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Percolator Vs. French Press (Brewing Differences Compared)

When preparing your coffee in the morning, two unique options have befallen you; a percolator and a French press. Both possibilities make great coffee. But the question is which one is best for you?  

With either option, you’re going to get a coffee with a rich, strong flavor. The key differences are in the boldness and intensity, and here we will discuss those differences and which will deliver the coffee you desire.  

Coffee Percolator Overview: Brewing Method Explained 

coffee percolator on stove

A percolator was once a staple of American households until the 1970s when it was slowly replaced with drip coffee methods. It consists of a water chamber and a basket above for the coffee grounds. 

The water chamber is heated by a stovetop, or if it’s electrified, the water will be heated by a heating plate. The steam from the water passes through a small tube and into the filter basket for brewing. It uses a process of heating and reheating to brew. Some are timed, but they also come with an indicator to show when your brew is ready.  

The coffee itself is very strong and works best with a medium or dark roast. Some may find it too intense, but for those hardcore coffee heads out there, it’s a perfect addition to your morning.  


Pros & Cons Of Using Percolators 

What We Like 
  • Very strong, rich flavor 
  • Brew’s a lot of coffee very quickly 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Uses less electricity 
  • Reusable basket rather than filter 
  • Longer lasting 
Things We Don’t 
  • Can contain small sediments 
  • Not as easy to clean
  • Can burn the coffee if not careful 
  • Requires more attention and skill 

French Press Overview & Brewing Method 

The French press has been a strong contender in the coffee business since the 1930s. They produce coffee in a pour over method and require the water to be preboiled. It is made up of a beaker (or chamber), a plunger with a mesh filter attached, and a lid. Brewing is simple: 

  • Pour coffee grind into the beaker, about 2 – 4 tbsp. 
  • Pour boiling water to the top. 
  • Let the coffee brew for 3 –5 minutes. 
  • Slowly push the plunger to the bottom. 
  • Serve, and enjoy! 

The brilliance of a French press is that it works best with any roast; a lighter roast will retain the sweeter, more acidic flavors in the brew, whereas a darker roast will be punchier and keep its nutty, chocolatey notes. This is because there’s no filter to stop the natural oils or impurities from entering the brew. Because of its design, you can also brew loose tea leaves. A French press is a real treat for any home! 

french press with mug

Pros & Cons Of Using A French Press 

What We Like 
  • Strong flavor 
  • No filter required 
  • Easy operation 
  • Cleanup is quicker 
  • Versatile 
Things We Don’t 
  • Coffee grounds stick to sides 
  • Can have very acidic undertones 

Percolator Vs. French Press (Key Differences & Which Is Better?) 

1. Capacity 

The French press, at its limit, will make roughly 4 – 5 cups of coffee. As it uses a pour over method, your espresso won’t be as strong, which makes it better for milky coffees or black coffee.  

A percolator, due to its strength, will make much better espressos and therefore can make up to 20 drinks at once. It’s a better choice for stronger coffees in less time, but for a lighter coffee, a French press is better. 

2. Extraction 

The percolator uses a drip method, which means steam is sent through a tube in the percolator and drips onto the coffee. The water is cooled and reheated multiple times, so the coffee is much, much more robust. The French press immerses the ground into the water from the get-go, and the volume of water weakens the coffee. The extraction time is roughly the same, at 5 – 8 minutes on average.  

3. Ease Of Use 

The percolator makes very strong, great coffee, but it takes time to perfect the method. Because the water is under a direct heat source, it's much easier to burn the coffee at the speed it takes to brew.  

A French press uses water that’s already boiled, so it's impossible to burn the grind. They require less attention and can be left alone to brew. Percolators require constant attention to ensure a smooth operation.  

4. Versatility 

The percolator is renowned for making one type of coffee: strong. You aren’t going to get much else from it. Because of the drip method, it’s unable to create a weaker tasting coffee. The French press is designed for versatility. You can make a weaker brew with fewer grounds or stronger depending on your preference. You can even brew loose tea leaves if you so desire. The possibilities are endless! 

5. Taste 

As mentioned, a percolator makes very strong coffee. The taste is incredibly punchy, bold, and intense if done correctly.  There really isn’t any variation, as the brewing method lends itself to one brew type. 

A French press can vary in taste; a lighter roast will give you the sweet, fruity flavors, and the darker roasts will retain their nutty, chocolate flavor. A French press is the way to go for variety. 

6. Portability 

When you are planning your coffee for camping or caravanning, you will be limited with a French press. It requires water that has been preboiled, and the grounds are immersed in this. A percolator works with any heat source, so it is much better for remote retreats. Plus, French press designs come in glass, which is much less likely to withstand backpacking or camping.  

7. Cleaning & Maintenance 

Both the percolator and French press are easy to clean and maintain. The mesh on a French press is unscrewed from the plunger, and the beaker is easy to clean with soapy water. The only difficulty you may find with a percolator is the steam tube, which will require cleaning regularly to avoid any buildup of minerals.  

8. Length Of Use 

Percolators are designed for lifetime use. They’re made with materials to keep them safe from the heat source and so will continue to work for decades. The French press is more likely to break than a percolator because they’re usually designed from glass. A more fragile design, in longevity terms, the percolator wins.  


Percolator Vs. French Press For Camping: Which Is Better? 

For variety in your morning drinks, the French press is the obvious choice to make. But you also need to consider that you’ll need hot water already. Finding a way to heat water while camping shouldn’t be an issue, but you should consider a few things before deciding: 

  • Quality – do you prefer percolated or French press coffee? 
  • Durability – is your choice going to withstand camping? 
  • Use – do you find a French press or percolator easier to use? 
  • Cleanliness – which one would be easiest to clean? 

The percolator is ideal for camping – it works on any heat source and brews the coffee as it works. It would also be easier to clean as you can just rinse the chambers with warm, soapy water. It's also far more durable; your French press is probably made from glass and will break in the right circumstance.  

coffee by fire

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Why does my percolated coffee taste burnt? 

This is usually because it has brewed for too long – the percolator doesn’t take long to brew coffee and should usually be stopped as it starts perking. This is when the indicator begins to burble.  

Is a light or dark roast better in a French press? 

You can use any roast in a French press. But, the most popular choice is a medium to dark roast, as this will retain the beans naturally occurring oils, which gives your brew a bold flavor.  

Is French Press coffee smoother? 

Yes – a French press immerses the ground in water for a longer time than a percolator, which gives your brew a smoother, more subtle flavor.  

Does percolator coffee have more caffeine? 

Percolated coffee has roughly 80mg of caffeine per serving. A standard drip serve coffee will have roughly 150mg of caffeine in your cup.  

What type of grind should I use in a percolator? 

The filter basket in a percolator is not as fine as normal coffee makers, which means you should use coarse grounds to avoid coffee grounds in your cup. 


Conclusion

Both a percolator and a French press have their merits. Each type of coffee will deliver a punchy, strong cup, but for an extra kick, a percolator is a perfect choice. For those who prefer their coffee to be more subtle, then a French press is ideal. Whatever you choose, you’ll get a great cup of joe to kick start your morning! 

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

Percolator Vs Drip (Which Brewing Method Makes The Best Cup?)

Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water, and is drunk in literally every country in the world. It has a long history, but coffee really exploded in the 20th Century with more brewing methods, flavors, and styles available than ever before. As a result, we now live in an age where there are infinite coffee possibilities, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell different types of coffee apart.  

Percolator and drip are two of the most popular styles of brewing. This guide will help give the breakdown of percolator vs. drip coffee, the similarities and differences, and the pros and cons of each method.  

coffee cup with spoon

Coffee Percolator: How Do They Work?

Percolators are regarded as the tried and tested method for brewing coffee. First invented in the 1800s by Count Rumford, the percolator has stood the test of time because it’s effective and simple. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are regarded as giving a consistently good brew no matter where you are.  

Percolators are made up of a metal kettle with a metal tray for your coffee grounds, and a thin tube for the water to travel up. The percolator is placed directly on a heat source, typically a hob or a fire, and as the water heats, it travels up through the pipe and flows through the coffee grounds to give you your brewed coffee. You can then just pour it out into your cup and enjoy. 

Percolated coffee is regarded as one of the less sophisticated brewing methods. You end up with a stronger, bolder, and more bitter coffee than other methods, which is probably why there is a divide in opinion over it. Percolators are popular with some old school people and are often used by those who are traveling or camping because of the simplicity of the process.  

There are two main types of percolators to choose from: 

Electric/Automatic  

Electric percolators are like a cross between a kettle and a coffee machine. They have a base that plugs into your mains and provides the source of heat for the water. This allows it to travel up the pipe and brew the coffee. This has its advantages because it removes the requirement for an external heat source which can be a bit of a hazard. It also means you don't have to monitor the percolator to stop the coffee from burning or overflowing, allowing you to just switch a button and wait until the coffee is done.  

Manual  

Manual percolators are really simple to use but do need a heat source. You simply add the coffee grounds, put the percolator on the hob or over a grill on an outdoor flame, and wait for the water to heat. You will need to watch the percolator so you can take it off the heat when it's ready, or you can end up ruining the coffee. This is a slightly more hands-on method but allows you full control of the process from start to finish. A manual percolator should only take 2-3 minutes for the coffee to be ready.  


Pros & Cons Of Using Percolators 

Advantages 

  • Long-Lasting
    A percolator is made to be durable and could last you a lifetime if you look after it.
  • Affordable
    Percolators can be purchased for under $20, making them great value for money.
  • Portable
    Percolators are lightweight and easy to move from place to place. They're a great option for traveling or camping.
  • Gives You Control
    You can control the brew time and customize the coffee to meet your style.
  • Strong
    Percolated coffee is much stronger than drip coffee and gives you a bigger caffeine boost.
  • Fast Brewing
    Percolated coffee can be ready in 2-3 minutes. Great for those who need caffeine fast.

Disadvantages 

  • Bitter Taste
    Percolated coffee can be pretty bitter, and it's more of an acquired taste.
  • Small Capacity
    Percolators generally only make 1 or 2 cups at a time. Perfect for single-person use but not for a group.
  • Hands-On
    You need to be quite hands-on to brew percolated coffee. It isn't difficult, but you can't just push a button and walk away.

