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Thu Jul 3, 2003, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Newbie here, what is difference between espresso, capuccino, and latte?
 

Jim:  "high tech double and triple ristrettos"?  Let's see, they've already PID'ed the machines so the only thing left is...OHMIGOD!  They PID'ed the baristas!!  (Picturing the Terminator pulling shots).

 
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."  A. Brilliant
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