Coffee misconceptions

       Both espresso and Cappuccino are iconic coffee drinks. One builds on the other. Although, espresso is just a coffee. Cappuccino uses espresso for the base, topped with steamed milk and foam. Some coffee experts feel that milk destroys the original coffee taste. However, generations have enjoyed these drinks.

Origins & History

Espresso Coffee

When the world was rushing into the era of speed, everything had to be faster and more modernized. Coffee was no different. It did not initially brew for the taste of quality. It was not about the concentration. It was about how fast it made and served it more quickly. Espresso means ‘express.’ It is all about the machine invented in Italy. The craze for espresso rose with the development of espresso machines.

The first espresso was bitter and burnt in terms of taste. Decades of experimentations had carried out to achieve the perfect taste. In the 1940s, Achille Gaggia had come up with a machine that created a flavorful espresso without a burnt taste.

Cappuccino Coffee

Italy and Austria shared the history and origins of Cappuccino. Cappuccino comes from the coffee beverage “Kapuziner,” which appeared for the first time in the Viennese coffee houses in the 1700s. At first, it had made with whipped cream. The steamed milk variant appeared later. People started making cappuccinos with espresso-only when the espresso machines became popular during the 1950s. 

Differences between Cappuccino and Espresso

You will find no similarities between both drinks when you look at them. The look, smell, and taste of them are entirely different. 


Espresso stands out as a pure coffee. Espresso is made with a small amount of boiling water is poured over grounded beans. The outcome is a thick concoction. Hence, it is dark or light brown and served in smaller portions. The espresso itself can be a shot. Cappuccino is entirely different. Usually, it serves with three layers of steamed milk and foam. It acts as a base for a variety of drinks. 

While espresso shot is 1 oz, there are other three types of espresso. They are,

– Doppio – A doppio is two individual espresso shots in a single cup of 2 oz.

– Lungo – It means long in Italian. Like doppio, it also makes of two espresso shots, two ounces. Its flavor is less intense than regular espresso as it has more water. But it takes a long to pull the shot.

– Ristretto – It comes in a smaller shot that is 0.7 ounces. It is more potent and more concentrated because of the less water used.


It is a perfect balance of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. It is all about structure. The elements have split into three equal parts. Thus, Cappuccino is rich and has mild sweet flavoring from the milk. The milk does not mix into it. Hence, it gives a stronger flavor of espresso.

Cappuccino can be of 3 types.

– Wet – It is a classic cappuccino. It has equal amounts of espresso steamed milk but less froth. 

– Dry – A dry cappuccino has less steamed milk but more bubbly foam.

– Bone dry – The espresso flavor in this is much more prominent as it has no steamed milk but only milk foam on top.

To conclude, one significant difference between an espresso and a cappuccino is what is on top of the coffee. Espresso has a layer called ‘cream’ on top. However, it is thin and formed as a result of its extraction. On the other hand, Cappuccino has a rich texture of layers of foam.

In simple, the most obvious difference between both is milk. Espresso is just a plain coffee. You get a cappuccino when you add steamed milk and foam on the top of the espresso.

We at Lil Coffea Shop serve a variety of coffees for all coffee lovers. Visit our coffee shop and have a great coffee experience.