Starbucks Cappuccino vs. Latte: what is the main difference?

Starbucks has many drinks that may leave the buyers confused, not knowing which one to get. Since I love coffee, my sister suggested I try Starbucks milk-based espresso beverages. I was torn between trying cappuccino and latte since they are both made with milk and espresso, with the difference between them coming from the barista’s craft in making the drinks. I decided to try both variations, and from my personal experience and after extensive research, I have created this article to help you understand their differences. Read on!

What are the differences between Starbucks Cappuccino vs. Latte?

Feature/Starbucks Drink

Starbucks Cappuccino

Starbucks Latte

Ingredient

Milk

Brewed Espresso

Milk foam

It is optionally customized with flavors [syrup (brown sugar, toasted vanilla, caramel, cinnamon dolce, toffee nut, hazelnut, vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, or raspberry syrup) and sauces (mocha, new dark caramel, and white chocolate mocha)], toppings, and add-ins.

Milk

Brewed Espresso

Milk foam

It is optionally customized with flavors [syrup (brown sugar, toasted vanilla, caramel, cinnamon dolce, toffee nut, hazelnut, vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, or raspberry syrup) and sauces (mocha, new dark caramel, and white chocolate mocha)], toppings, and add-ins.

Taste Profile

Bold and sweet taste

Creamy and subtle taste

Calories

140 in a Grande serving

Ranges from 190 to 380 in a Grande serving

Sugar Content

12 grams in a Grande serving

Ranges from 18 to 40 grams in a Grande serving

Fat Content

5 grams in a Grande serving

Ranges from 6 to 18 grams in a Grande serving

Caffeine Content

150 milligrams in a Grande serving

Ranges from 135 to 170 milligrams in a Grande serving

Availability/Accessibility

Easily accessible in all Starbucks stores throughout the year

Easily accessible in all Starbucks stores throughout the year

Roast Level

Dark roast

Dark/Light roast

Starbucks Cappuccino vs. Latte – How They Compare

Starbucks Latte

Ingredients

Starbucks describes its drinks in terms of their ingredients. The ingredients determine a drink’s taste and nutritional value.

When preparing a cappuccino, the barista combines Starbucks’ dark and rich espresso with steamed milk and milk foam to give you a drink that will leave you wanting more. Optionally you may choose to customize your drink with flavors [syrup (brown sugar, toasted vanilla, caramel, cinnamon dolce, toffee nut, hazelnut, vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, or raspberry syrup) and sauces (mocha, new dark caramel, and white chocolate mocha)], toppings, and add-ins.

Conversely, when preparing a Latte, the barista balances the Starbucks dark and rich espresso with steamed milk and a light layer of milk foam. Optionally you may choose to customize your drink with flavors [syrup (brown sugar, toasted vanilla, caramel, cinnamon dolce, toffee nut, hazelnut, vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, or raspberry syrup) and sauces (mocha, new dark caramel, and white chocolate mocha)], toppings, and add-ins.

The ingredients for the two beverages are the same (milk and espresso). The difference between the two is only created through barista craft.

At the highest level of the barista craft lies the Cappuccino, making it the better of the two. A cappuccino is a perfect balance of deep, delicious espresso and light and airy milk foam. 

Taste Profile 

Taste is a major determinant of a customer’s beverage choice. A Cappuccino has a bold and sweet taste, while the Latte has a creamy and subtle taste. 

As mentioned earlier, Cappuccino and Latte are prepared using the same ingredients (milk and espresso). However, the difference between the two almost similar drinks lies in a barista’s prowess. Therefore, not all baristas have the skills required to prepare a cappuccino. 

The Cappuccino is a perfect balance of the Starbucks dark and rich espresso with light and airy milk foam. In a Cappuccino coffee cup, layers of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam are more distinct, which gives the drink a strong flavor. 

Conversely, when preparing a Latte, all the barista needs to do is to mix steamed milk and a layer of espresso and top the mix with a thin layer of milk foam. The resulting drink is creamier that has a subtle coffee flavor. 

The Cappuccino wins in this category because it is a perfect version of the Latte. 

Calories 

The number of calories in a drink is another major determinant of a customer’s beverage choice.

A Grande serving of a Cappuccino contains 140 calories. On the other hand, a Grande serving of a Latte contains between 190 to 380 calories in a Grande serving. Therefore, the median average of the Lattes’ calorific value is 285 calories. 

If you wish to limit your daily calorific intake to the least possible value, it would be beneficial to take a cappuccino because it adds the least calories to your body compared to Lattes. Therefore, Cappuccinos win in this category. 

Sugar Content

Sugar content is another factor that most people take into account when making the decision on which drink to order from Starbucks. 

