Quills Drinks: Cappuccinos and Lattes


Quills is obsessed with espresso, that’s obvious. But the 6 oz. cappuccino is taking over the love for coffee geeks as of late. We love all of our coffee drinks, of course, but there is something about this little cup of espresso and steamed milk that has become a customer and barista favorite.

This little drink enters the long debate of what is really the difference between a cappuccino and a latté. At Quills, we are striving for enhancing the coffee quo, and that means quality and accuracy. Since the explosion of specialty coffee in America and around the world, the interpretation of what constitutes the difference in these drinks has been immense. 

Inspired by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) judge regulations for what constitutes a cappuccino in barista competitions, Quills has settled on the difference being in the measurement of the beverage. The SCAA defines a traditional cappuccino as a “beverage of ratios, producing a harmonious balance of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk” in a 5-6 oz. porcelain cup. Leaving room for interpretation on how much of each there should be.

In this loose interpretation there is still a long debate on the ratio of espresso, foam and milk. Some have adapted a precise one-third of each. This is more fitting for baristas that use a spooning method for precision. At Quills we have adapted a free pour method that integrates the foam and milk into to the pour instead of pour the milk then spooning the foam on top. We like this method because the result tastes and feels better in the mouth.  The light, fluffly consistency of milk used in the spooning method does not achieve the same balance and integration that the free pour method achieves.  Secondly, the free pour method allows for more aesthetic beauty in the cup with the addition of latte art. 

This leaves the latté in the interpretive category of the non-cappuccino. The common desire for a latté is less foam than a cappuccino. This naturally happens when there is less espresso ratio in the drink and the same amount of foam created for both styles but more milk is poured in to fill the mug, which is 10 or 12 oz. Ya dig?