Espresso vs. Cappuccino

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Difference between Espresso and Cappuccino

Caffeine is a vital part of our lives. It helps us wake up in the morning and gives us the boost we desperately need when we start to doze off during mid-day or when we need to stay up all night to study for that final exam. Caffeinated beverages can certainly help you stay awake. The two most popular hot caffeinated beverages out there are espressos and cappuccinos. Each beverage has its pros and cons, and each beverage has its own characteristics in terms of popularity, amount of caffeine and brewing process.



Cappuccino is quite popular in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and South America as well as in some parts of North America. Europeans often prefer cappuccino with their breakfast, accompanied by some sort of sweet pastry. Espresso on the other hand has replaced coffee in some countries and has also gained a huge popularity in the United States, it is especially popular in Seattle. The huge popularity of espresso coffee has given rise to espresso machines in homes as well.


In terms of caffeine levels, espresso certainly takes the cake. On average a 1.5 ounce of espresso contains about 77 milligrams of caffeine (caffeine levels will vary depending on coffee bean species) this is because espresso is basically coffee but in high concentrations. On the other hand a 12 ounce Cappuccino will contain only 75 milligrams of caffeine. So if you just need a little boost to get you through the day, then a 16 ounce glass of cappuccino should do the trick. But when you need to stay awake the entire night to finish off that project, 6 ounces of espresso will certainly get you going throughout the night and then some.


A 6 to 8 ounce cup of cappuccino is basically made by adding 2-3 ounces of espresso and some steamed and frothed milk. You can add sugar and sprinkle some cinnamon or chocolate on top to give in a bit of flavor. On the other hand making a cup of espresso will require you to purchase a special espresso machine. To make espresso, you need to pull down a handle on the machine, which is attached to a spring loaded piston, this will in turn force hot water through the coffee at very high pressures, and thus this process can produce the extremely potent and coveted coffee called espresso.

Similarities and Differences

  • Espresso and cappuccino are both popular drinks throughout the world.
  • Espresso can taste bitter for some people, but cappuccino is regarded for its sweet flavorful taste. Nevertheless, espresso is just as popular as cappuccino.
  • The caffeine concentration per ounce is above average in an espresso, while the caffeine level in a cup of cappuccino is usually at moderate levels.
  • The brewing process involved in making a cappuccino can be simple if made with regular coffee, and complicated at the same time provided you are adding a bit of espresso in your cappuccino. However, making espresso involves using a special espresso machine.
Best coffee after dinner?
  • Espresso
  • Cappuccino

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