Drip Coffee Makers: How Do They Work? 

Drip coffee is the industry standard for coffee really, and that's no bad thing. In fact, it shows just how effective a brewing method it is, and you’ll see an electric drip coffee machine in almost every home.  

Drip coffee was invented by Melitta Bentz in 1908, who punched holes in a tin cup and used blotting paper as a filter. She let water flow through the coffee grounds into a cup and created a fantastically simple way to brew coffee. The percolator was already over 100 years old when this method was invented but suddenly percolated coffee had competition.  

The method has been refined over the years, and the first electric drip coffee machine was invented in 1954 by Gottlob WidmanThe method itself is very simple. Pressure and heat are applied to cold water, which is then dripped down onto the coffee grounds and passed through a filter into your cup or jug. All the water passes through the middle of the grounds (rather than the pour over technique where the water is moved by hand), and this gives an even taste to the coffee.  

Drip coffee is popular because it’s so accessible. It’s used in coffee shops to give a quick, authentic taste, and it’s used at home for the exact same reasons. It’s also one of the cheapest brewing methods (outside the cost of the machine) because filters and grounds are only a few cents per cup. Drip coffee gives you an even, well-rounded and simple taste which makes it perfect for all coffee drinkers.  

white drip coffee maker

Pros & Cons Of Using a Drip Coffee Maker 

Advantages 

  • Consistent
    Drip coffee machines will give you a pretty much identical coffee every single time.
  • Simple
    Drip coffee machines are entirely foolproof, so anyone can use them.
  • Good Taste
    Drip coffee is well rounded and full-bodied, perfect for any coffee drinker.
  • Large Capacity
    A drip coffee maker can give you 10-14 cups at a time, making it well suited for busy homes or offices. 
  • Convenient
    You can make a drip coffee at the push of a button, making it completely hassle-free.

Disadvantages 

  • Expensive
    Drip coffee machines are cheap to run but can be expensive to purchase.
  • Not Portable
    You can't move your drip coffee machine easily, and some units are surprisingly heavy.
  • Maintenance Required
    To keep your drip coffee making working correctly, you'll need to put some time into maintaining it.

Percolator Vs. Drip: Which Makes The Best Cup Of Joe? 

There’s actually a lot of similarities between the two brewing techniques, along with a few key differences. We’ve given a quick breakdown of the key factors below so you can make an informed decision: 

1. Coffee Taste 

Drip coffee offers a much simple and well-rounded taste. It has good flavor, but it's smooth and easy to drink, making it a much gentler way to start the day than some alternatives. Percolated coffee is much rougher and can even come across as bitter. This is because the coffee flavor can be over-extracted due to the simpler brewing technique.  

2. Coffee Strength  

Percolated coffee is stronger than drip coffee and has a more noticeable caffeine kick. An 8-ounce serving of percolated coffee will contain about 200mg of caffeine, whereas an 8 ounce drip coffee will only have about 95mg. You can balance this out by using caffeine-rich grounds in your drip coffee, but typically you should expect a much bigger kick from percolated.  

3. Brewing Convenience 

Drip coffee machines aren't too difficult to use, but you need to set them up correctly. There's also some regular maintenance involved to keep them working efficiently. Percolators are pretty much as basic and as simple as it gets because you little just whack it on the heat and leave it. Percolators definitely win in this category.  

4. Brewing Time 

Percolated coffee will take anywhere from 2-10 minutes to brew, and this will be heavily influenced by the heat source you’re using for the water and the amount of water being boiled. Drip coffee takes about 4-6 minutes though this will be influenced by the make and model of the machine you're using. If you're making a single cup, then percolated is a lot quicker than drip.  

5. Brewing Capacity 

Percolators are generally only made in small sizes and are designed to be quite portable. This makes them unsuitable for a big crowd unless you’ve bought a specifically large model. Drip coffee machines come in literally all shapes and sizes, and they can make 10-14 cups at a time. If you’re catering for a lot of coffee drinkers, then drip coffee machines are a better choice for you.  

6. Coffee Grind Size 

The size of the coffee grind you use will impact the ability of the water to pick up the flavor. If you use fine grinds, then the water only needs to pass through it quickly, but courser coffee grinds need to sit in the water for longer. Drip coffee uses a medium/fine coffee grind because water passes through it quite quickly. Percolators use a thicker, courser coffee grind because the water has more time to absorb the flavor.  

7. Portability 

Drip coffee machines aren't portable at all. They need to be set up and plugged in pretty much all the time, so you shouldn't expect to be able to take it with you easily. Percolators, on the other hand, are designed with portability in mind. They are lightweight and easy to use in all locations, making them perfect for trips away and camping excursions.  

8. Ease Of Cleaning 

Drip coffee machines are generally easier to clean. You’ll only really have to focus on the coffee pot and some of the other elements that can be hand washed pretty easily, but you will need to put some time to maintain the machine. Percolators aren’t too difficult to clean, but because they're typically made of metal, the coffee can stain easily. You'll need to make sure you wash them soon after every use and soak them every 2-3 uses, so there are no stains on the interior of the percolator.  

9. Purchase Price Range 

Percolators are far cheaper than drip coffee machines. A basic percolator can be purchased for less than $20, and even the expensive models won’t get much higher than $70. For a high-end drip coffee machine, you're looking at spending hundreds of dollars, and even the cheap options will be over $50. If you want a cheap coffee brewer, then the percolator is for you.  

10. Length of Use  

Percolators win in this category because they are designed to last. In fact, a good percolator could last you a lifetime because of the simplicity of the device and the materials used. Drip coffee machine's longevity is influenced by the make and model of your machine. A good machine will last 5-10 years, but you will need to put the time in to maintain it. 


Popular Alternative Option: French Press Method 

french press with mug

French press is another popular brewing method that is an alternative to percolators or drip methods. The technique has been around for a long time and offers another simple way to make coffee. The device itself is made up of a large coffee pot style device and a metal plunger. The coffee grounds are put in the base of the French press, and boiling water is added. A filter is attached to the bottom of the plunger in the device, and as you press it down, it forces the water and grounds to combine and allows the water to pick up the flavor but filters out the bits themselves.  

French press coffee has a more complex flavor than drip or percolated coffee. It's richer than drip coffee with a lot more depth of flavor but less robust than percolated coffee which can be quite rich. French press is a sort of halfway house between drip coffee and percolated coffee in terms of taste, but it takes a little more effort to make.  

French press is a popular method with coffee enthusiasts because it gives you more control than drip or percolated coffee. You can decide how long to steep the grounds, the thickness of grounds used, and the exact temperature of the water. This makes it less well suited for simple coffee drinkers who might typically opt for drip or percolated.  


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I use a filter in a percolator? 

Yes. Specialized percolators have been created, which allow you to use a filter in the brewing process. This helps remove some of the grounds and the bitterness from the coffee.  

How do you keep coffee grounds out of a percolator? 

The best way to prevent grounds out of your percolator is to use course grounds. These are less likely to get picked up by the water as it flows through the device.  

Why does my percolator make weak coffee? 

Percolators typically make very strong hot, strong coffee. If it's coming out weaker, then the water probably isn’t enough. Always aim to get your percolator to 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit to brew the coffee correctly.  

How many times can you use drip coffee? 

Grounds in a drip coffee machine should never be used more than twice. Past this point, you won't get the flavor or caffeine in your coffee. 

How much coffee do you put in a drip coffee maker? 

As a rule, you want to put in 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water. 


Conclusion

Percolated coffee and drip coffee are more different than you might realize. Drip coffee has a more well-rounded, even taste which makes it well suited for casual coffee drinkers. Percolated coffee has a rougher, more bitter taste which is better suited for those who like a strong kick.  

If you want a hassle-free morning brew with no issues or stress, then you can't beat a drip coffee machine because it's completely foolproof. If you want a strong, hot, jolt you awake style of coffee, then percolated coffee is more up your street. 

With coffee, there's no right or wrong answer, but hopefully, this article has given you all the information you need to choose between percolated and drip coffee. 

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

Flat White Vs Cappuccino Explained: How These Coffees Differ

If you're a coffee lover, it's likely that you're spoiled for choice with the plethora of coffee options to choose from. Out of all the coffee drinks, two of the most popular options are flat white and cappuccino drinks. However, while these two coffee drinks might seem similar, there are plenty of distinct differences between the two.  

In this guide, we'll discuss the differences between a flat white and cappuccino, answer frequently asked questions, and more. 

Flat White & Cappuccino: How Are They Made? 

One of the first things to look at when it comes to a cappuccino vs. flat white coffee drink is how they’re made.  

The flat white was invented in either New Zealand or Australian coffee shops in the 1980s. In terms of ingredients, it contains:  

  • Espresso  
  • Steamed milk  

It’s traditionally served in a five to six-ounce cup and consists of two shots of espresso along with a tiny bit of foam. When it comes to a flat white vs. cappuccino milk content, the flat white contains more milk than a cappuccino but less milk than a latte. It is, however, a less frothy drink.  

The cappuccino, on the other hand, was invented in the 1700s. Interestingly, it was originally served with whipped cream and spices before being replaced with frothy milk. The cappuccino contains the following ingredients:  

  • Espresso 
  • Milk froth  

While the ratio of a cappuccino can differ significantly around the world, it's typically served in a cup with a handle and contains a third espresso (double shot), a third milk, and a third milk froth.  


Taste & Texture Of A Flat White  

One of the biggest differences between a cappuccino and a flat white is its taste and texture.  

With a flat white, espresso counts for about 25% of the drink, so it does have a relatively strong coffee flavor – more so than a typical latte. As it does have microfoam on the top, it has a smooth texture to it without the velvety finish of a cappuccino.  

