Cappuccino vs Coffee: What’s the Difference?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 24th, 2023

Are you faced with the difficult choice of selecting a traditional cappuccino or an American drip coffee? Do you have any information which wakes up all you should choose?

Suppose you don’t have answers to which one to choose: Coffee and Cappuccino. Don’t be concerned because we have you covered.

Cappuccino vs Coffee: What's the Difference?

Continue reading for the full lowdown on the differences between these two beverages, from their brewing time to the time of the day they are usually offered.

The commonality between cappuccino and coffee


Honestly, there aren’t a lot of familiar elements between a cappuccino and coffee or an American drip coffee. However, there are a few which are described below.

A traditional cappuccino and American drip coffee are expected to have intense flavors, which are expected to be a powerful feature of the beverage. On the other hand, we can expect regular coffee to always be weaker in flavor than espresso, commonly used in cappuccinos.

Additionally, both beverages benefit from the use of fresh quality beans. The better and fresher grounds will make your beverage tastier and more robust.

What are the differences between cappuccino vs. coffee?

Now that we know how both of them have some things in common. Let’s get into the difference between cappuccino vs. coffee.

Comparison table between Coffee and Cappuccino:

DefinitionTerms are used for all drinks that are created using roasted coffee beansIt is a specific type of coffee made using expresso, hot milk, and milk foam
EtymologyDerived from Ottoman Turkish kahve, possibly by Italian caffè. also, from the Arabic qahwah, meaning hungerThe name comes from the Capuchin friars because the color of the habit resembles the coffee. The word ‘cappuccino’ comes from the Latin word ‘Caputium,’ borrowed from Austrian ‘Kapuziner,’ meaning ‘hooded.’
OriginatesSouthern ArabiaVienna or Italian
Quantity of milkMilk is added in various amounts or even withoutA 100 ml is made using 30 ml espresso + 70 ml raw milk, later frothed up to about 100-110 ml)
Serving styleIn a cup, mug, glass, tumbler, or paper cupsGlass cup, but can also be served in a porcelain cup
Brewing MethodEither use roasted beans or instant coffee with hot waterNeed an espresso machine with a steam wand to steam the milk
ToppingsAnything goes whipped cream, milk froth, cinnamon, powdered chocolate, or none.Cinnamon or powdered chocolate
TasteThe acidity and bitterness of coffee will vary depending on the variety. When milk is added to coffee, the flavor is diminished.thick, frothy, velvety
Cost$1-$5 depending on the sizeIt can cost twice as much

Coffee overview

regular coffee

Traditional American coffee is more straightforward than a cappuccino. You don’t have to fool with an espresso machine or frothing milk because you need a regular drip coffee maker.

A few simple steps are required to make the machines work perfectly. You can make a start by placing a paper filter in the machine and filling it with your grounds [freshly ground].

The system pumps water from a pre-filled reservoir through a heating element to bring it to its boiling point. Bubbles from the heated water rise through a separate tube to be dispersed over the grounds.

Here the water steeps with the grounds briefly before flowing through the filter into your cup.

How much caffeine is in a regular coffee?

The average caffeine content of 8 oz. of the brewed cup of coffee is 95 mg. A single espresso or espresso-based drink contains 63 mg, and decaf coffee contains approximately 3 mg of caffeine (on average).

Cappuccino overview

The cappuccino is an espresso-based Italian classic. It has a unique 1:1:1 structure, which was standardized in the 1940s to become a fan favorite in the United States and Europe.

The beverage is generally served in a 6 oz. glass to display a layering so distinct that a talented barista can notice the difference in weight between a well-made and a poorly made cappuccino.

They are usually made from one or two espresso shots with equal parts of steamed milk and milk foam to balance it out.

Cappuccino has a relatively low acid espresso flavor because of the precise portioning that espresso features strongly in the beverage. This, as opposed to having the milk products, overwhelms the coffee component.

The result is a significantly weaker beverage of coffee as compared to espresso.

Does cappuccino have caffeine?

On average, the medium 16-ounce (475-ml) cappuccino contains approximately 173 mg of caffeine.

Which one has more caffeine?

The answer is a never-ending discussion. Allow me to explain.

Every brewing method pulls flavor and caffeine from the ground coffee. Some may do it a little better, while others may do it a little worse.

What counts more than the brewing process is the type of coffee bean and how much of it you use.

That is all there is to it. That’s the major deal. There isn’t a set recipe for each brewing method.

True, an espresso is typically brewed with 7 to 9 grams of ground coffee, but the caffeine content can range from 60 to 130 mg.

You may get a little extra caffeine, depending on the coffee bean and how you use it.

Most people agree that a regular espresso contains roughly 60 milligrams of caffeine if you must have a figure.

However, if the bean is changed, this can be higher or lower. And I don’t mean going from mild Arabica to robust Robusta.

There are distinctions amongst Arabica beans based on where they were grown and how fertile the soil was. Or if they’re subspecies, that’s supposed to be stronger or tastier.

This may not be easy to understand, given that most coffee menus list a caffeine amount next to their coffee drinks. The problem is that each cup of coffee is unique, and unless they are all brewed from the same batch of coffee beans, they will not have the same amount of caffeine.

