Americano VS Cappuccino

Photo of a cup of Americano and a cup of Cappuccino. Americano VS Cappuccino.

Among the most consumed coffee drinks in America are the rich, bold Americano and the strong, creamy Cappuccino. Equally popular, these two espresso drinks are sought-after for their robust taste and energy-boosting qualities.

When deconstructed, you will find that each drink has individualized ingredients, taste, strength, caffeine content, and more.

Below you’ll find the key differences between Americano vs Cappuccino.

Americano Vs Cappuccino: Key Differences

The primary differences between an Americano and a Cappuccino are the ingredients.

An Americano (AKA Caffè Americano) contains a 2:1 ratio of hot water and espresso. It is made by combining 2 espresso shots with hot water.

Example of measurements:
2 oz (About 30 ml) Espresso
4 oz (About 60 ml) Hot Water

Cappuccino contains equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. It is made by adding steamed and frothed milk to 1-2 espresso shots.

Example of measurements:
2 oz (about 30 ml) Espresso
2 oz (about 30 ml) Steamed Milk

Milk Foam (Created by frothing steamed milk)

Which is stronger Americano or Cappuccino?

These two espresso drinks are known for their robustness. You’re not going to order an Americano or Cappuccino unless you want to truly taste your coffee. But which one tastes stronger?

Americano uses water at a 2:1 ratio to bring down the boldness of the espresso just a bit. The Cappuccino comes with espresso and equal parts milk and froth to even out the taste.

The milk of a Cappuccino compliments the espresso with a creaminess that you don’t get in an Americano. Because of this, espresso tends to come through stronger in an Americano than it does in a Cappuccino.

Caffeine Content On Americano Vs Cappuccino

Caffeine content plays a major role in the growing demand for espresso drinks.

In the busyness of today’s society, people consume lots of caffeine to get them through the day, depending on espresso drinks like the Americano and Cappuccino. Which one will keep you energized longer?

A single shot of espresso contains approximately 60 mg of caffeine.

A Cappuccino contains 1-2 shots of espresso, depending on the recipe. So a Cappuccino with 2 shots of espresso will have approximately 120 mg of caffeine. An Americano generally comes with 2 shots of espresso, also equaling 120 mg of caffeine.

Even though an Americano tastes stronger than a Cappuccino, you get the same amount of caffeine with both if 2 shots are used in the Cappuccino.

If you are purchasing a Cappuccino, ask how many shots are used and add a second one if you like your Cappuccino stronger.

For an extra boost on a particularly rough day, add a third shot!

Calories On Americano Vs Cappuccino

Calories in each drink are going to vary depending on the size of drink you get, which is most important when it comes to a Cappuccino.

Since an Americano consists of only espresso and water, you are looking at no more than 10-15 calories for a 16 oz drink. The amount of calories doesn’t go up much for a larger drink.

Unsurprisingly, a Cappuccino has a higher calorie count. Because it is made with milk, the calorie count is around 120 calories for a 16 oz drink. A larger size will be closer to 200 calories.

If you’re being strict with your calories, you can’t go wrong with the Americano.

However, if you don’t want to part with your Cappuccino but need fewer calories. In that case, you can use alternatives in place of whole milk.

Alternatives to whole milk may include:

  • 2% Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Skim Milk
  • Almond Milk (Most Popular Alternative)

It’s best to go with unsweetened alternatives, which will keep the calories at a minimum.

Sprucing It Up: What Can You Add to an Americano/Cappuccino?

Traditionally, you wouldn’t add anything extra to either, but who says you can’t create new traditions?

If you want to add some flavor to your espresso drink, add a little bit of vanilla to your Cappuccino or a splash of milk to your Americano.

Don’t want to take away from the flavor but need a little hint of sweetness? Add a dash of sugar to your Americano or Cappuccino. Or top it with some whipped cream!

If you prefer a little spice with your espresso drink, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

There are many ways you can spruce up your espresso drink without changing the overall taste you crave.


If you do choose to add additional flavorings to your espresso beverage, keep in mind that adding extra ingredients will increase the calorie count.

Can You Have Them Iced?

Many coffee drinkers prefer iced coffee drinks in the hotter months. Can these classic hot espresso drinks be turned into tasty cold beverages as well? The answer is yes!

For an Iced Americano, the change is a simple one. If you want an Iced Americano, all you have to do is pour your espresso over a few ice cubes and add in the same amount of cold water as you would hot water.

An Iced Cappuccino is pretty simple as well. Instead of warming the milk, you pour cold milk over iced espresso and top it with some cold milk foam. It is comparable to an iced latte but contains less milk, which maintains its bold espresso flavor and keeps calories low.

With these simple changes, your favorite espresso drinks can help cool you down during hot summer days!

Which Is Right For You: Americano or Cappuccino?

If you like bold, strong coffee that isn’t altered by extra ingredients, the Americano is the perfect choice for you.

If you like a bold but creamy coffee that still has a strong espresso flavor, go for the Cappuccino.

Undecided? Bring somebody along the next time you are craving an espresso drink, go through the differences, and decide together!

The Americano and the Cappuccino are clear coffee fan favorites. From the difference in taste to the calorie content, you now have all the information you need to choose the espresso drink that best fits your preferences.

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Robert Knowlton is an expert barista with more than 15 years of experience. Robert's main goal is to make sure everyone can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee regardless of their skill level.