Difference Between Espresso and Cappuccino

Are you a coffee lover but get confused between an espresso and cappuccino? You’re not alone—these two seemingly similar beverages are often mistaken for each other, despite having some distinct differences.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what exactly sets them apart and how to distinguish between the two.

Learn all about the flavor, ingredients, preparation methods and more behind espresso versus cappuccinos so that next time you order your favorite coffee drink you know exactly which one is in your cup.

What is espresso and cappuccino – what are their compositions 

The difference between an espresso and a cappuccino is in the ingredients. A cappuccino contains steamed milk and a coating of foam, but an espresso is made solely with hot water and freshly ground coffee.

Together, these two components create a drink that is creamier and richer than an espresso on its own. Espresso is a concentrated coffee shot that is produced under pressure from finely ground beans.

One shot of espresso typically contains 30 to 50 ml of liquid. Espressos are frequently served black or with a few drops of ice cream and sugar, while they can also be enjoyed as a component of a larger beverage like a latte or macchiato.

Espresso VS Cappuccino- What’s the Difference?

Espresso and cappuccino are two of the most popular coffee drinks in the world, but how do you know which one to order when you can’t decide between them? Knowing the difference between espresso and cappuccino will help you make a more informed decision.

The first main difference between espresso and cappuccino is in the ingredients. Espresso is mostly just coffee beans that are ground very finely and brewed under high pressure.

Cappuccinos, on the other hand, typically contain espresso, steamed milk, and a topping of foam. Both drinks can be flavored with syrups or other additives. The preparation method for espresso and cappuccino is also different.

Espresso requires a special machine to extract the coffee from the grounds and to produce crema, which is the layer of foam that sits on top of a cup of espresso.

What is the flavor difference between an espresso and a cappuccino?

The espresso is a strong, intense and slightly bitter coffee that has a thicker consistency than the cappuccino.

The typical flavor profile of an espresso will include notes of caramel and chocolate. By contrast, a cappuccino is usually sweeter due to added milk and foam.

Additionally, it has a lighter flavor profile with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Also Read: The Best Espresso Machine Under 1000 Buying Guide For 2023

How to make the perfect espresso or cappuccino


Espresso and cappuccino are two popular coffee drinks, but they do have some distinct differences.

To make the perfect espresso or cappuccino, it’s important to understand those differences and utilize the correct preparation methods.

Here is a step-by-step guide for creating your favorite drink:

For Espresso:

  1. Begin by grinding the right amount of coffee beans for a single shot – typically 7-9g, depending on the size of the cup you are using.
  2. Place the ground coffee into your Portafilter and tamp down until it is leveled off.
  3. Put the Portafilter into your espresso machine and press the start button.
  4. Depending on the size of cup you are using, espresso should be extracted for 18-25 seconds.
  5. Once the espresso is finished extracting into your cup, it’s ready to enjoy!

For Cappuccino:

  1. Begin by preparing a shot of espresso with the same steps listed above.
  2. Froth your desired amount of milk using a steamer wand or other frothing device. The more you froth the milk, the thicker and creamier it will be.
  3. Add 1-2 ounces of the freshly made espresso to a cup and fill with the foamed milk until your desired fullness is reached.
  4. Optionally, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder for extra flavor, then stir to combine ingredients.
  5. Your cappuccino is ready to enjoy!

Which is better, espresso or cappuccino?

It’s hard to decide which is better, espresso or cappuccino. Both drinks can offer a delicious and satisfying cup of coffee, but they each have their own unique characteristics that make them stand out.

If you’re trying to decide between the two, here is some information on the key differences between espresso and cappuccino so you can make an informed decision.

To begin with, espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee with a thick and creamy texture, while cappuccino is made by combining espresso with steamed milk and usually topped with foam.

Espresso has a stronger flavor than cappuccino due to the higher concentration of beans used in the brewing process. Cappuccino, on the other hand, has a more mellow flavor and a lighter texture because of its additional milk and foam components.

Which has more caffeine? Espresso or cappuccino?

When it comes to caffeine content, espresso is the clear winner. A single shot of espresso contains approximately 63 milligrams of caffeine while a cappuccino typically has around half that amount.

So if you’re looking for a bigger energy boost, an espresso might be the way to go!


What are the main differences between an espresso and a cappuccino?

The main difference between an espresso and cappuccino is their preparation method, ingredients, and taste.

Is an espresso stronger than a cappuccino?

Yes, an espresso is typically stronger than a cappuccino. An espresso is made with a small amount of concentrated water and ground coffee that is forced through a portafilter with great pressure.

Is cappuccino just espresso with milk?

No, a cappuccino is not just espresso with milk. While both drinks use espresso as the base and include steamed milk, the cappuccino is made with a greater proportion of milk compared to espresso.


If you’re a coffee lover, knowing the difference between an espresso and cappuccino is essential. Although the two drinks may appear to be similar in many ways, there are some key differences that set them apart.

By looking at the flavor, ingredients, and preparation techniques of each drink, it becomes easy to distinguish one from the other. Espressos are bold and intense while cappuccinos offer a more mellow flavor.

Whether you choose one or the other, enjoy your coffee knowledge and the delicious flavor of a perfectly brewed cup.

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