You walk into a coffee shop and the first thing you see is a drink menu with a whole bunch of words you may or may not understand (it’s okay, we’ve all been there, I promise). There’s probably a latte, cappuccino, cortado, and macchiato listed—to name a few. You don’t really want to ask what the difference is from a cappuccino and a macchiato, but you also don’t want to get something you don’t like! Fear no more, this is an all-you-need-to-know guide to ordering your perfect caffeinated drink.
The latte: A classic staple in the coffee business. It’s the espresso-based drink with lots of milky goodness and topped with an extra “mmph” of milk foam. If you’re not too keen on a super-strong espresso flavor, I recommend trying this!
The cappuccino: It’s basically the latte’s close cousin, might even mistake the two for brother and sister! The main difference is that a cappuccino is equal parts espresso, milk, and foam. The espresso flavor will be stronger than a latte, but you will still have that wonderful flavor mix of coffee and milk.
Also, there’s quite a fun fact about where the word “cappuccino” originates. Franciscan monks wear frocks with hoods called “Cappuccini,” and since the drink is topped with a “hood of milk,” somebody decided to call it a cappuccino. Pretty clever, right?
The cortado: Okay, now we are getting into the nitty-gritty-espresso-loving-people kind of drink. Most easily explained, it’s like a smaller cappuccino but without the steamed milk. So, you’re left with just a top of foamed milk. Since this drink is mostly espresso, it is obviously going to be the most prominent flavor in a cortado. The milk does help break the bitterness of the coffee, so it will still be a smoother, more sippable drink as opposed to a straight shot of espresso.
The macchiato: If you ever get this, it will come in the tiniest coffee mug, and honestly, that alone always makes me want to purchase one. This is not the drink for the faint-hearted, just to give a warning. If you are truly just not keen on tasting strong espresso, I would not recommend this to be your drink of choice. These are unlike caramel macchiatos, as these are much smaller—3oz to be exact. There is only a dash of milk in traditional versions of this drink, and it helps moderate the aggressive espresso flavor.
That’s it, folks. That is the quick version of the all-you-need-to-know guide to ordering in a coffee shop. Hopefully, this will be helpful for the next time you’re faced with those intimidating looking drinks so you can enjoy your best coffee drinking life. Also, if you just can’t get enough of those delicious drinks, check out this cappuccino mix here to get that coffee shop goodness right at home!