Wet and Dry Cappuccinos: The Difference

Coffee Jargon Decoded

Cappuccino drink
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hen it comes to the language of coffee and espresso drinks, there's quite a long list of terminology to consider before placing an order. In fact, there are so many terms out there that constant jokes are made about the complicated and ridiculous sounding orders coffee-drinkers request, like that of a triple half-caff, low-fat, no foam latte with a caramel drizzle.

Learning a few main terms to order your coffee with can be the difference between finding a new favorite drink and tossing half a pricey beverage in the trash. Change things up with a coffee drink that you truly understand. That way, you'll get to try a delicious pick-me-up while knowing what you really should be getting.

Cappuccino Basics

A cappuccino is a popular coffee drink that originated in Italy. This double espresso beverage has a layer of steamed milk plus another layer of milk foam on top of the coffee. A typical cappuccino recipe calls for roughly equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. However, as with many coffee beverages these days, there are variations on the type of cappuccino you'll get.

Wet and Dry Cappuccinos

Words matter when it comes to coffee, and whether you're craving a mocha, frappuccino, or cappuccino, these descriptive terms can make or break your drink order—especially when it comes to espresso drinks. The two key terms to know when it comes to espresso drinks are "wet" and "dry." A "wet" beverage is more creamy because it has more steamed milk, whereas a "dry" drink has more frothed milk. The foam in dry drinks keeps them more insulated, so they stay hotter longer. Plus, dry espresso drinks are great for making latte art in, which isn't reserved just for caffe lattes.

To add a little bit of tasty complexity to your order, ask for a cappuccino that's "bone dry," which calls for only espresso and foam—with no steamed milk at all. On the other hand, "super wet" cappuccino is simply called a latte, since lattes involve a mix of espresso and steamed milk.

Personalize Your Order

You can personalize your cappuccino with many different ingredients. The first step is to choose your milk. There's an array of different kinds of milk to choose from, so consider its taste, thickness, and flavor. You can go for nonfat/skim, a classic 1 percent, 2 percent, or whole milk, seasonal eggnog, or something nondairy like vanilla soymilk or unsweetened almond milk.

Then, you want to choose a sweetener. You can go for an all-natural raw sugar or honey, opt for regular sugar or an alternative like agave syrup, or sugar-free sweeteners such as Splenda, Sweet 'N Low, or Equal. After you've chosen a sweetener, you want to decide on the overall flavor of your coffee beverage. Choose a strong base flavor like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, raspberry, or pumpkin spice. You can always think about what's in season if you're unsure of what to get, or picking something you've never had before might turn up a new favorite order. Once you've settled on the main flavor, you can add a fun topping for your cappuccino, like a powder, drizzle, or whipped cream. There are many flavors out there to whip up, like cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, marshmallow, and sea salt.