A Grande serving of a Cappuccino contains 12 grams of sugar. Conversely, a Grande serving of a Latte contains between 18 to 40 grams of sugar. The median average of the Lattes’ sugar content is 29 grams of sugar. Therefore, Lattes have higher sugar content than Cappuccinos. 

For a person on a weight loss mission or a person with diabetes, Cappuccinos are the best option. Cappuccinos win in this category because they are the healthier option of the two. 

Fat Content

Fat content is of significant concern for persons who are keeping check of their weight. 

A Grande serving of a Cappuccino adds 6 grams of fat to your body. On the other hand, Lattes have a fat content ranging from 6 to 18 grams. The median average of the Lattes’ fat content is 12 grams of fat. Therefore, Lattes have a higher fat content than Cappuccinos. 

For a person on a weight loss mission, Cappuccinos are the best option. Cappuccinos win in this category because they are the healthier option of the two.

 Caffeine Content

Caffeine gives you the boost you need to complete your routine tasks. It gives the energy you need to keep you going for extended periods. 

A Grande serving of Cappuccinos contains 150 milligrams of caffeine. Conversely, the Lattes have a caffeine content ranging from 135 to 170 milligrams; the median average is 152.5. Therefore, Lattes have a slightly higher caffeine content compared to Cappuccinos.

Lattes are the perfect option for you if you are a caffeine lover. Lattes win because they have a higher caffeine content compared to Cappuccinos.

Availability/Accessibility  

One of the worst feelings is finding that your favorite Starbucks beverage is not accessible or available in either seasonal or not available. 

Luckily both Cappuccinos and Lattes are accessible at all Starbucks stores. Additionally, they are available throughout the year except for seasonal Lattes such as the Brulee Latte. 

This category is a draw since both Latte (majority), and Cappuccino house drinks are easily accessible and available throughout the year. 

Roast Level

The roast level determines a coffee’s flavor and taste. Dark roasts have a bold taste, while light roasts have a strong flavor. 

Cappuccinos are entirely prepared using dark roast coffee, which gives them a rich/bold flavor. Most of the Lattes are prepared using dark roast coffee, which puts them on par with the Cappuccinos. 

However, some Lattes, such as the Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte, are prepared with the blonde/light roast. The light roast coffee is stronger than the dark roast in terms of flavor; the former has a more robust flavor than the latter. 

This category is a draw since Cappuccinos, and most Lattes are prepared using the dark coffee roast. 

Starbucks Cappuccino vs. Latte: A comparison overview

Starbucks Cappuccino-Overview

Starbucks Cappuccino

The drink is the best pick if you crave a bold and sweet coffee. The Cappuccino is a perfect balance of the Starbucks dark and rich espresso with light and airy milk foam. In a Cappuccino coffee cup, layers of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam are more distinct, which gives the drink a strong flavor. 

What I liked;

Bold, rich flavor  

What I didn’t like;

  • Its iced version is no longer available 

Who it’s best suited for.

  • Best suited for genuine coffee lovers. 

Starbucks Latte-Overview

Starbucks Cappuccino vs. Latte

The drink is the perfect option if you crave a coffee with a creamy and subtle taste. When preparing a Latte, the barista blends steamed milk and a layer of espresso and tops the mix with a thin layer of milk foam. The resulting drink is creamier that has a subtle coffee flavor.

What I liked;

  • The creamy and subtle taste
  • Iced Latte versions are available 

What I didn’t like;

  • Some Lattes are seasonal 
  • Its mild taste 

Who it’s best suited for.

  • Best suited for persons who like coffees with average calorie and caffeine content.

Final Verdict: So, Which is Better? – Starbucks Cappuccino or Latte

Cappuccino is better than Latte. It is so because the former has a better taste and a lower calorie, sugar, and fat content. Therefore, Cappuccino is the healthier of the two. 

Additionally, it is a better version of the Latte. Cappuccino is at the highest level of barista craft. Therefore, all baristas can prepare a Latte, but not all can prepare a Cappuccino. 

FAQ Section

Which is better cappuccino or latte?

Cappuccino is better because it offers a coffee punch with fewer calories and lower sugar and fat content compared to lattes.

What is sweeter cappuccino or latte?

Lattes contain more steamed milk mixed with espresso, making them milkier and sweeter than cappuccino.

Is cappuccino stronger than latte?

Cappuccino is slightly stronger in flavor than its counterpart, at least in its original form. Lattes are made with more milk, but adding an extra espresso shot to either of the beverage can make it stronger.

Which one is more bitter cappuccino or latte?

Cappuccino is more bitter because less milk is mixed with the otherwise bitter espresso, while there is more milk in latte that makes it milkier and sweeter.

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