Another main difference between a flat white and a cappuccino is its ingredient ratio. A flat white has about 1.5 ounces of espresso, 4-5 ounces of steamed milk, and 0.5 ounces of microfoam. Those who tend to prefer a flat white enjoy it as it has the flavor and intensity of an espresso coupled with the richness of a dairy-based drink.  

two flat white coffees

Taste & Texture Of A Cappuccino  

With a cappuccino, 33% of the drink contains espresso, so it’s stronger than a flat white. In terms of texture, cappuccinos have a thick and dense milk foam that has both a velvety and creamy finish.  

For the ingredient ratio, a cappuccino has about 2 ounces of espresso, 2 ounces of steamed milk, and 2 ounces of microfoam. It is noticeably stronger than a flat white and has a balanced and creamy texture to it. If you like foamy coffees that have a good caffeine kick, it’s likely that you’re a fan of the cappuccino.  

cappuccino with pastries

Flat White Vs. Cappuccino (Similarities & Differences)  

The table below will provide you with an excellent overview of the similarities and differences between a flat white and cappuccino.  

Factors  

Flat White  

Cappuccino  

Caffeine Content  

About 1.5 ounces is espresso 

About 2 ounces is espresso  

Milk Content  

About ⅔ steamed milk and with microfoam.  

A cappuccino has ⅓ steamed milk and ⅓ frothed milk or microfoam.  

Calorie Content  

More calories than a cappuccino as it has more milk volume (depending on the milk used)  

A cappuccino may have slightly fewer calories as half the milk volume in a cappuccino is foam.  

Texture  

A lighter and silkier texture  

A rich, thick and creamy texture  

With or Without Foam

Comes with a tiny bit of foam  

Thick and dense microfoam  

Size 

5-6 ounces  

5-6 ounces (usually slightly bigger than a flat white)  

Extra Additions  

It doesn’t really come with any extra additions.  

Dusted with chocolate powder.  

Variations  

There aren't really any variations when it comes to making a flat white. Perhaps the only variation is using different types of milk such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, low-fat milk, etc.  

There are flavored cappuccinos made with flavored syrups such as chocolate, caramel, vanilla, etc.   

 

There are also iced cappuccinos, wet cappuccinos (made with more hot milk and less foamed milk), and dry cappuccinos (made with less milk)  


Milk Options For These Coffees  

While you can use regular milk or low-fat milk with these coffees, there are also plenty of other milk options to choose from. 

Soy milk  

A popular alternative milk choice, in comparison to other types of milk on this list, soy milk has a relatively strong flavor. It’s great when paired with a robust espresso, but can overpower an espresso that has a fruity and floral taste. Soy milk also has a tendency to split in coffee, so care must be taken when using it.  

Oat milk

A popular choice for coffee-based drinks, oat milk has a creamy and thick texture that makes it have a less overpowering flavor than some of the other nut milks. In addition, it has a natural sweetness that is close to dairy and blends well with espresso. Since it also has a higher fat content than other milk types, it's great for both steaming and frothing.  

Almond milk 

Almond milk is low in calories and contains a good amount of protein and fiber. If you're using regular almond milk, it's likely that you'll run into issues with thickening or frothing. If you want to use almond milk in your cappuccino or flat white, opt for a barista version instead.  


How To Make Starbucks Flat White Coffee 

Looking to make Starbucks flat white coffee at home? Below, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how Starbucks makes and serves their flat whites and how to recreate them at home.  

Starbucks makes their flat white coffee by:

  1. 1
    Pouring ristretto shots (espresso that uses less water during the brewing process) into a cup.  
  2. 2
    Then, milk is poured above the cup (about six inches or so). This allows the drink to be built evenly. Starbucks also ensures that the milk has a smooth and velvety texture to it.  
  3. 3
    To top it off, the drink is finished with a distinct white dot of foam. Not only is it a nice touch, but it’s also a good way to see if the milk is properly textured.  

To make your own Starbucks flat white coffee, you’ll need:  

  • 2 shots of ristretto espresso  
  • 1 cup of steamed milk (you can choose whatever milk you’d like. If you’re not a fan of regular milk, oat milk is a great option).  
  • Sugar (optional)

Here’s how to do it:  

  1. 1
    Prepare two shots of ristretto. To do so, you’ll use the same amount of ground coffee as a classic espresso shot but half the volume of hot water. Then, pour it over a glass.  
  2. 2
    Steam the milk and froth it for at least a minute to ensure that it gets nice and foamy. If you want to get extra fancy, you can use a milk frother.  
  3. 3
    Pour the frothy foamed milk over the espresso and finish off with that classic white dot of foam. If you’d like, you can also do some latte art.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which of these coffees is the weakest?  

A flat white is weaker than a cappuccino. While a flat white has 1.5 ounces of espresso, a cappuccino contains 2 ounces of espresso.  

Which of these coffees do Italian’s drink? 

Italians drink cappuccino. It's a classic Italian espresso drink and is typically enjoyed before or after breakfast.  

Which is healthier? Flat white or cappuccino?  

A cappuccino is healthier than a flat white as it contains less milk – most of it is foam. It is, however, only marginally healthier, and this is also dependent on the type of milk that is used.  

Is the cappuccino or flat white generally more expensive to buy? 

Flat whites are typically more expensive as they require more skill to make. A good flat white needs to be made with milk that is steamed into a ‘microfoam.' That's the only way that you'll get the silky smooth texture when you're sipping your coffee.  


Conclusion

If you’re a new coffee drinker, you should definitely give both of these drinks a shot. After you've tasted both a flat white and cappuccino, you'll have a better understanding of the different tastes and textures between the two and how they cater to different individuals.  

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

Macchiato Vs. Cortado (Differences + Which To Choose)

The macchiato and cortado are two of the most popular espresso-based drinks in the world. But what is the difference between the two? And when should you choose one over the other?  

To understand the difference, we must first understand each drink's recipe. 

Macchiato Vs Cortado: How Are They Made? 

Macchiato 

A Macchiato is an Italian espresso-based coffee drink made with a small amount of hot milk. It's called a Macchiato because the espresso is "stained" or "marked" with a small amount of milk foam. 

To make a macchiato: 

  1. 1
    Prepare a single shot of espresso
  2. 2
    Froth a small amount of milk in a pitcher
  3. 3
    Remove the top of the foam (dry foam) with a spoon. Then, float it over the espresso

Cortado 

The name "cortado" is derived from the verb "cortar," which means "to cut" in Spanish. A cortado is essentially an espresso "cut" with a little bit of steamed milk to give it a creamy texture and a bit of sweetness. It's also important to note that the milk in the cortado is steamed, not frothed. 

To prepare a cortado: 

  1. 1
    Extract one (or two) shots of espresso.
  2. 2
    Gently steam your milk
  3. 3
    Pour the steamed milk into the espresso in a 1:1 ratio

What Does A Cortado Taste Like? 

A cortado is a coffee with character. Its smooth, full-bodied flavor has a gentle kick of espresso and a creamy finish. You'll enjoy the strong, rich, and bold character of this drink. It's available in many different variations, but its main ingredient is always espresso. 

A key ingredient of a cortado is steamed milk. The amount of steamed milk and the ratio of steamed milk to espresso depends on the barista and each region but is typically in a 1:1 ratio.  

The cortado is a great latte alternative because it doesn't have the strong flavor and aroma of espresso. Its other distinctive feature is its lack of foam. The milk is able to cut through the espresso and blend together as smoothly as possible. Coffee lovers love this drink due to its rich, creamy taste. 

espresso shot

What Does A Macchiato Taste Like? 

The macchiato is a creamy, milky espresso drink that's more flavorful than a regular espresso. A small amount of steamed milk is blended together with a lot of strong coffee for a stronger and more rich drink. Rather than thinking of ratios, it's easier to view the macchiato as an espresso with a little milk in it. 

In a market saturated with milk-based coffee drinks, an espresso macchiato could be seen as a healthier alternative to regular lattes and cappuccinos. The macchiato contains only a small amount of milk or milk foam and won't dramatically increase the drink's calorific content. 

Macchiato at cafe

Cortado Vs. Macchiato: Main Differences Compared 

The main difference between a macchiato and a cortado is the type of milk used to prepare the beverage.  

1. Milk Content & Type 

  • macchiato is made with espresso and foamed milk, which is a lot like steamed milk, except that the milk is frothed before it's steamed to give it a nice, silky texture. 
  • Cortado is a Spanish word that means 'cut' in English. The origin of this name comes from the traditional method of preparing this coffee drink. The traditional method involves a shot of espresso and a small amount of milk, but the modern-day version involves steamed milk and a double shot of espresso. 

2. Caffeine Content 

The caffeine content of your macchiato or cortado will depend on how many shots of coffee it contains. A typical shot of espresso is 1 1/2 ounces or 77mg of caffeine. A double shot of espresso can have up to 185mg of caffeine. 

3. Calories 

Most of the calories in the coffee comes from the milk or sugar you add to it. Typically macchiatos and cortados use a small amount of milk, so the calorific content is much lower than a typical latte or cappuccino. Using alternative kinds of milk such as Almond or Oat will affect the calorific content of your drink. 

4. Extra Additions 

There are several different cortado variations, including café con leche and bombón (espresso with condensed milk). Many customers may choose to add sugar or sugar alternatives to sweeten their drink. 

One of the most popular variations of the macchiato is the caramel macchiato, which adds caramel syrup to the beverage. The drink became a hit after Starbucks introduced it in their stores and is now one of their signature drinks. 

5. Price In Cafes 

Depending on your local coffee shop, both drinks will typically set you back between $4 - $6 for a basic drink. If you switch out the milk for something non-dairy or add in flavored syrups, you can expect to pay more. 


