Some coffees are pretty similar to each other – for example, there are lots of coffees that are a combination of espresso and milk.
In contrast, other coffees have significant differences and are easy to tell apart. This is the case with the Cappuccino and the Americano Misto, where the difference is all about the water.
Both Cappuccinos and Americano Mistos are drinks of three approximately equal parts. A Cappuccino is one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third milk foam. An Americano Misto is one-third espresso, one-third water, and one-third steamed milk.
About the Cappuccino
The Cappuccino has a long history, dating back to the 17th century. However, the original version of the coffee was very different from the drink we see today.
The forerunner to the Cappuccino was the Kapuziner, served in the coffee houses of Vienna. It was a drink of coffee, cream, spices, and sugar.
Kapuziner was named after the red-brown color of Vienna’s Capuchin monks. By the 1930s, the name had developed into Cappuccino, and the coffee continued to evolve.
Refrigeration – which is, of course, essential for keeping milk – was developed in the early decades of the 20th century and espresso machines became more common by the 1950s. It was around this time that the first Cappuccinos consisting of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam – as we know them today – were produced.
How to make a Cappuccino
To make a traditional Cappuccino, you will need a 6oz coffee cup, ground coffee beans, an espresso machine with a steamer, and milk.
A Cappuccino is one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam. There is usually 1-2cm foam on top.
To make your Cappuccino, follow these steps:
- Pull an espresso shot using your espresso machine.
- Add milk to a jug. This can be any type of milk, but whole milk is recommended
- Purge the steam wand by covering it with a cloth and turning it on for a second or two. This will ensure that no residual water gets into your milk.
- Insert the steam wand just below the surface of the milk and switch it on.
- Lower the jug as the milk begins to froth, keeping the wand near the milk’s surface.
- Steam the milk until the jug is almost too hot to touch comfortably.
- Firmly tap the jug twice on a hard surface to remove any large bubbles, then gently swirl the jug to make the milk smooth and shiny.
- Pour the milk onto the espresso, ensuring there is a thick layer of milk foam on top.
Enjoy your delicious Cappuccino!
About the Americano Misto
An Americano is an espresso with water, and a latte is an espresso with milk. An Americano Misto is halfway between the two: an espresso with half water and half milk.
The Americano Misto should not be confused with the similarly named Caffe Misto, as the two are quite different. The Caffe Misto is equal part drip coffee (not espresso) and steamed milk.
How to make an Americano Misto
Making an Americano Misto requires the same equipment as a Cappuccino and other espresso-based coffees. You’ll need an espresso machine with a steaming wand, a jug, a coffee cup, and milk.
Even though you can use an espresso machine, we can also recommend doing your Americano Misto with drip coffee (as water is automatically added along the brew) and then add steamed milk.
Then follow these simple steps:
- Pull an espresso shot using your espresso machine. You can, of course, choose a double shot if you prefer. You’ll just need to increase the milk and water in the next steps to each be equal to the amount of espresso.
- Pour hot water onto the espresso shot. The amount of water you use should be the same as the amount of espresso.
- Steam your milk. We prefer whole milk, but you can use any kind of milk you like.
- Pour the steamed milk into the coffee. The amount of milk should be equal to the amount of water you poured in. This gives you a drink that is one-third espresso, one-third hot water, and one-third steamed milk.
The Difference Between a Cappuccino and an Americano Misto
The key difference between a Cappuccino and an Americano Misto is that the Americano Misto is one-third water.
In contrast, a Cappuccino is comprised only of espresso and milk.
An Americano Misto is perfect for anyone who enjoys an Americano (espresso and water) but perhaps wants a smoother, creamier drink that takes the edge off the coffee flavor.
A Cappuccino is for milk-lovers who want a luxurious and creamy drink. With two types of milk – and often sprinkled with chocolate on top – the Cappuccino is sweeter than an Americano Misto and higher in calories.
Both drinks are widely available in coffee shops and are easy to make at home. So, if you’re unsure which you’ll like best, why not try both? If you like espresso and milk, then we’re sure you’ll enjoy both the Cappuccino and the Americano Misto, and it’s always good to have an excuse to try new delicious types of coffees!
FAQ – Cappuccino vs Americano Misto
The key difference between a Cappuccino and an Americano Misto is that the Americano Misto is one-third water. In contrast, a Cappuccino is comprised only of espresso and milk. This is because a Misto is made by using drip coffee.
An Americano is espresso with water. Americano Misto is half hot water (drip coffee) and half milk in an equal amount.
It is an Americano with steamed milk. Hot water and steamed milk is added half-half.
Yes, you could argue that Caffe Misto is a strong coffee even though it contains water and steamed milk. The taste is of more water than e.g. a Cappuccino, but normally it also contains more caffeine rounded with steamed milk.
Hey there! I’m Austin and I love coffee. In fact, I drink about 5 americanos a day. I started BrewingCoffees because I wanted to share my love of coffee with the world. Before starting BrewingCoffees, I worked as a Barista for 7 years.