The Bitchy Barista: The Difference Between a Cappuccino & a Latte

You know that stereotype about snobby coffee people? That often gets applied to baristas, which just so happens to be my job title. Since working with coffee, I've learned a thing or two about espresso. 

So, now that I've learned the coffee lingo, I have a major bone to pick with whoever decided to mass market the term "cappuccino." It's no wonder I get ridiculous orders such as a "blended cappuccino, please."
Oh honey, you don't know what a cappuccino is, do you? 
You know what makes a cappuccino different from a latte? Foam.
Lots and lots of foam. That's all a cappuccino is - shot(s) of espresso, a splash of steamed milk, and piles of foam on top. 
(And if you're not quite sure what a latte is, it's simply espresso + steamed milk).

Now, I never make the person ordering a ridiculous drink feel silly. Before starting at Moxie Java in March, I wouldn't have known better either!

But whenever I see milkshake flavors entitled "frozen cappuccino" I just want to smack someone in the forehead for the misused term. So yes, I suppose I've turned into one of those snobby baristas. Oops.
If you didn't know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte before, I hope this enlightened you! Also, don't think I look down on you for being ignorant - the term is being misused in many flavored items, so I don't blame you! But hey, now you know, and when you step into your favorite coffee shop, you can be more confident in your order. 

Espresso yourself! ;)
Okay, I think this gal needs a cup of coffee to wake up and stop using cheesy puns. 

What do you think about this post? Would you like to see more like it? Since working at a coffee shop, I've certainly got a few more Bitchy Barista posts I could write up. Let me know in the comments!
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nancy @ adore to adorn said...

hahaha. Oh this post. I would never have described myself this way before (i.e. when I was just a college student) but, I have turned into quite a coffee "snob." The husband used to work in a coffee shop and I became familiar with the lingo and the way a "proper" latte should taste.

Alexandra Zakharova said...

aww, I'm a huge fan of coffee and I literally can't live without it. It's like a gasp for breath in the morning to me, I know it's bad for health, though. If you work as a barista, then I love you:) I've got to say that I do know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte, but it was funny and interesting to read your post;) Here in Russia we have other thing about it, some people call "espresso" as "expresso" ( yes, like a train), and this is really ridiculous.
Happy weekend to you, Linda!

Spanish Muse said...

You have enlightened me! I didn't know what a subtle difference there was. I usually just drink black coffee with cream, but when I splurge, I go for a mocha.

Spanish Muse

Avi Valencia said...

This is perfect. Thanks Linda for helping me with the difference because I never understand their differences. I always order White Chocolate Moka like that.


Danny said...

I work in a coffee/bar too and people are really ignorant when it comes to coffee! I was too, it's normal when you have so many choices available! I love cappuccino because I love foam, but I sprinkle mine with cocoa powder :)

Toks said...

Good post and very enlightning. I would love to see more of the bitchy barist posts hahaha.
Have a great weekend

caffinatedlove said...

It makes me smile to no end that you used the word bitchy in the title. ;)

hahaha, thanks for the enlightenment! I'm definitely not a coffee snob -- I literally no nothing.


Keit said...

Bahahah! Bitchy Barista here to save the day! :D To be honest, I don't know what's the difference between anything. All those choices make me confused and frightened :D

Kati said...

Haha, Linda, thanks for this post! I'Ve always wondered, too, why there are so many cappuccino flavoured things - why not latte?


Sam said...

Love this post Lina, more of them please. I feel like I know a little more about coffee terminology now.Thanks for your lovely words over at mine.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know the difference, but it's enlightened me! I don't drink coffee though so that's my excuse lol!

Raindrops of Sapphire

Amanda said...

Omg you had me laughing so hard! I love this post! I would love to work as barista to learn the lingo and all the tricks... Who would thought that the main difference between those two drinks is foam =)

Marlen said...

yea i definitely never knew the difference haha. i just went with lattes all the time because i liked how they tasted. thanks for the education ;)

xo marlen
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Kim Alston said...

I admire baristas/coffee istas I couldn't remember all of those things. I love frappucinos! Lol cute pic Linda

Sampada said...

I'm always making a fool out of myself at coffee shops, so this was a great post for me! Now I know and can order with knowledge :)

I feel you though, things irk me sometimes and I have to remember that it's not people's fault that they don't know certain things!

Rosemary Nardone said...

new follower and great post Very funny but lots of good info
Thanx and looking forward to more of your posts!!

katie said...

The coffe I ever drink is folgers from the coffe pot at home to I have to thank you for explaining what everything is! (Before, i had no clue, in the rare times I go to a coffee shop, I always get a steamer. Soooo good). Next post, you should explain which size is which! (why din't they just say large, extra large and bucket size? I always have to say "the smallest" because I don't know which is which.)

JANICE G said...

good information ;)

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czarianonuevo said...

now i know! thanks for this informative post Linda!

czarina :)

Sarah P said...

I really like this post you should definitely do more in the series. I knew the difference between cappuccinos and lattes but I always get confused between americanos and flat whites and regular filter coffee with milk (if you add milk to each are they in essence the same?).

I've heard some misguided people refer to an espresso as an 'expresso'. That seems to be a rather common mispronunciation here.

Sarah xo | PolkaDotLemon

Safiya said...

Oh thank you so much for this post. I am a bitchy barista too, especially if I'm out for coffee myself and I can see them steaming the milk all wrong. I blame places like starbucks.

Cats in Crop Tops

OrigamiGirl said...

So what DO cappuccino flavour chocolates really mean? I don't know, but I really like them. Although I do know it is only foam when you order one. The flavour question still bothers me.

libys11 said...

awesome information!! never knew about the difference before too!! :D

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Miranda McDonald said...

Hahah! If it has caffeine, I don't care what it is called! Fun post!


erica marie said...

Fun post! I used to work in a coffee shop too and before then I never really knew the difference because I never really ever ordered anything other than good old fashion coffee lol

xo erica

Joyce said...

oh hahaha I never knew the difference! I would love to see more posts like this :) I'm more of a tea person so I always just order iced tea but this will be so useful in case I ever become a coffee person!

megcasson said...

I do love my coffee, great post.

Sandra Leiva said...

I love coffee!!


Izzy said...

bahaha funny post! I totally forgive you for being a coffee snob, if I was a barista I might become one. It's interesting knowing the difference between different types of coffee. I just looked for the one that had the most chocolate content (mocha) and then I never looked back hahaah :)

Metallic Paws

Sam said...

I appreciate your great comment, have a creative week ahead hun!

Jump Into Puddles said...

haha this is funny! i feel like i would never be able to keep up with all of those

Jump Into Puddles

aki! said...

These reminders are always nice. I really like lattes.

7% Solution

Mode Moi Sell said...

i love the same cappucinio & latte <3

Rachel Pheasant said...

My biggest annoyance after working in a coffee shop during college--many people (including a lot of baristas) don't know what a cafe au lait is. It is my preferred drink and I can't keep track of how often I have to explain to people how to make it. I'm always super nice when I do...but it is my secret coffee snob inner dialogue.


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