Most of the time, the statistics are suggestions rather than precise scientific measures.

I’ll get into this a little later because there are some caffeine differences between a cappuccino and brewed coffee.

Milk and foam


The balance of many products with the espresso is a vital part of constructing a cappuccino. Cappuccinos are 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 airy milk foam to create a distinctly layered drink.

You won’t get a cappuccino without a precise balance of these milk products. Too much of it and it resembles a latte; too little and it becomes a traditional macchiato.

On the other hand, regular drip coffee has no essential role for milk products because they are entirely non-vital. Therefore, the chances of being served a cup of black coffee are higher whenever you order a coffee.

While many people prefer to add cream or milk to the coffee, it can also be consumed black if the grounds used to make it are of good quality. You can also choose to do so if you’re partial to bitterness.


Having the right grind is an essential part of any beverage of coffee.

The beans you are grinding are just as important as the method you used to grind them. Therefore, you must ensure you have high-quality beans that are roasted freshly to get the best out of either drink.

You must know that grinding your coffee beans ensures freshness and is the best way forward. However, if you aren’t aware of this information and do not have a grinder available, we suggest you consider getting one immediately.

Suppose you are looking forward to brewing multiple varieties of coffee beverages like the two discussed in this article. In that case, having a grinder on hand will be particularly beneficial.

A fine grind is required for the espresso in cappuccinos. This helps create a stronger coffee concentrate that is higher in intensity than a traditional coffee.

Drip coffee, on the other hand, requires medium coarseness. However, you can still get a decently strong cup of coffee without clogging up the brewing system.

Calories and nutrition


According to information provided by the USDA nutrient database, relatively fewer calories exist in a cup of black coffee, usually amounting to about 2 cal per every 8 oz. cup. However, many coffee drinkers prefer multiple cups and/or sweeteners to vary the calorie count by a large margin depending on individual taste.

If you’re measuring calories per tablespoon, cream tops the list with 52, followed by sugar at 48 and a half at 20.

You will be doing all right nutrition-wise if you are drinking just one or 2 cups of near-black coffee with just a little of the half and half. However, if you decide to have an entire pot adorned with dairy and heaping spoons of sugar, maybe the nutritional value will come down dramatically.

The story with a cappuccino is unlikely to be dissimilar. Espresso by itself is pretty low on calorie count; however, the 2/3 milk-based portion carries a higher caloric value. A classic cappuccino will, in every likelihood, have around 110 cal with about 6 g of fat—however, the Starbucks 16 oz. Cappuccino has 140 cal. If you add extra syrup, sugar, or cocoa powder, the number will skyrocket before you notice it.

The traditional cappuccino is not the least health-conscious coffee you can order. However, both lattes and flat whites with full cream milk come in higher on the calorie count.

Your milk choices matter for both drinks.

As suggested, you can use half and a half [insert piece on frothing half and a half], which amounts to 20 cal per tablespoon. Using whole milk at 9 cal per tablespoon, fat-free milk at 5 cal per tablespoon, or almond milk at 8 cal per tablespoon can also be utilized if available or preferred.

However, with coffee, the option of using nondairy coffee creamer in powder and liquid forms are available to you. A plain nondairy powder has about 33 cal per tablespoon, with the lighter version around 25 cal. If you prefer liquid, you will get about 10 to 20 depending on whether you have opted for the light or the regular alternative.

Time of day you would drink them

While you can drink whatever you want anytime, different drinks are usually associated with specific times of the day.

Cappuccino is typically served for breakfast and is rarely provided as an after-lunch or dinner drink. This is due to the high concentration of indigestion-inducing milk products, which do not mix well with larger meals.

On the other hand, Drip coffee is served both at the start and end of the day. As a result, many people consume coffee throughout the day, but it is most popular during meal times.

Coffee, for example, is frequently provided with breakfast and lunch and is occasionally served at the end of a dinner course at banquets and other such events.

Taste & texture differences

Coffee has a more robust flavor than cappuccinos because it is made with either espresso or regular milk, and no milk is added.

Despite this, the air injected is so effectively absorbed that the milk has a creamy, velvety texture that will merge well with the crema on top of the espresso.

The steamed milk will combine with the espresso on the bottom to form a slightly thick, creamy drink that has already been precisely blended.

The cost of coffee vs. cappuccino

The price comparison between coffee vs. cappuccino is an easy one. Coffee is less expensive than cappuccinos; a typical cup costs $1.50 to $2, whereas a comparable drink may cost twice as much. This occurs because baristas manufacture cappuccinos with espresso machines. Because of the equipment necessary to make these drinks, coffee is much cheaper than cappuccinos. On the other hand, cappuccino machines are expensive, which explains why cappuccinos cost more than coffees.

Wrapping it up

Here’s the summary of the cappuccino vs. coffee comparison. Cappuccino, in a nutshell, is a precise espresso-based drink with steamed milk and milk foam, which is usually served around breakfast time.

American drip coffee is a weaker beverage that is usually served black but can be had with sugar or cream added. It can be served at any time, from before breakfast to after dinner.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.