Things That Impact The Taste Of These Coffees 

  • Milk 
    Sugar, protein, and fat are the three main components in milk that affect the flavor and body of the coffee. These components are also used to enhance the sweetness and reduce bitterness in brewed beverages.  If you want a more richly flavored drink, then ask for your beverage to be made using less foam. Adding extra foam (milk) will deliver a creamier texture. Among dairy alternatives, almond and soy milk are the most popular. Soy milk is an excellent alternative to dairy milk, offering similar protein levels and great taste when heated. However, it can curdle as a reaction to the coffee's acidity or temperature.  Almond milk is a little nutty, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. That's why some people prefer to use the sweetened version of almond milk. 
  • Type Of Beans (Arabica & Robusta/other)  
    When using Arabica beans to make espresso, the taste will be more smooth and mellow than with robusta beans. 
  • Roast – Light Or Dark 
    If beans with a light roast are used, then the espresso will have a milder taste that's smoother. However, darker roasts can give the espresso a bitter taste. 
  • The Grind  
    If the grind is too fine, it can cause your espresso to be bitter. The finer the grind, the longer it will take for the water to reach the coffee bean, which means more water will enter the mixture, and more coffee will be extracted. 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How many shots of espresso are usually in cortado? 

That depends on where in the world you're ordering your cortado. In Spain, the cortado is typically a single espresso of espresso and a small amount of milk. Other locations prefer to use a double shot of espresso. 

Regardless of the number of shots, the ratio of steamed milk to coffee should be about half and half. 

What is the difference between cortado, cappuccino & flat white? 

Again, this all pretty much comes down to milk. 

The cortado is a little bit smaller and a little bit stronger than a cappuccino, which is typically served in a larger mug or cup with more milk and foam. Sometimes, it can also be topped with chocolate powder. 

Though they have the same amount of espresso, the flat white and cortado differ in terms of the amount of milk and how much foam is added. The flat white has more milk than the cortado and is often topped with "latte art," where the cortado has a much more basic presentation. 

Is a cortado sweet? 

Not naturally. When you add sugar or syrup to your cortado, it makes it sweet. The taste of coffee is typically bitter, but it can be sweetened with honey, sugars, or flavored syrups. Some milk can also sweeten your drink, so be careful about what you add to your cortado if you're not a fan of overly sweet coffee. 

Is macchiato considered healthy? 

When consumed in moderation, a macchiato can be a healthy part of your diet, but if you're regularly consuming large amounts of coffee, it may be time to cut back. 

As a macchiato is typically a smaller drink, less sugar is required to sweeten the drink, and less milk is added. For that reason, a macchiato is typically considered more healthy than, say, a latte or cappuccino. 


Conclusion

Now that you understand the basics of these popular coffee drinks, you'll be ready to start experimenting with your own versions. Whether you're brewing one at home or going to a cafe, this guide will help you get started. 

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Frappe Vs. Frappuccino: The Key Differences Explained

You might think the terms Frappe and Frappuccino are interchangeable, but as it turns out, these two popular cold coffee drinks aren’t actually the same thing! 

This guide is dedicated to enlightening every coffee fan with the key differences of the Frappe vs. Frappuccino. By the end of this, you’ll know exactly which one to order next time you want a delicious cold coffee beverage.  

What Is a Frappe & How Is It Made? 

The Frappe, pronounced fra-pay, is an iced coffee drink that originated in Greece sometime in the 1950s. It all started when a representative of the Nescafe, Dimitris Vakondios, started experimenting by combining instant coffee, water, sugar, and milk.  

However, you might know the Frappe better as one of McDonald’s best-selling McCafe menu items.

Just like the traditional Frappe, McDonald's Frappes are

"cool, sweet treats blended with ice and covered with whipped topping…."

How to Make a Frappe 

While the Frappe is always served cold, there are different ways to achieve its signature sweet flavoring. It can be shaken, blended, or beaten, and oftentimes it is topped with whipped cream and additional treats, like caramel sauce or chocolate syrup. Some people even prefer using real espresso rather than instant coffee grounds for a bolder coffee flavor. 

choco coffee frappe

If you’re looking for a Frappe recipe to make your own at home, you’re in luck; there are tons of online recipes available outlining the exact steps and ingredients you’ll need. To help you get started, here’s the general gist of making a Frappe at home:  

  1. 1
    Gather your base ingredients. This consists of instant coffee granules (about 1 teaspoon), ¼ cup boiling water, 1 cup milk of choice, and ½ cup ice.  
  2. 2
    Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. For best results, pour this into an ice cube tray and freeze it before moving on to the next step.  
  3. 3
    In a blender, combine the milk and coffee ice cubes—cover and process until smooth. Add the crushed ice and blend. 

Feel free to use other ingredients to garnish your Frappe - or even add to the base ingredients. This can include things like whipped cream, chocolate syrup, or even Oreo cookies.  


What Is a Frappuccino & How Is It Made? 

Unlike the Frappe, a Frappuccino is a patented Starbucks drink that you’ll only find at Starbucks locations. However, Starbucks isn’t responsible for officially creating this popular frozen coffee drink. 

Take a look at the history of the Frappuccino, and you'll come to find that it was actually invented by a man named George Howell. 

According to Today,

“Howell was one of the pioneers of the specialty coffee movement in the United States during the 70s and 80s. He now operates George Howell Coffee, which has three coffee shop locations in Massachusetts.”

Starbucks Frappuccino

So what exactly is a Frappuccino? To put it simply, it’s a drink that combines cappuccino (but any concentrated coffee can be used) with a milkshake, sugar, ice, aerated cream, and sweetening agents. These are the base ingredients, but just like the Frappe, this drink can be flavored and garnished with many different things. 

How to Make a Frappuccino 

If you’re looking for the exact Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino recipe to make at home - we can’t all spend $5/day on our frozen coffee drinks! - here’s what to do:  

  1. 1
    Gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2 cups of ice, 1 cup of cooled strongly brewed coffee, 1 cup milk of choice, 3 tablespoons sugar, and ⅓ caramel sauce.  
  2. 2
    Blend all of the ingredients together on high until the consistency is smooth. If you prefer a chunkier drink, then blend to your preference.  
  3. 3
    That’s it! 

The Big Differences Between a Frappe Vs. Frappuccino 

The main difference between Frappe and Frappuccino drinks is that the Frappe traditionally uses instant coffee, while the Frappuccino uses strongly brewed or concentrated coffee. This isn’t the only difference, though:  

1. Caffeine Content

A Frappe will technically always contain caffeine, and this is because it always contains coffee. A Frappuccino, on the other hand, can be made with coffee that has been decaffeinated, and depending on the Frappuccino you choose, there might not be coffee in it at all! For example, the Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino contains absolutely zero coffee, so there is no caffeine.  

2. Coffee Used

Most Frappes are made with instant coffee or natural coffee flavoring, while most Frappuccinos are made using strongly brewed or concentrated coffee. 

3. Milk Content

Both of these drinks contain about the same amount of milk. If you’re making a single Frappe or Frappuccino for yourself at home, use 1 cup milk. This can be full-fat, fat-free, or even a dairy-free milk alternative like oat, almond, or soy milk. 

4. Taste

In terms of taste, both of these drinks are DELICIOUS. However, traditional Frappes typically taste less sweet since there is less sugar used (this isn’t so much the case for McCafe Frappes), but this depends entirely on how you order it. 

5. Healthiness

To be quite honest, neither of these drinks can be deemed “healthy." Both typically contain sugar, which means there's a decent amount of calories in both the Frappe and Frappuccino. However, it’s possible to order a Frappe without sugar - this is quite common in Europe. If that’s the case, then your Frappe would have about 150 calories, while a Frappuccino usually has 250+ calories. 

6. Variations

The main variations of the Frappe include the original version from Greece as well as the popular New England Frappe. If you’re ordering at McDonald’s, though, you can choose between Mocha or Caramel. For the Frappuccino, there are many more variations available. If you look at a ranking of the best Starbucks Frappuccinos, the most popular options include Java Chip, Pumpkin Spice, Mocha, Caramel, Strawberries n’ Cream, and Vanilla Bean.

7. Extra Additions

Both drinks come with the option for extra additions. In fact, they’re usually both topped with a thick layer of whipped cream and some type of sweetened syrup. It’s also possible to order extra flavoring, like vanilla, lavender, or hazelnut.


Starbucks Frappuccino Vs. McDonald's Frappe (Which to Order?) 

The Starbucks Frappuccino and McDonald’s Frappe are pretty much neck and neck when it comes to popularity. The one you order really comes down to your personal taste preferences. 

Like most treats at McDonald’s, the Frappe is extremely sugar-packed. If you’re not a fan of sweetness, then you’ll probably want to steer clear of this beverage. But if you have a sweet tooth and are in the mood for a cold coffee drink, it’s an excellent choice. 

At Starbucks, you have a lot more control over sweetness depending on how you order and the Frappuccino variation you’ve chosen.  

Mcdonalds McCafe

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Does Starbucks own the word Frappuccino? 

Yep! Starbucks officially trademarked the word Frappuccino back in 1995. 

What was the first Frappuccino at Starbucks? 

According to a Starbucks Fact Sheet,

“Starbucks launched the first Frappuccino® blended beverages, Coffee and Mocha, in the U.S. in 1995 with a proprietary blend of coffee, milk and ice. Today, almost two decades later, customers can enjoy more than 36,000 different combinations of Frappuccino® blended beverages.”

Can you put a Frappuccino in the fridge? 

Yes, but just realize that the ingredients are likely to separate. Before you sip on your Frappuccino after taking it out of the fridge, give it a good stir, or you can even reblend it in your home blender.  


Conclusion

Now that you know the difference between Frappe vs. Frappuccino, you can now order your favorite cold refreshment with confidence! 

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Aeropress Vs French Press: Which Is The Best Brewing Method?

Do you want to change up your morning coffee routine and stop using that mediocre Keurig machine? Then there are two coffee-making methods you should definitely consider: the French press and the AeroPress.  

Both of these brewing methods are manual techniques that result in a delicious cup of Joe, but they have some major differences. In this guide to AeroPress vs. French press, we'll go over each method in detail and explore the main differences so that you can choose the best brewing method for you.  

AeroPress Coffee Brewing (Overview + Method) 

The AeroPress is a unique manual coffee maker that consists of a cylinder chamber, a plunger, and an airtight silicone seal. Inside the chamber is where ground coffee beans and water go through the steeping process. After a certain amount of steeping time, the grounds are filtered from the liquid through a thick paper filter by pressing the plunger down through the chamber.  

