When it comes to coffee, there are so many different types and variations that it can be hard to decide which one to order.

Americanos and cappuccinos are two well-known coffees, so how do they differ?

Quick Answer: What is the difference between Americano and cappuccino?

The main difference between an Americano and a cappuccino is that Americanos are made with espresso and hot water, while cappuccinos are made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk.

Americano vs. Cappuccino: Get To Know All the Differences

Let’s explore all the differences between these two popular coffee drinks below!

Americano vs. cappuccino, how do they differ?

Before going in-depth about the differences between these coffees, here’s a breakdown of all the differences between an Americano and a cappuccino to help make your next coffee run a little bit easier!

Flavor notesA slightly bitter and robust tasteA smooth and creamy flavor
Espresso?Yes, one espresso shotYes, one espresso shot
Milk?No milk addedYes, 2 ounces (60 ml)
Water added?Yes, 2 ounces (60 ml)No water added
Caffeine content68mg of caffeine68mg of caffeine
Number of caloriesVirtually no calories38 calories
Topping?No toppingMilk foam topping and a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder

As you can see, there are quite a lot of differences between these delicious coffees.

Now it’s time to go in-depth about each of their differences to see which fits you better.

At the end of this article, you’ll know which will be the better choice for you, so you’ll be a master at ordering (or making) your next caffeine-packed drink!

What is the flavor difference between an Americano and a cappuccino?

An Americano is more similar to black coffee and will have a more bitter flavor because of the higher ratio of espresso to water, while a cappuccino has a thicker consistency and more pronounced flavors.

A cappuccino has a sweeter flavor because of the addition of milk and is also often served with cocoa powder or cinnamon on top, making it even more flavorful and a bit sweeter:

Dusting a cappuccino with cinnamon.

There are many variations of the cappuccino, like the wet cappuccino and dry cappuccino.

Both cappuccino options are delicious in their own way. A wet cappuccino is made with more steamed milk and almost no milk foam, while a dry cappuccino will only have milk foam for a more robust flavor:

A side-by-side comparison between a wet and dry cappuccino.
Wet cappuccino on the left. Dry cappuccino on the right

You can check out the side-by-side comparison between these cappuccino versions in this article.

As you can see, the flavor profile of the cappuccino can change depending on how you like to make yours at home (or order at your favorite coffee bar), while an Americano will stay similar in taste.

Is an Americano stronger than a cappuccino?

An Americano is stronger than a cappuccino because it is made with more espresso and is diluted with hot water. Because cappuccinos are diluted with milk, they are also sweeter than Americanos.

Americano coffee.

Cappuccinos are made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, whereas Americanos are made with just espresso and hot water, so they are more concentrated and stronger in flavor.

Is there a difference in caffeine between these drinks?

The caffeine content in an Americano and a cappuccino is the same. There is about 68mg of caffeine in each drink. (Source)

The caffeine content is based on a single espresso shot. You can also make both drinks with a double shot (commonly referred to as doppio espresso), which will increase the caffeine content.

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Doppio on the right

Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can choose to add an extra espresso shot to your favorite coffee.

If you’re making your coffee at home, simply brew a double shot with your espresso machine or make two espressos with your Nespresso machine for that delicious flavor.

Tip: Check out this in-depth guide to the best espresso pods for your Nespresso machine.

If you’d instead order your coffee at your local coffee shop, you can also ask for an extra espresso shot to be added to your drink.

How many calories are in an Americano vs. cappuccino?

There is a significant difference in the number of calories between an Americano and a cappuccino. An Americano contains virtually no calories, while a cappuccino with whole milk has 38 calories.

Homemade cappuccino.

The number of calories can change depending on the milk used for your cappuccino and if you like to add a sweetener to either of the drinks (which will increase the calories per serving).

For example, a French vanilla cappuccino has 90 calories because of the added vanilla syrup.

And a white Americano (which has a little milk added to it) has nine calories instead of virtually none:

White Americano, ready to drink.
White Americano

Which is better, an Americano or a cappuccino?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on personal preference.

However, here are some things to consider when deciding which coffee is right for you.

An Americano is a coffee drink made by mixing espresso with hot water. A cappuccino, on the other hand, is a coffee drink made by adding frothed milk to espresso and has a nice layer of milk foam.

A side-by-side comparison between an Americano and a cappuccino.

If you’re still unsure which might be the better choice for you, I recommend the following:

  • If you prefer a creamy coffee drink with more foam, then a cappuccino would be the better choice for you.
  • An Americano will be the better choice if you prefer a stronger, espresso-based drink without all the milk and foam.

I usually start my day with an espresso-based drink or pour over coffee, which is why an Americano is my favorite of the two, but a cappuccino is also a delicious pick.

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the Americano and cappuccino compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


So there you have it! All the important differences between an Americano and a cappuccino. Make sure to try both so that you can find your favorite.

Or, if you’ve already decided which is the better coffee for you, it’s time to order it with confidence!

No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong, as they are both delicious options.

If you’d like to try out some delicious espresso-based coffees, you can find some of my favorites below:

Espresso-based recipes to try

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