What's In a Cappuccino, a Latte and Other Coffee Drinks?

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What's In a Cappuccino, a Latte and Other Coffee Drinks?
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What's In a Cappuccino, a Latte and Other Coffee Drinks?

Read on to learn the difference between a cappuccino, a latte and more!

What is a Cappuccino?

Cappuccino literally translates into "little cap" in Italian, which probably refers to the foamed milk that sits atop the drink. According to Serious Eats, the name of the drink could derive from the monks of Capuchin, who wore iconic brown hoods over their shaven heads and dressed in a coffee-colored cloak or cappuccino to represent their gratitude.

A cappuccino consists of a shot of espresso with steamed milk on top.

Image Credit: Getty Images

What is a Latte?

A latte is similar to a cappuccino, but includes more milk. Cafe latte means "coffee with milk" in Italian.

A cafe latte typically mixes six to eight ounces of steamed milk with a shot or double shot of espresso.

Image Credit: Getty Images

What is a Macchiato?

Literally meaning "marked" in Italian, this drink likely gets its name from its "marked" appearance.

An espresso macchiato consists of a shot of espresso that has been dotted with steamed milk. Starbucks also makes a very popular macchiato with caramel!

Image Credit: Getty Images

What is an Americano?

During World War II, it is believed that the American soldiers stationed in Italy watered down their espresso to make them taste more like the coffee they drank at home.

An Americano is just a shot of espresso infused with a little bit of hot water.

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What is Caffe Breve?

A caffe breve is also similar to a cappuccino, but uses steamed half and half instead of milk.

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What is Cafe au Lait?

In French, cafe au lait means "coffee on milk." Remember, this drink is very different from a latte, which is an espresso-based drink.

Cafe au lait is a hot coffee with hot milk. It is a popular drink with breakfast.

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What is a Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is a coffee drink made popular by Starbucks, starting in 1995. There are many different seasonal varieties, and the name is a portmanteau of frappe and cappuccino.

A Frappuccino consists of a coffee or a base ingredient like strawberries and cream that is blended with ice.

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Many people can't get through a morning with a cup of coffee, or some form of it. But if you aren't familiar with all of the options at your local coffee shop, coffee drink menus can be confusing. Ever wonder what the real difference between a cappuccino and a latte is? Or a macchiato? And what about the good old Americano? Let us define all of those fancy options for you! We've broken down what really goes into them.

Check out the slideshow above to discover the difference between popular coffee drinks.

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