The device was founded in 2005 by a man named Alan Adler, so it hasn’t been around nearly as long when you compare it to other methods, like pour over vs French press vs AeroPress. However, it has received a lot of attention even in a short amount of time for a few reasons.  

AeroPress coffee

The main concept behind AeroPressed coffee is pressure. By adding pressure - that’s where the Press in AeroPress comes from - in a closed steeping chamber, the coffee brews faster, which means there’s less bitterness in AeroPress coffee. So if you don’t generally enjoy coffee’s natural bitterness and you consider yourself an impatient person, this is a great choice for you. 

AeroPress on coffee table

Now, there are a few different models of AeroPress coffee makers, including the AeroPress Go that is specifically designed for travelers and people with an on-the-go lifestyle. 


Pros & Cons of AeroPressed Coffees  

While there’s a lot that people like about AeroPress coffee makers, there are also a few cons:  

What We Like 
  • Very versatile device that can steep more than just coffee 
  • Delivers a clean and flavorful brew with less bitterness 
  • Durable and portable 
  • Great if you want a single cup 
  • Brewing time is a speedy 1-3 minutes 
Things We Don’t 
  • Can be messy 
  • There is a physical challenge involved when it’s time to push the plunger (lots of pressure in the chamber) 
  • It’s a less-forgiving method - there’s more room for mistakes! 

French Press Coffee Brewing (Overview + Method) 

black french press

The French press brewing method has been around for quite some time. It originated somewhere in France, but the Italians often claim that it started with them. We’ll never know the exact origins, but we do know that it was officially patented by two Italian men in 1928.  

The process for using a French press is very similar to the AeroPress. It involves a beaker (rather than a pressurized chamber), a metal mesh filter, and a plunger. The coffee grounds and hot water are combined in the beaker, and then there's a steeping period of between 3-5 minutes. After steeping is complete, simply push the plunger down to filter the grounds from the liquid.  

Because the ground coffee is directly immersed in the water, the result of using a French press is rich, bold, and heavily-bodied. It's an excellent choice for anyone who likes a strong, flavorful, robust cup of coffee with a muted natural acidity.  


Pros & Cons of French Pressed Coffees  

Just like the AeroPress, French pressed coffee comes with some good, as well as some bad:  

What We Like 
  • Easy to use 
  • Delivers a rich, bold flavor 
  • Very little work involved (except for cleanup) 
  • Can produce multiple cups at a time 
  • You have control over how strong your coffee is 
Things We Don’t 
  • Can have a muddled taste that feels heavy in the mouth 
  • Clean up is a pain 

French Press Vs. Aeropress: Differences Compared

These brewing methods have some similarities, like the fact that they both fully immerse the beans in hot water, allow the grounds to steep, then use a plunging device to filter the grounds out. But there are also some big differences between French press and AeroPress coffee, like:  

1. Design

Comparing design features of Aeropress vs French press is like comparing apples to oranges. They're both "fruit" (or rather, coffee makers), but they're totally different. The biggest design difference is that the AeroPress uses an airtight seal to create pressure in the brewing chamber. 

Another difference is the use of a thick paper filter in an AeroPress rather than a mesh metal filter with the French press. The paper filter allows for more pressure.  

2. Speed

Because of the added pressure, the brew time is much faster with an AeroPress - your coffee can be brewed in as little as 1 minute. With a French press, the ideal time is between 3-5 minutes, depending on flavor preferences.  

3. Cleanliness

AeroPress coffee definitely has a cleaner flavor, and this is all thanks to the faster brewing time. French press coffee can sometimes feel gritty or muddled, especially if the beans have not been properly ground. 

4. Convenience

Most people love the "set it and forget it" mentality of the French press. Just fill the chamber with grounds and water, forget about it for a few minutes, then push the plunger down, and your coffee is ready to drink. However, the AeroPress is notorious for its portability and travel-friendliness, and it’s the go-to choice for outdoor adventures. 

5. Coffee Flavor

French press coffee is, without a doubt, bolder and more robust. However, this boldness can feel thick in your mouth, which isn't the case for AeroPress coffee.


Common Brewing Mistakes: Tips From a Barista 

Any coffee brewing method has the potential for making mistakes, and though you don’t have to be a professional barista, trained baristas know their stuff when it comes to avoiding brewing mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes made for both brewing methods:  

Common AeroPress Mistakes 

  • Using coffee beans that aren’t fresh
    Whenever possible, try to use fresh beans. Or at the very least, make sure to store your beans properly to promote freshness. 
  • Low water quality
    The quality of the water you use does make a difference in the overall taste, so try to avoid using hard water or water that contains contaminants (filtered water is best). 
  • Pressing the plunger too fast or too slow
    Improper plunging can impact the flavor and consistency of the final brew. A plunging time between 30 and 45 seconds is ideal. 
  • Grinding the beans too coarse or too fine
    The way you grind your coffee comes down to personal preference, so you’ll have to experiment with this one! Just do your best to get an even grind throughout. 

Common French Press Mistakes 

  • Not grinding the beans properly
    Just like with an AeroPress, the grind quality for French pressing depends on your personal taste. However, it’s best for the beans to be ground coarser since this reduces the chance of residual grounds in the brewed coffee.
  • Poor coffee to water ratio
    The general rule of thumb for coffee: water is 1:10, so do your best to meet this ratio. However, this can vary depending on whether you prefer a bolder or weaker brew.
  • Leaving the coffee in the French press after plunging
    If you don’t pour your coffee into a mug directly after plunging, the brew will likely taste bitter. Even though the beans have been filtered out, French pressed coffee will continue to brew slightly after the plunger has been pressed. 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How many times can you reuse AeroPress filters? 

There are some very useful Reddit posts on this Reddit comments on this topic, and one AeroPress user states:  

“After I press, I let the coffee cool a bit, I peel off the filter, give it a rinse and let it air dry on the filter cap. I usually reuse it 10-20 times before I throw it away. I don’t have a set number of reuses, I just keep going until it looks a little worn…”   

Can you get crema from AeroPress? 

Yes, it’s possible to make crema (flavorful froth on top of an espresso shot) using your AeroPress without any additional coffee accessories. As long as you use the correct techniques for temperature, pressure, and grinding the beans, making crema is relatively easy with this device.  

Is French Press coffee stronger? Which has more caffeine? 

The French press makes coffee that is stronger in taste but not necessarily in caffeine content. Actually,  AeroPressed coffee is thought to have more caffeine since it uses muscle power to add pressure to the coffee-making process. Depending on the pressure exerted, this can result in a more caffeinated cup of coffee.  

What is the difference between a Moka pot and these two brewing methods? 

When comparing Moka pot vs French press vs AeroPress coffee machines, you’ll quickly see that a Moka pot is unlike these two manual brewing methods. A Moka pot is a stovetop or electric coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. 

Moka Pot on stove

Although it uses pressure, just like the AeroPress, a Moka pot brews coffee directly on the stovetop.  

What is the difference between a Chemex and these two brewing methods? 

Another common comparison is between AeroPress vs Chemex vs French press. A Chemex coffeemaker is a manual pour-over style glass coffeemaker. Instead of fully immersing the beans and water together, it uses the classic pour-over method.  

black liquid chemex coffee
How long does an Aeropress last? 

As long as you take care of it properly, your AeroPress should last for 2-3 years of regular use.  


Conclusion

If you’re looking for a clear-cut winner to the AeroPress vs French press battle, unfortunately, there isn’t one. It all comes down to the coffee drinker and his/her personal taste and brewing preferences.  

The AeroPress is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a portable brewing method to take on the go, doesn't mind only making a single cup at a time, and enjoys experimenting with different brewing recipes.  

Then there’s the French press, which is best for anyone who prefers rich, bold coffee and wants to have the ability to make more than one cup at a time. Another reason to use the French press is the set it and forget it design - there’s very little work involved until it comes time to clean up. 

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Mocha Vs. Latte: What’s The Difference?

There are a plethora of coffee drinks all around the world and an excessive number of options to choose from. Two coffee drinks that have garnered a significant amount of popularity are mocha and latte drinks.  

While there are distinct differences between the two, there are also a surprising number of similarities. In this guide, we’ll discuss what's the difference between a mocha and a latte, dive into their origins, answer frequently asked questions, and more.  

What Is A Mocha? 

Both coffee and chocolate have plenty in common – they are both sought after for their beans and are roasted for flavor. The mocha coffee drink is made with both these ingredients, specifically a double shot of espresso, chocolate (shavings, syrup, etc.), and steamed milk).  

The type of chocolate used in a mocha coffee drink will differ between cafes, and it can also come with a wide variety of toppings, from whipped cream to marshmallows and more. A delicious cup of mocha will always have a balanced flavor and isn’t overly sweet or bitter. This is typically achieved by ensuring that the final drink has the right amount of ingredient ratios.  

Origins  

While the word “mocha” is now associated with a coffee beverage, the word actually comes from a location – the city of al-Makha or Mocha situated in Yemen. This city used to be the world's major coffee marketplace in the 15th to early 18th century.  

Now, the mocha coffee drink is known as a drink that appeals to individuals who aren’t fans of a strong coffee taste but still want a caffeine kick. Since mocha also has chocolate in it, it’s easier to drink than most other coffee drinks and is also perfect for the winter.  

mocha with marshmallows

Pros & Cons of Mochas  

What We Like  
  • A great option if you’re just getting used to coffee 
  • Better for you than other sweeter drinks like hot chocolate 
  • Still comes with a good amount of caffeine  
Things We Don’t  
  • Has a good amount of calories in comparison to other coffee drinks 

What Is A Latte? 

A latte is a coffee-based drink that’s made from espresso and steamed milk. In terms of proportions, it’s typically made of ⅓ espresso, ⅔ heated milk, and about 1cm of it is foam. Sometimes, baristas also create images or characters with the foam.  

Interestingly, if you were to order a latte in Italy, you’d get milk instead of a regular coffee-based drink. Outside of Italy, lattes usually come with a standard shot of espresso along with steamed milk and a layer of foamed milk – depending on the country that you reside in, there can sometimes be variations.  

latte with rabbit design

Origins  

The term ‘cafe latte’ was first used in English in 1867 in an essay written by Willian Dean Howells. The drink itself, however, was believed to have been invented in the 1950s in Berkeley, California.  

