Many people can’t get through a morning with a cup of coffee, or some form of it. But if you aren’t familiar with all of the options at your local coffee shop, coffee drink menus can be confusing. Ever wonder what the real difference between a cappuccino and a latte is? Or a macchiato? And what about the good old Americano? Let us define all of those fancy options for you! We’ve broken down what really goes into them.
WHAT IS A CAPPUCCINO?
Cappuccino literally translates into “little cap” in Italian, which probably refers to the foamed milk that sits atop the drink. According to Serious Eats, the name of the drink could derive from the monks of Capuchin, who wore iconic brown hoods over their shaven heads and dressed in a coffee-colored cloak or cappuccino to represent their gratitude.
WHAT IS A LATTE?
A latte is similar to a cappuccino, but includes more milk. Cafe latte means “coffee with milk” in Italian.
A cafe latte typically mixes six to eight ounces of steamed milk with a shot or double shot of espresso.
WHAT IS A MACCHIATO?
Literally meaning “marked” in Italian, this drink likely gets its name from its “marked” appearance.
An espresso macchiato consists of a shot of espresso that has been dotted with steamed milk. Starbucks also makes a very popular macchiato with caramel!
WHAT IS AN AMERICANO?
During World War II, it is believed that the American soldiers stationed in Italy watered down their espresso to make them taste more like the coffee they drank at home.
An Americano is just a shot of espresso infused with a little bit of hot water.
WHAT IS CAFFE BREVE?
A caffe breve is also similar to a cappuccino, but uses steamed half and half instead of milk.
WHAT IS CAFE AU LAIT?
In French, cafe au lait means “coffee on milk.” Remember, this drink is very different from a latte, which is an espresso-based drink.
Cafe au lait is a hot coffee with hot milk. It is a popular drink with breakfast.
WHAT IS A FRAPPUCCINO?
A Frappuccino consists of a coffee or a base ingredient like strawberries and cream that is blended with ice.