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Cappuccino vs Espresso: Which One Will Win Your Heart?

Cappuccino vs Espresso: Which One Will Win Your Heart?

Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage globally, around 60% of the people have it in the morning.

Cappuccino and Espresso are two types of coffee, they are considered the most popular ones.

Now you must be questioning how a cappuccino is different from an espresso? Do they taste the same? Or If one is stronger than the other?

For starters, Cappuccino is a variation of Espresso with less caffeine, more sugar, and more calories.

I am here with all the information you need to differentiate or compare between Cappuccino and Espresso.

So let’s dive into the details of these coffees:

What Is Cappuccino?

Barrista pouring cappuccino
Cappuccino is famous for its art

A cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink this means it’s a variation of espresso. It was invented in the early 1900s in Italy.

It contains a base of 2 or 3 shots of espresso as desired, then steamed milk is added to it and it’s topped with some frothed milk with a ratio of 1:1:1.

Cappuccino is great in giving the flavor and texture of coffee, it has a sweet aroma with a bold flavor of the coffee. Sometimes it’s topped with cinnamon which takes the cappuccino to another level.

The 1:1:1 ratio gives more of a richer flavor to coffee as compared to espresso.

A cappuccino comes in several varieties, including iced cappuccino and cappuccino Freddo, which are cold versions of hot cappuccino. It’s also possible to make it with cream or non-dairy milk substitutes.

What Is Espresso?

Shots of espresso being poured
Espresso has the strong taste and smell of coffee

Espresso was also invented in Italy in the early 1900s, and its name is derived from the Italian word ‘esprimere,’ which means ‘to press out’ or ‘to express.’

It is a concentrated coffee drink with a strong flavor that measures approximately one ounce per shot.

Espresso is made by passing hot water through finely-ground coffee under high pressure. After that, some tamping is done to allow the water to penetrate the grounds evenly.

This method produces a syrupy beverage that is light brown and slightly creamier.

One shot of espresso contains about 60mg of caffeine this means if you even opt for 2 or 3 shots of espresso per drink you won’t be overdosing on caffeine.

Nutritional Content of Cappuccino Vs Espresso

Now let’s take a look into the nutritional content of Cappuccino and Espresso, but before that, you have to keep in mind that Cappuccinos are mostly large drinks and the smallest of them starts from 8 oz, while in an espresso you can have even 1oz.

ContentCappuccino(8 oz)Espresso(8oz)
Caffeine63 mg480.8 mg
Cholesterol 9.6 mg
Fat2.4 g0.41 g
Sugar5.9 g
Calories165 calories5 calories
Potassium240 mg261 mg
Sodium55 mg32 mg
Protein0.27 g
Calcium156 mg5 mg
Vitamin D1.4 mcg
Iron0.1 mg
Vitamin C0.5 mg
A table of comparison of nutritional content between espresso and cappuccino

Espresso can be opted for by the ones who are diet conscious and arent willing to put on more weight, it is sugar-free and quite strong due to the high pressure it’s prepared from.

However, if you are not a gym enthusiast or put on weight more easily you can go for Cappuccino, it has way more calories than espresso and can be consumed in variations.

It depends whether you’re in dire need of caffeine or you’re craving a cappuccino.

Caffeine Comparision

Coffee beans
Caffeine is found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa powder

8oz. of Cappucino has 63mg of caffeine whereas 8oz. of Espresso has 480.8mg of caffeine.

Caffeine is naturally found in coffee, it is a stimulating agent for the brain and the central nervous system. It works by blocking off the adenosine receptors which then can trick your brain into thinking that you just woke up from a nap and make you feel more energized and alert.

Caffeine gives you a refreshing feeling but some limits have been placed on its consumption limit to avoid potential side effects such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythm
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

The FDA has recommended only 400 mg of caffeine daily for healthy individuals, you should keep notice of your intake to avoid overdosing.

Now if you’re caffeine-sensitive you can opt for a cappuccino since it has lower caffeine content, but if you’re looking to power you up for your long study night session a 3 oz espresso would prove wonders.

Sugar Comparison

Different types of sugar
Different types of sugar

Espresso is sugar-free, so if you’re avoiding sugar this might be a good option for you.

8 ounces of cappuccino, however, contains 5.9 g of sugar in its formulation, this improves the taste of the drink overall.

Sugar gives you a quick boost but it has no health benefits. It is just used for mere taste purposes.

Where sugar has no benefits, overdosing on it can lead to side effects such as type 2 diabetes, cravings, toothache, and restlessness.

The AHA has recommended the daily sugar limit for men to be 36g, for women to be 24g and for children ages 2-18 less than 24g.

Looking at the limit it is safe to say that cappuccino has a suitable and safe amount of sugar in it and can be consumed on daily basis.

Calorie Comparison

Calories determine the energy you will be getting from a specific beverage or food.

Cappuccino contains 165 calories for an 8 oz of drink, this is a lot of calories for the ones who are on a strict diet or on a weight loss journey.

The best option for someone like this is espresso since it contains minimal calories.

But if you’re a gym enthusiast or have a busy lifestyle and want to relax for a bit having a cup of cappuccino won’t do much of a trouble.

Is Cappuccino An Espresso?

Yes, Capuccino is a variation of Espresso.

It is formulated using a base of espresso and is topped with steamed and frothed milk.

Cappuccino is pretty easy to prepare, here’s a video of all the hows, check it out:

How to make the perfect Cappuccino?

Is Espresso Healthier Than A Cappuccino?

If you’re looking for something healthy, cappuccino is healthier than an espresso.

This is because it contains way more calories than espresso and has about 5.9 g of sugar, it also contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and, vitamin D in a good quantity as compared to espresso.

Espresso is all about the quick energy that you are longing for to get that task done or to get through the evening.

Can An Espresso Give You More Energy?

Yes. An espresso can give you way more energy than a Cappuccino.

One shot of espresso contains 60mg of caffeine so if you opt for 2 shots of espresso you are going to have 120 mg of caffeine in a 2 oz beverage. While if you opt for 3 shots you can easily kick yourself with 180 mg of caffeine at the moment which can make you feel more energized, alert, and focused.

It is safe to consume single espresso shots 2 to 3 times a day as it stays within the given limit.


Cappuccino and Espresso both originated in Italy.

A cappuccino is a variation of espresso, it contains a base of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk with a ratio of 1:1:1.

A cappuccino is greater in quantity as compared to espresso and has a more milky velvety taste and the sweet smell of coffee.

Whereas, espresso has a strong smell and taste of coffee since its brewed with high pressures.

With this, I hope you now are aware of how Cappuccino and Espresso are the same in origin but different in their formulation more or less.

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