Cafe Lattes are commonly drunk by those that want a coffee that isn’t overly strong and has a milky finish. As a coffee drink, lattes are quite palatable, and you can easily switch out the type of milk that's being used in your drink or even request to add a touch of additional milk to your latte.  


Pros & Cons of Latte Coffees  

What We Like  
  • A cup of latte can give you a good amount of caffeine
  • Easily customizable – you can use different types of milk and even add more or less milk
  • Latte is made with milk, making the drink a good source of protein and calcium 
Things We Don’t  
  • Depending on the size of your latte and the milk that you’re using, it can come with a healthy dose of calories

Mocha Vs. Latte Differences – The Bottom Line 

If you’ve always wondered what’s the difference between a latte and a mocha coffee drink, the table below will provide you with a great overview. 

Difference between latte and mocha  

Factors  

Mocha  

Latte  

Caffeine Content  

Average of 85mg caffeine

Average of 80mg caffeine  

Milk Content  

Mocha has less milk content than a latte and is stronger.

Latte has more milk content than a mocha.  

Milk Ratio  

1 ounce of steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam to top it off  

4/6 steamed milk and ⅙ foamed milk 

With or Without Foam

Comes with a thin layer of foam.  

Typically topped with a good amount of foam, and sometimes even adorable designs.  

Hot or Cold Options

Yes to both  

Yes to both  

Sweetness Level 

One main difference between a mocha and a latte is that mocha is sweeter as it comes with chocolate or chocolate syrup. 

Not sweet (just milk and coffee usually).  

Extra Additions  

Chocolate chunks  

Chocolate shavings at the top  

Sometimes there’s even the addition of marshmallows  

Whipped cream  

Not really a whole lot of additions for the latte, but there are plenty of variations.  

Variations  

Variations are typically based on the type of chocolate. You can use white chocolate, dark chocolate, or even a mixture of both (also known as a Tuxedo Mocha).  

Matcha latte (with green tea)  

Soy latte (swapped with soy milk) 

Almond latte (swapped with almond milk)  

Chai latte (using chai tea instead of espresso)  

Plenty of other variations were created by Starbucks, from the pumpkin latte to an eggnog latte and more.  


Making Mochas & Lattes at Home: Barista Tips  

Looking to make a mocha and latte coffee drink at home? Below are two recipes, along with some tips to get you started.  

Mocha 

Ingredients: 

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (5g, about 1 tbsp)
  • Granulated sugar (12g to 25g, 1 to 2 tbsp)  
  • Coffee (espresso, but you can also use regular coffee) (1 cup)  
  • Milk (your choice, 2% milk or even non-dairy milks like almond milk) (¼ cup milk)  
  • Heavy cream (optional, but can add richness to your coffee) (1 tablespoon)  
  • Toppings (whipped cream, chocolate, etc.)  
  1. 1
    In a small pot or microwaveable cup, stir together your sugar, cocoa powder, and water before heating it. Stir and make sure that the sugar and cocoa powder has completely dissolved.  
  2. 2
    Stir in the coffee and milk and continue to heat until steaming.  
  3. 3
    Top with your favorite toppings (whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows).  

Latte

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup of milk (whichever milk you’d like, it can be soy, almond, etc.)  
  • 6 ounces of strong brewed coffee  
  • Any other ingredients that you'd like to add to your coffee
  1. 1
    Heat the milk in a pot or in your microwave. 
  2. 2
    Once the milk is heated, take a small whisk and vigorously whisk until you’ve got a nice and frothy milk.
  3. 3
    Pour the coffee over your frothed milk or brew it over the frothed milk. 
  4. 4
    Feel free to add sugar into your latte or even some vanilla syrup to make it into a vanilla latte instead. Prefer something more chocolatey? You can also consider adding one to two tablespoons of chocolate syrup (make sure you do this before you heat the milk!) 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which is stronger: latte or mocha? 

Interestingly, mocha actually has more caffeine than a latte! A mocha coffee drink has about 85 mg of caffeine, while a latte has an average of 80mg.  

Is a mocha sweeter than a latte?  

 When it comes to the sweetness level of cafe mocha vs. latte, a mocha is definitely sweeter as it contains chocolate in it. In some instances (such as vanilla or caramel lattes), lattes can be equally, if not sweeter, than mocha.   

Which is the best coffee for non-coffee drinkers, latte or mocha? 

If you're someone that isn't a fan of the bitterness of coffee, mocha is a great drink to start with as it's a lot more palatable.  

Are lattes healthier than mochas?  

Generally speaking, lattes are healthier than mochas as they don’t have as much sugar. It is, however, highly dependent on the latte that you’re drinking. Vanilla lattes and other sugary lattes such as the Starbucks Brown Sugar Shortbread Latte come packed with sugar.  

Is a mocha just a latte with chocolate?  

No, it isn’t. They’re actually very different drinks. While they both contain milk and caffeine, the flavors between the two and the percentage of caffeine differ.  


Conclusion

Whether you’re new to coffee or are an avid coffee drinker, you should give these two coffee drinks a shot. After you’ve tasted both a mocha and a latte, you’ll have a better understanding of the stark differences between the two and how they cater to different individuals.  

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

French Press Vs. Pour Over: Which Brewing Method Is Best?

If you're a fan of keeping your coffee simple and don't need all the fancy fixings, then you're probably used to ordering a plain old "black coffee." But what you probably didn't realize is that there are multiple methods for making that black coffee, like using a French press or resorting to the classic pour over brewing.  

Although the end result is similar, there are some differences between French press vs. pour over coffee. Understanding the difference between the French press and pour over method will ultimately allow you to choose which coffee-brewing technique is right for you.  

French Press Coffee Brewing (Overview + Method) 

The first French press originated sometime in the mid-1800s in - you guessed it! - France. However, it was actually officially patented in the United States in 1929 by an Italian man. No matter where you consider the official origins to be, the French press is most popular in the US and Europe.  

The first French press device was very basic, and although modern coffee presses have gone through a lot of modifications to get where they are today, the coffee-making concept remains the same. It is made up of 3 main components: an open-topped glass (also called a carafe), a push-down plunger, and a filter.  

french press with white cup
woman using french press

It works by filling the carafe with ground coffee beans and hot water, allowing the mixture to steep for a certain amount of time, then plunging down the filter so that the ground beans are separated from the water (which is now coffee). 

Using a French press is manual brewing at its finest. You don’t need fancy coffee machines; all you need is a French press device (which you can find for as little as $10), some hot water, ground coffee, and a few minutes of time for the steeping process.  

So who will enjoy drinking French press coffee? Well, it’s an excellent choice if you want a coffee drink that is bold, rich, and full-bodied since there’s no paper filter to take away from the flavor.  It’s also excellent for anyone who doesn’t have a coffee machine at home and wants to keep things simple.  


Pros & Cons of French Pressed Coffees  

So far, you’re probably thinking that French press coffee sounds wonderful. But nothing is perfect, and there are a few cons to using a French press, especially when you use improper techniques. Here’s what we like and what we don’t like:  

What We Like 
  • The full flavor of the coffee is able to shine through 
  • The manual steeping process gives you complete control over coffee strength 
  • There are no impurities, which isn’t the case for traditional drip machines 
  • The end result is strong, bold, and rich 
  • A French press can also be used for making tea 
Things We Don’t 
  • Some people find the coffee to be gritty (especially when the beans are finely ground) 
  • Cleaning the French press can be overbearing - all the components must be dismantled 

Pour Over Coffee Brewing (Overview + Method) 

Similar to the French press, pour over coffee is made by pouring hot water over coffee grounds. However, instead of combining the grounds and water in a carafe and allowing the mixture to steep, the water is poured over the beans, which sit in a cone-shaped contraption. The water then drips through the beans slowly and passes through a filter, making its way into a separate cup/container.  

A North Carolina coffee shop, Anchor Coffee Company, gives a complete history of pour over coffee 

“It all started by a woman named Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz. One afternoon in 1908, Melitta was unsatisfied with the dreadful taste from her percolator. The coffee was over extracted and bitter. Melitta began experimenting with different ways to brew. Melitta began with some blotting paper from her son’s school book and a brass pot punctured with a nail. Pleased with the outcome, Melitta released this new pour over brewer to the public.” 

This is a great coffee choice if you like your coffee to be clear and nuanced, light and clean, and just slightly acidic. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re interested in making just one cup of coffee rather than an entire pot.  


Pros & Cons of Pour Over Coffees  

Just like the French press, there are both pros and cons that come along with pour over coffee:  

What We Like 
  • Very low risk of grit, especially compared to French press coffee 
  • Results in smooth, clean taste 
  • Easy cleanup, especially when comparing French press vs. pour over 
  • Great option if you’re only interested in making 1-2 cups 
Things We Don’t 
  • Flavor is less intense than with a French press (although this could also be seen as a pro) 
  • Less control over brew strength compared to French press coffee 

Pour Over Coffee Vs. French Press: How They Differ 

Still wondering what is the difference between french press and pour over coffee? It all comes down to the contraption that’s used. Both are “manual” coffee-making methods, but a French press allows the coffee to steep while a pour over drips water slowly over the grounds.  

This results in a completely different coffee-drinking experience in terms of intensity. While a pour over coffee can be quite strong, French press coffees are notorious for a bolder, richer flavor since the beans are physically immersed (steeped) in the hot water.  

Here are a few more key differences between pour over and French press coffee:  

1. Design

Both coffee contraptions are super easy to use, but the French press has one design flaw; the clean up process requires you to take apart the entire contraption and wash each component separately. With a manual pour over, you don’t have to dismantle anything - just toss the grounds and that’s it. 

2. Speed

It's very hard to compare the average brewing time between French press vs. pour over. This is because the speed of brew depends on a few things, like how finely ground the beans are and how hot the water is. One thing to note about a French press is that you have complete control over the brewing time; when you’re happy with the coffee’s strength, simply push the plunger down to filter out the grounds from the water. 

