Latte vs Cappuccino vs Macchiato vs Mocha

Unless you are a skilled barista or a coffee lover, it is probably almost impossible to tell the difference between all the coffee drinks from their names.

Latte vs Cappuccino vs Macciato vs Mocha

In fact, cappuccino sounds almost the same as a macchiato. However, while the names may sound like they are based on trend, there is actually an interesting story behind all the coffee names on the menu of your favorite coffee house.

Some of these coffee drinks even look the same, but a simple sip will tell you there is quite a difference, and a macchiato is different from a cappuccino. In this guide, we will look at the basic differences and how to brew each coffee drink.

The Basic Difference


The fundamental differences between the four coffee drinks boils down to the proportions of the ingredients used. A cappuccino is made from a 1:1:1 ratio. This ratio translates to 60 mL of foamed milk, 60mL of steamed milk and 60 mL of an espresso shot.

Latte, or café latte, which translates to coffee with milk, use a ratio of 1:4:1. That means 30mL of foamed milk, 120mL of steamed milk and 30 mL of an espresso shot.

A Macchiato embodies the characteristics of espresso, but the ratios are different. Both use milk as an ingredient. However, a macchiato uses a dot of foamed milk and 60 mL of espresso.

Mocha is a special drink and you could think of it as dessert. The ingredients here are in ratio 2:2:1 were first 2 are espresso, second are chocolate and the last is steamed milk, which means  60 mL of espresso (2 shots) and 60 mL of chocolate, 30 mL of steamed milk.


People are now conscious about health and a good diet plays an important role in that. Though coffee has health benefits, but still if you are adding extra calories, then may be you are increasing some pounds. So, it’s better to know your drinks a little better.

Each cup of cappuccino, Mocha, Macchiato or latte that you take provides you with a certain number of calories. Cappuccino supplies your body with 75 calories if you opt for non-fat milk or 120 calories in case you prefer whole milk.

Latte offers a lot more calories than your average cup of cappuccino. You are bound to consume anything between 130 and 290 calories, but that depends on the type of milk you prefer to use. Macchiato is somewhat on the low end when it comes to calories. You will get a little less than 100 calories from each serving of Macchiato.

Mocha is a powerhouse when it comes to calories. Each cup of Mocha has about 300 calories, but that generally depends on what you will add to your cup.

A great guide to understand more about calories in coffee is by Healthyeater. We suggest you to read them to understand more about this topic.

Brewing Cappuccino

The foundation of your cup of Cappuccino is espresso. Cappuccino is brewed with the help of a teaspoon to hold back froth as you pour steamed milk to your drink. Next, the froth is added as topping for your drink.

Cappuccino Ratio

Three distinct layers form and they include your espresso, froth and steamed milk. As you drink your cappuccino, you should be able to feel the distinct tastes from your froth and the dense yet flavorful espresso. Here are the steps.

  • Prepare some espresso
  • Pour milk into your pitcher
  • Swirl your milk till it is shiny and silky
  • Add in your cup

Brewing Latte

Brewing latte follows the same procedure as when preparing cappuccino. You use a spoon to withhold froth as you pour down steamed milk almost filling your cup to the brim. You then add in a small amount of froth as topping to decorate your cup of latte.

Latte Ratio

Latte is the most lightest coffee drink with the smallest ratio of espresso. Therefore, you will be able to feel some difference in heft when you hold each drink in your hand. As you drink your cup of latte, the resulting flavor is somewhat dense, flavorful, textured and very rich. The steps involved include:

  • Pour your espresso
  • Pour in milk into your pitcher
  • Purge your steam wand, pull it up straight
  • Swirl your milk until smooth and shiny
  • Pour in your cup

Macchiato Recipe

If you do not enjoy the taste that comes with espresso, you have the alternative of trying a macchiato. You will enjoy its taste, whether short or long since it includes milk in its recipe, which alters its taste.

For a typical cup of macchiato, you will need about 0.68 ounces of fresh milk, a shot of espresso and top it off with froth. For a great tasting cup of macchiato, be sure to add espresso first and then top it up with milk. That way, the milk will mark your espresso. This is what differentiates a cup of macchiato from all other coffee house drinks. Follow the steps below for a great cup of macchiato.

  • Grind your beans. Alternatively, you could simply start with espresso, in which case a standard double requires between 0.6 and 0.7 ounces coffee beans based on the strength you want.
  • Place the grounds into your portafilter
  • Make the espresso
  • Steam your milk
  • Pour in the milk and serve while it is hot

Mocha Recipe

Mocha is actually named after a distinct coffee beans which had the origin in Yemen. They had a hint of natural chocolate flavor and the baristas use some more chocolate syrup to this drink for enhancing the taste.

If you enjoy a regular cup of mocha, then you are probably wondering the steps to follow to prepare this tasty drink at home. Here is a list of the things you need:

Mocha Ratio

  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 2 ounces of hot chocolate
  • 1 ounce of steamed milk
  • Milk Froth to decorate (optional)

Place 2 ounces of your chocolate at the bottom of your glass. Add in the milk and be sure to stir slowly. Save the froth that forms for later.

Next, add in your shots of espresso, and then top off you blend with the froth you had saved in the previous step. As an alternative, you can use a cold cream topping, sprinkle some cinnamon, and ground coffee or coffee beans as well.

Ideally, there is no limit as to what you can use to top off you Mocha and you can be as creative with the flavor as you want. The limit is your imagination.

Wrap Up

Coffee is a drink you can never be fed up with. As a beverage, coffee is both delicious and unexpected. And while it may not be that obvious, there is a huge difference in terms of taste between the coffee drinks we have listed in this article.

So if you would love to try something frothy, try a cappuccino. You could also go for a sharp drink like espresso macchiato or a frothy yet milky taste of latte. The choice is yours and you are free to experiment.

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