Espresso Vs Cappuccino

Coffee Presentation

Both espresso and cappuccino are iconic drinks that are mainstays in most coffee shops around the world. They’re both dark, rich, caffeinated beverages that can provide you with a quick energy boost, but they are very different when it comes to preparation and taste.

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely grounded coffee beans using a machine called an espresso machine.

Cappuccinos are made from steamed frothy milk and espresso mixed together to create a delicious drink that's light for summertime.

Espresso is the coffee of choice for most coffee aficionados . It’s a dark, powerful drink that delivers a massive caffeine burst. That’s what makes it so popular in Italian coffee culture. Some think that adding milk destroys the taste of the espresso, but others like the way it cools it down and mellows out its bite.

Cappuccino is an Italian coffee-based drink that is more popular in other countries and locations around the world than espresso. It's also a rich, dark beverage, but it is more mild and frothy than espresso.

Lets learn more about these

What is Espresso

Espresso is a coffee beverage made by boiling water and then forcing it through finely ground coffee beans. It has more caffeine than many other types of coffees.

Espresso is a concentrated coffee drink which has rich flavor. The classic espresso has its origin from Italy and it comes from the coffee beans that have been roasted dark and ground finely.

Espresso has 3 parts to the shot. The liquid in the espresso is dark brown and the foam is light brown.

When the fatty oils and air bubbles mix in the foam, said concoction creates an infusion of flavors which brings out a pleasing aroma.

The crema is important to an espresso shot because it gives the espresso its aftertaste and a fuller flavor.

What is Cappuccino

A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that is made out of espresso and hot foamed milk. The word “cappuccino” comes from the colour of the hat of the Capuchin friars who drank it while they were taking meals.

The signature quality of a cup of cappuccino is its dense froth. Foam that shifts upon physical movement and doesn’t deflate quickly is the best.

Espresso Vs Cappuccino Differences & Similarities

What is the difference between cappuccino and espresso?


What tasting means?

The taste of espresso or cappuccinos are quite different. Espresso has a very strong slightly bitter taste as compared to cappuccino which has a smooth creamy taste to it.

Caffeine is the main component that makes it bitter. However, the latter also has other ingredients that give it a different taste.


What is the short definition of ingredients?

Espresso is made from only 2 ingredients i.e. ground coffee and hot water. Whereas Cappuccino has 3 ingredients i.e. an espresso shot (made with coffee and water) with addition of steamed and foamy milk.

Sometimes, other additions like chocolate powder, sugar or cinnamon powder etc are also added according to one’s taste and preference.

Caffeine Content:


When it comes to caffeine content then both of them contain almost same amount of caffeine. However, cappuccinos are less concentrated than espressos as cappuccinos have steamed milk and froth added alongside coffee.

Cup Size:

Coffee Cup Size

Espresso = 1 to 1.75 oz.

Cappuccino = 4 to 4.5 oz.

Espresso Vs Cappuccino: Calories:

Espresso is the healthiest of the 2 beverages as it contains about 1 calories per serving. Cappuccino has nearly 120 calories in every serving.

So if you are conscious of your calories intake then you should prefer espresso over cappuccino.


Though the cappuccino and espresso differ in appearance, they are similar in terms of how they are made. Both start with an espresso extraction process.

The cappuccino will use a double or single tall shot of espresso and is then mixed into the milk. As previously mentioned, the milk adds a creaminess to the drink that is nearly impossible to replicate without it.

Type of Coffee:

How many types of coffee are there?

Espresso is made with only coffee while Cappuccino contains additional ingredients such as hot steamed milk and foamy milk froth. Both espresso and cappuccinos are rich, creamy drinks but they have different preparation methods and tastes.

Time To Drink:

Drinking Coffee

Due to its small size Espresso is the coffee of choice for those want a fast shot of coffee or are in a hurry. Cappuccino is drink to be enjoyed more leisurely and takes more time to drink. In larger sizes, the cappuccino is a much bigger time commitment.

In addition to those, the volume of espresso and cappuccino is much different. If we want to drink a larger cup of cappuccino, we have to make it with 2 espresso shots, but for larger cups of espresso, 3 or even 4 shots are used.

Espresso Vs Cappuccino: Origins And History

Why do Italians not drink cappuccino after breakfast?

Espresso History

Espresso seems to have had its roots in Italian opera. Its first use appears to have been when it was used to make Italy’s version of coffee, called caffè espresso.

At some point, the name transitioned from coffee to the beverage itself. It was probably first used to describe a small cup of coffee made with espresso.

Today, it is used most often to describe coffee that is made in this way.

It can also be used as a description for a strong black coffee made from beans that have been roasted more than usual.

The roasting process usually leaves more of the oil in the beans resulting in a stronger flavor and aroma in the final product. 

In this sense, it is often used to describe coffees with a significant amount of African or East Indian coffee beans.

Cappuccino History

Cappuccino was created in the 1400s. It was named after the Capuchin friars who are known for wearing a brown hood with a small white cap.

The word ‘cappuccino’ comes from the color of a Capuchin monks’ habit.

Cappuccino seems to be more familiar today even though its origins are in Italian. It does this because it has been used to refer to a coffee drink for some time.

Espresso Vs Cappuccino: FAQs

What is the difference between a cappuccino and espresso?

Is espresso stronger than regular coffee?

The answer to this question is no, it isn’t. Regular coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine per 6 ounces of brewed beverage.

How many shots of espresso are in a cappuccino?

The amount of espresso in a cappuccino can vary. Usually, it will be a single or double shot. However, a rare few establishments will use a triple shot.


Espresso Vs Cappuccino

Espresso and cappuccino aren’t the same, but they’re not too different either. Cappuccinos are usually sweeter and creamier while espressos are darker roasted and more bitter. However, both drink types are made with espresso extraction methods.

After all, you may wonder if there is a competition between espresso and cappuccino. You are not incorrect if you believe there isn’t.

Espresso is a popular drink with coffee lovers. Cappuccino is a creamy concoction of espresso and steamed milk, which has grown in popularity over the years. You could say that they are two faces of the same coin.

Similarly, now that you're aware of how to tell apart a cappuccino and an espresso (or vice versa), you should be able to make the perfect choice.

If you want to make an elegant coffee beverage, then go for a cappuccino. If you prefer having a darker beverage, then go for an espresso.

Either way, you’ll be making the best choice. What is your favorite coffee drink? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!!!

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