3. Convenience

Both the French press and pour over methods are super convenient. However, after the coffee is made, the pour over method is undoubtedly more convenient when it comes time to clean up. 

4. Coffee Flavor

Because of its full immersion method, French press coffee results in a heavier, richer flavor. So if you’re looking for a big, bold taste, this is the way to go. However, using a French press runs the risk of leftover grounds, especially if you’re using finely-ground beans. If this is something you want to avoid, you might consider pour over coffee instead. 

5. Healthiest

Both drinks are perfectly healthy for you - at least in moderation.

Johns Hopkins Medicine says that there are many reasons to drink coffee, stating that 

“coffee is chock full of substances that may help guard against conditions more common in women, including Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.”


Common Mistakes People Make Brewing Their Coffees At Home 

The most common mistakes when making any type of coffee - including French press and pour over - usually have to do with the coffee beans. Either you’re using low-quality beans, the beans have not been ground properly, and you’re using the wrong coffee bean to water ratio. So to start, always focus on the beans, and chances are, you’ll end up with a great cup of coffee.  

However, coffee beans aren’t the only source of error. One of the common mistakes for making French press coffee has to do with the steeping time. Some people allow their coffee to steep too long, while others don’t give it enough time. The ideal time is about 4 minutes, but depending on your taste preferences, you can go slightly longer or shorter than this.  

coffee beans in cup

For the pour over method, there’s actually more room for error. Here are some of the most common pour over coffee mistakes to try and avoid:  

  • Using water that’s too hot 
  • Grinding beans too coarse/fine (and grinding them too far in advance) 
  • Not rinsing the filter after the coffee has been brewed 
  • Brewing into a cold container 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the difference between Aeropress and these two brewing methods? 

When comparing pour over vs. French press vs. Aeropress coffee, you could say that an Aeropress is a combination of both the French press and pour over method. 

man using AeroPress

An Aeropress is a piston-style coffee brewer that forces the liquid directly into a cup after passing through a thin filter. Similar to French press and pour over coffee, it’s great for making 1-2 cups, and it delivers a clean-tasting, flavorful brew.  

Is French press coffee smoother? 

Yes, many sources say that French press coffee is some of the smoothest out there.

According to Greatist’s guide on how to make the best French press coffee,

“immersing the coffee grounds in the hot water during brewing makes French press coffee richer, smoother, and more flavorful than most other methods.”

What is the best type of coffee bean for French press and pour over? 

This depends entirely on your personal taste preferences; some people like light-roast beans, while others prefer dark-roast. For best results, the key is to grind your own freshly roasted beans using a manual or electric coffee grinder.  

Is there more caffeine in French press coffee? 

Yep, there is generally more caffeine in one cup of French press coffee than there is in one cup of coffee made from the pour over method. This is because the grounds are immersed in the water during the steeping process. Depending on how you make it, an 8-ounce cup of French press coffee can contain more caffeine than a shot of espresso.  


Conclusion

Hopefully, you can now consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, at least when it comes to manual coffee-making methods like French press and pour over. The main thing to remember is that there's no right or wrong when comparing French press vs. pour over coffee; it all comes down to personal preference.  

If you want a strong, rich, bold cup of coffee and don’t mind a thick texture, a French press is for you. But if you prefer a cup of joe with a subtle flavor and a lighter texture, pour over coffee is the better choice.  

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

Espresso Vs. Cappuccino: Differences Between These Coffees

Coffee is one of the oldest drinks in human history and has been around in various forms for generations. There's been a lot of diversification in this time, but in the early 1900s, the introduction of coffee machines accelerated the process, allowing different brewing techniques to become mainstream. This has led to the creation of a wide variety of coffees to suit every preference.  

The wide variety of coffees available can make it quite confusing, and it isn't always clear what the differences are. Two of the most popular choices out there are espressos and cappuccinos. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about them both, so you better understand all the similarities and differences.  

What Is An Espresso? (Overview + How They Are Made) 

Espresso is one of the purest forms of coffee. The word 'espresso' is Italian and literally means to express or press. An espresso is, therefore, a pressed coffee. 

They’re made by pouring hot water through finely packed coffee grounds so that the liquid absorbs the flavor of the coffee. They’re small, usually only 2-3oz, but have an intense and rich flavor that really wakes you up in the morning.  

Espressos have three different parts to them. The bottom is the darkest portion, the middle (or heart) is slightly lighter, and the crema is the light espresso head. The crema is lighter because the oils from the coffee combine with the air. This is important because it gives the espresso a much more robust flavor.  

Typically, espressos are made using a coffee machine which will direct the hot water over the grounds. They’re quick and easy to make and are often used as the base for other styles of coffee like Americanos and lattes.  

Espressos originated in Italy about 100 years ago as the signature strong Italian coffee of Europe. Many people didn’t enjoy their coffee this strong and intense, and that's one of the main reasons we have such a wide variety of different coffee styles today. Espressos are for coffee purists who enjoy the bitter taste and need a strong caffeine kick to start the day right.  

hot espresso with beans

What Is A Cappuccino? (Overview + How They Are Made) 

Cappuccino is actually the Italian word for hood, but despite being an Italian drink, it was German speakers in Vienna who first referred to a coffee as a ‘Kapuziner’ or cappuccino. Cappuccinos comprise of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam which layer on top of one another to make a luxuriously smooth beverage.  

To make a cappuccino, you first brew espresso and pour it into the cup. Then you layer on the steamed milk, and finally the milk foam goes on top. Cappuccinos can often be confused with lattes, but it's the ratio of steamed milk and milk foam that sets them apart. Cappuccinos have an even split of steamed and foam milk, whereas a latte has much more steamed milk. This makes a cappuccino shorter and gives it a rich, velvety top layer.  

Generally, only one shot of espresso is used in a cappuccino, but some coffee shops put two in. Often chocolate powder is dusted on the top, too, to make it even sweeter.   

Like espressos, cappuccinos also originated in Italy in the early 1900s. Like lattes, they came about as coffee machinery developed that allowed a greater variety of coffees to be created. Cappuccinos are great for those who like luxurious drinks and appreciate the smooth velvet texture the milk foam provides. This is a much gentler way to wake up in the morning than an espresso, and it’s typically enjoyed by people in their 20s and 30s.  


Espresso Vs. Cappuccino: Differences Compared  

Espresso and cappuccinos are quite different, and there are a few key factors that set them apart from one another. Here’s a quick breakdown: 

1. Ingredients  

Espresso has a lot fewer ingredients and is really just comprised of fine coffee grounds and water. This makes them pretty much pitch black with a slight foam on the top where the oils reach the air.   

Cappuccinos have a bit more going on but use espresso for their base. Within a cappuccino, you have an espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam all layered in the drink. The mixture of coffee and milk gives it a much lighter brown appearance.  

Espressos are generally much cheaper because they have fewer ingredients within them.  

2. Preparation 

To prepare an espresso, you typically just use a coffee machine. This will direct hot water through your coffee grounds and pour it out into your cup. This can then be served directly, or you may choose to add sugar. 

A cappuccino takes a bit more preparation. First, you'll brew the espresso as above, but then you'll add the steamed milk on top. This needs to be poured on gently and slowly to give an even layer on top of the espresso. Lastly, you add the milk foam, and, again, you need to do this slowly so there’s an even covering. Finally, you can top off your cappuccino with chocolate powder and sugar if you want it. An experienced barista may also give you some art on top of your coffee. 

skull cappuccinos

Espressos are much quicker to serve, but cappuccinos offer a different kind of relaxing beverage.  

3. Caffeine Content  

Espressos taste much stronger and can really give you a kick, but cappuccinos generally have the same amount of caffeine in them. Some coffee shops sometimes use double espressos in their cappuccinos, so it might even be stronger than the espresso, despite being much less bitter.  

4. Milk And Foam Content  

Espressos are not brewed with milk as standard, and typically you wouldn't really add milk or foam into your drink (you can if you want to, though). Cappuccinos, on the other hand, are 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam milk. You can replace cow's milk with vegan-friendly alternatives like soy or oat milk which foam just as nicely.  

5. Size Per Serving 

An espresso is typically 1-2oz and is very much a short coffee to drink quickly. Cappuccinos are generally 6oz, with a lot of milk filling up the cup.  

6. Calories Content 

Espressos are pretty much just coffee grounds and water, so there are hardly any calories in them at all. This makes them great for caffeine drinkers on a diet.  

Cappuccinos, on the other hand, have a lot more calories because of the milk content. A cappuccino with all the trimmings and chocolate powder can have over 200 calories—a really enjoyable drink, but not one if you're watching your calorie intake.  

7. Taste/Variations  

Espressos are relatively basic, but people generally choose between a single or double espresso. A macchiato is a very popular twist which is an espresso served with a very small amount of foamed milk. Whatever type of espresso you order, you should always drink it hot and drink it quickly.  

Cappuccinos can be served wet or dry. A wet cappuccino has more steamed milk and less foam, so there's more liquid. A dry cappuccino has more foam and less steamed milk, giving a velvety top layer but less liquid underneath. A dry cappuccino tastes stronger because there's less steamed milk to water the espresso down.  


Making Cappuccino & Espresso Coffees at Home: Barista Tips 

Both espressos and cappuccinos can be made at home without too much difficultly, so you don’t have to rely on professional baristas. Here’s a step-by-step guide: 

Espresso 

The best way to make espresso at home is with a machine. You can make similar coffees, but the only true espresso at home is with an espresso machine.  

  • 1
    Grind your beans 
    You’ll want to use dark roast beans for this and grind them up finely. You’ll need about 6-8 grams of beans for a single and 15 grams of beans for a double espresso. Make sure you grind them on the finest setting possible.  
  • 2
    Tamp down 
    Distribute the grounds evenly in the filter and on a flat surface, use a tamper to tamp down, so it's one consistent disc of coffee grounds.  
  • 3
    Pull the shot 
    Run the machine for a second to clean it out and then lock the filter in place with the coffee grounds. Turn the machine on and let it run hot water through your coffee grounds for 25-30 seconds. Your espresso should start to drip down into your cup.  
  • 4
    Check and drink 
    Check that your espresso is not too light or dark and that there's a fine layer of crema on the top. You can add milk or cream at this point or enjoy it straight up like Italians do. Serve while hot and enjoy!  
coffee machine

Here's a complete guide to making a great espresso at home.

Cappuccino 

A cappuccino has a few more ingredients, so it's a bit more complicated, but it's still perfectly doable at home. You'll need an espresso, so ideally, you'd have access to an espresso machine before you start.  

  • 1
    Steam the milk 
    Take 1 cup of milk and heat it in a saucepan until it's gently bubbling but make sure you don't let it boil. Take the saucepan off the heat and leave it to the side.  
  • 2
    Whip the milk  
    Take an electric mixer and use it on the milk. The milk will gradually begin to thicken until it turns into a light milky froth for the top of your cappuccino. Remember, half the milk should be froth, and half should remain as steamed liquid.  
  • 3
    Make the coffee  
    Make an espresso following the steps detailed above.  
  • 4
    Create the cappuccino  
    Pour the espresso into a mug, slowly pour in the steamed milk, and then layer the milk foam onto the top. Add any sugar, chocolate powder, or flavored syrup that you like and drink at your leisure. Remember that cappuccinos can be made with different types of milk. Typically, cow, oat, and soy are used, but coconut milk can also work well in a cappuccino.  

A full guide to creating a cappuccino at home can be found below.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is espresso stronger than cappuccino? 

An espresso will taste stronger than a cappuccino because it has no milk to soften the bitter taste. However, both espressos and cappuccinos have the same amount of caffeine. 

Is cappuccino darker than espresso? 

No, an espresso will be close to black with a lighter crema on top. A cappuccino will be brown because of the mix of espresso with the milk. 

What's a double shot of espresso called? 

A double espresso is called a doppio espresso, but you will typically be able to say double espresso in any café.  

What is espresso with heavy cream called? 

An espresso crème is an espresso with an ounce of heavy cream on top. This gives a richer and less bitter taste to the coffee. 


Conclusion

Coffee is amazing, but the massive amount of choice out there can make it challenging to know what to order. Both cappuccinos and espressos are popular choices, but they're made with very different coffee drinkers in mind. Espressos are to be drunk quickly and give you that rich, bitter, intense flavor that wakes you up for the day. Cappuccinos are all about velvet luxury or foamed milk that can be enjoyed at leisure.  

Both drinks can be made in your own home without any professional training, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information you need to choose the best coffee for you. 

by Andrew W Andrew W No Comments

Macchiato Vs. Cappuccino (Differences Between Them)

Macchiatos and cappuccinos are common drinks around the globe. They’ll be in almost every coffee shop, and there are countless online tutorials on how to prepare both. With names so similar, it can be confusing as to how they’re different.  

In this guide, we’ll explore the difference between a cappuccino and macchiato to help you better understand their design.

What is a Macchiato? (Origins & How They are Made) 

Origins 

The macchiato is relatively new in terms of coffee making; it’s thought to have been around since the 80s. It was made to distinguish between an espresso with a little milk. Macchiatos, almost exclusively, have a small amount of milk foam in them.  

Macchiato, literally translated, means 'marked,' so the espresso is marked with milk foam. There is no specific recipe for a macchiato, which is why you’ll find a different style in each coffee shop you go to. A generally accepted method is an espresso with roughly a spoonful of hot, steamed milk.  

Macchiato diagram

There are many variations nowadays: 

  • Latte Macchiato 
    This is slightly different in that the espresso is poured into hot milk. Also known as an inverse/reverse macchiato. It’s served in a tall glass due to its size.  
  • Iced Macchiato 
    This is made by pouring milk into a tumbler or double walled glass and topped with ice. The espresso shot is then poured over the top to create a marble-like effect in the drink. 
  • Espresso Macchiato 
    The main difference here is that the macchiato is served in an espresso cup and has textured milk poured in. If it has latte art, it’s likely an espresso macchiato. 
latte macchiato with straw

Pros & Cons of Drinking Macchiatos 

What We Like 
  • Not as strong as a standard espresso 
  • Comes with the aroma and crema of an espresso 
  • Great for those looking to shed some weight 
  • Many variations to suit everyone 
Things We Don’t 
  • No blended flavor 
  • More acidic than other espresso-based drinks 

What Exactly is a Cappuccino? (Origins & how they are Made) 

Origins 

Cappuccinos first surfaced in 18th century Italy. The namesake comes from capuchin monks; dubbed so because of the resemblance to their hooded cloaks. They have origins in Vienna as well, served as a sweeter coffee with chocolate or cinnamon dustings. 

In Italy, a Cappuccino is exclusively a morning drink – they aren’t drunk past 11 am. It’s made with a ratio of 1:1:1. The standard recipe is a double espresso shot, with milk poured in, followed by heated milk foam. They are then topped, usually, with chocolate sprinkles for a sweeter flavor. 

Cappuccino Diagram

There are three main variations of a cappuccino: 

  • Wet Cappuccino  
    This is made with less foam and more steamed milk. This is for those who want a milkier taste in their drink. Comparatively, it’s more like a latte than a cappuccino. 
  • Dry Cappuccino  
    This is made with more foam and less milk. Some have argued that the foam insulates the coffee, keeping it warmer for longer. A dry cappuccino has a stronger espresso taste, and the coffee is darker in color.  
  • Bone Dry Cappuccino  
    Like a dry cappuccino – except there is no steamed milk. This is made with strictly foam and espresso. The bed of foam on the espresso, like its counterpart, keeps the coffee hotter for even longer and makes way for latte art. 
white ceramic tea cup with coffee

Pros & Cons of Cappuccinos 

What We Like 
  • Has a much bolder flavor 
  • Sweeter in taste 
  • Stays warmer longer 
Things We Don’t 
  • Has a higher calorie count 
  • Can be tough to master if you make it for yourself 

Macchiato vs. Cappuccino – Key Differences (The Bottom Line) 

1. Taste 

If you like a stronger tasting coffee, you’ll want to side with a macchiato. It was designed to ease the punch of an espresso but retain its bold flavor. 

It’s less forgiving on the tastebuds than a cappuccino, which mixes the milk with the espresso as you drink it. A cappuccino is sweeter in its overall taste and generally smoother overall.  

2. Caffeine Level 

A macchiato will taste more robust, so naturally, we would assume it has more caffeine. 

But that’s not correct! Generally, cappuccinos are served in 16oz servings and will come with double or triple espresso shots. Whereas a macchiato is either a single or double shot.  

Essentially, the caffeine content is higher in a cappuccino due to its size while also designed to drink for longer.  

3. Milk – Coffee Ratio 

It’s easy to tell these two drinks apart by their size, but knowing their ratios can also help in your preparation of them. A cappuccino is espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam in a 1:1:1 ratio. This also makes the drink 70% milk and 30% espresso. This is the standard for a cappuccino. 

Because a macchiato is a newer drink, there isn’t a strict way of making them. But generally accepted is 90% espresso and 10% milk. If you’re looking for a milkier coffee, the better option for you is a cappuccino. 

writing with coffee

4. Time of Day 

While this isn’t practiced much outside of Italy, a cappuccino is strictly a morning drink. This is because they consider a milky drink to be too heavy for the afternoon or after meals. In essence, they’re quite filling, and so is consumed in the morning to start your day. 

This is where the macchiato comes in! It’s thought a macchiato was created to get your dose of coffee, but with added milk if the taste is too intense. It’s drunk more often in the afternoon and evenings. 

Basically, don’t order a cappuccino after 11 am in Italy.  

5. Extras and Variations 

There’s no limit to the creations of coffee. In a coffee shop (like Starbucks), you’re likely to find different flavors you can add to your drinks, plus marshmallows and chocolates.  

A caramel macchiato is very much a common variant of the traditional macchiato, and you can find this everywhere. Cappuccinos aren’t flavored as often as their counterparts, but they generally come with whipped cream or chocolates on the side. Even if it’s not on the menu, you can always specifically request a shot of caramel from your barista; don't hold back! 

6. Preparation 

While there is no ‘right’ way to make coffee per se, there are also specific recipes that should be followed to create the coffee you want. 

A cappuccino is slightly harder to make than a macchiato because getting the ratio of coffee to milk right can be difficult. Macchiatos require less milk and only require foam, which can be easily made by whipping beforehand. 

7. Price 

A macchiato will usually be priced cheaper, as there is less to use and prepare. This, however, depends on where you go. A caramel macchiato from Starbucks usually costs $3.75, but a local, independent coffee chain may charge more or less than this.  

A cappuccino price will vary from $3 - $5, and this is also dependent on where you go. Essentially, expect a price upwards of $5 or less.  


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino at Starbucks? 

A Starbucks macchiato almost exclusively comes with caramel in, whereas a cappuccino comes with little variation. You can always ask the barista for any additions or changes to your drink.  

Are you supposed to stir a macchiato? 

A macchiato will already be mostly stirred from the preparation, as the milk will have mixed with the espresso. If you’re adding sugar or sweeteners, they should be mixed in.  

How does a latte differ from a macchiato and cappuccino? 

A latte is created with silky micro-foam so that it is smoother and milkier in its texture. They have very little foam at the top, and the milk and espresso are mixed together in preparation. 

What is the weakest coffee drink? 

Surprisingly, an espresso is the weakest. A single espresso shot will contain the least amount of caffeine, but in terms of taste, it is the very strongest.  

Which of these two coffees is easier to make at home? 

Both can be easy with the right tools, but mastering them will take practice. Generally, a macchiato should be easier as it requires fewer ingredients and less attention to detail.  


Conclusion

Coffee is an important part of my day. With this applying to many people as well, it’s good to know what choices there are out there and what differentiates them. Cappuccinos and macchiatos have their merits, and if you’re a coffee enthusiast yourself, it is worth giving them both a try! Just, really, don’t try a cappuccino in Italy after 11 am. 

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