Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Never Mistake a Wet Cappuccino vs Dry Cappuccino vs Latte Again!

Wet vs dry cappuccinos: Both are creamy coffee drinks with espresso and milk foam. The major difference boils down to the ratio of foam to milk and espresso. Wet cappuccinos have more milk and are closer to lattes. Dry cappuccinos have more foam than milk.
wet vs dry cappuccino

You’ve heard of cappuccinos, a delicious espresso-based drink that is a staple at coffee shops worldwide. 

But do you know the difference between wet vs dry cappuccinos? “Wet” and “dry” refer to the texture and consistency of the foam on top of the cappuccino.

As a former barista, I made plenty of both and it’s amazing how different they can taste from one another.

In this article, we will explore all the nuances between wet and dry cappuccinos – including an easy-to-follow cappuccino recipe for each type. And why both are worth trying so you can decide which is next on your list to make at home!

Ready to get foamy with it? Let’s take a closer look at wet vs dry cappuccinos.

What is a Wet Cappuccino?

Among many coffee drinks, the wet cappuccino is an espresso-based delight that promises a creamier, milkier sip than its counterpart, the dry cappuccino. Understanding the differences between a wet cappuccino and what the heck folks mean when they say “dry” is key here.

Basically, a wet cappuccino just means more steamed milk and less milk foam, whereas a dry cappuccino has less steamed milk and rocks more foam on top. 

what is a wet cappuccino

The extra steamed milk in a wet cappuccino means that the drink has a higher milk-to-espresso ratio. This dampens the astringent espresso zing you get front-of-palate with a regular cappuccino.

Wet cappuccinos are silky and light because the milk is aerated less. They’re not as bold as a regular cappuccino, nor as almost ‘bubbly’ in texture as a dry cappuccino.

Many folks give wet cappuccinos a bad name because they’re so close to lattes. I guess another way to look at them is a like a foamier latte.

How to Make a Wet Cappuccino at Home

A traditional cappuccino consists of an equal threesome of espresso, milk, and milk foam, but for our wet version, we’re tilting the balance towards more steamed milk and foam. If you’re looking to understand what a dry cappuccino entails before you declare your allegiance to the wet side, just remember: it’s all about the milk to foam ratio. Now, who’s ready to make their morning cappuccino even more special?

  1. First things first, you’ll need some freshly ground coffee beans. Aim for a fine grind, like sugar, but not powdery.
  2. Lock and load it into your espresso maker to pull a nice, rich shot. Remember, the foundation of a great cappuccino is a stellar espresso.
  3. Next up, let’s froth some milk. But since we’re making a wet cappuccino, we’re aiming for less froth and more warm, silky milk.
  4. Pour your milk into the steamer pitcher, dive the wand just below the surface, and go for it until it’s steaming but not boiling. Think warm, velvety texture.
  5. Now, the fun part. Pour that velvety milk over your espresso shot gently. The trick here is to hold back the froth with a spoon and let the milk flow in first, then top it off with just a bit of foam. Remember: We’re going for more steamed milk and less foam to make it “wet”. And voila, you’ve mastered the art of making a wet cappuccino at home!
  6. Sip and enjoy the warmth and richness.

Who needs a coffee shop when you’ve got this skill up your sleeve?

What is a Dry Cappuccino?

Speaking of which: A dry cappuccino AKA “dry foam” cappuccino has little-to-no milk (depending on how dry it is). You know what it’s got in spades instead? That’s right: Foam! It features a thick layer of foam on top, and a drier, airier texture. 

what is a dry cappuccino

Dry cappuccinos have a lower milk-to-espresso ratio. This means baristas use less steamed milk, making them taste stronger. It’s all about the amount of milk: a wet cappuccino has more steamed milk, while a dry one boasts a higher ratio of steamed milk and more foam, giving it a stronger coffee flavor. Curious about how this compares to other drinks?

Well, the difference between a cappuccino and a latte lies in the milk to espresso ratio, with the latter being milkier, and while latte art steals the show with lattes, the dry cappuccino shines with its simplicity and focus on the coffee itself.

With a dry cap, the espresso drips through the foam when you drink it, kind of ‘melting’ the foam as you continue sipping it. The result is a delicious, rich coffee drink that packs a punch. 🤌

Some people like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon or chocolate on top for some extra flavor, but that’s totally up to personal preference.

How to Make a Dry Cappuccino Coffee at Home

So you’re a coffee drinker looking to whip up a dry cappuccino at home, but not exactly sure how to differentiate it from, say, a flat white or a macchiato? Well, you’re in the right place. First off, understanding the basics is key. A classic cappuccino is traditionally made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, topped with a generous layer of milk foam. The amount of milk foam is what primarily sets a cappuccino apart from other coffee beverages. In the case of dry and wet cappuccinos, what’s the difference, you ask? 

  1. Before anything, make sure you’ve got some high-quality coffee beans on hand. The whole experience starts there. You’ll want to grind them freshly with a coffee grinder for the best taste.
  2. Next up is nailing down the perfect espresso, the heart of any good cappuccino. Your coffee machine will be your best friend here. Pull two shots of espresso.
  3. Now, the fun part: frothing the milk. For a dry cappuccino, remember it’s all about less steamed milk and more of that delightful foam. The goal is achieving a fluffy texture that can hold its own on top of the espresso, resulting in that stronger coffee punch every coffee enthusiast craves.
  4. Combine your espresso and milk carefully, adjust the ratio of steamed milk to espresso and foam so that the drink is at least half foam.
  5. Enjoy your dry cappuccino!

Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Flavor Differences

Some people may think that the difference between a wet and dry cappuccino is simply the amount of foam. But there are actually some significant flavor differences between the two, too. 

Wet Cappuccinos are Creamier and Sweeter Like a Latte

Due to the higher milk-to-espresso ratio in a wet cappuccino, the drink has a creamier mouthfeel and a milder espresso flavor. 

More steamed milk also adds sweetness to the drink, while balancing out the espresso’s bitterness. 

The foam layer on top of a wet cappuccino is usually thinner and more delicate than that of a dry cappuccino. It tends to mix beautifully with milk and espresso. The end drink is closer to a latte than a regular cappuccino.

Dry Cappuccinos Create a Sharper and Richer Coffee Experience

Due to the lower milk-to-espresso ratio, dry cappuccinos are more bitter with a drier mouthfeel. 

The foam layer on top of a dry cappuccino is thicker than that of a wet cappuccino. Because there’s very little milk, the foam tends to sit on top of the milk and espresso. The separation creates a more layered flavor through each sip. 

The drier texture also highlights the espresso’s natural flavors since they aren’t mixed into as much milk. 

If you really want to appreciate a particular coffee bean’s subtle notes, a dry cappuccino is an excellent vehicle to use.

What is a “Bone Dry” Cappuccino? Hint: Almost Pure Espresso.

A bone-dry cappuccino is an extreme version of a dry cappuccino. Baristas make it by adding extra foam to the cappuccino and no steamed milk. This results in a cappuccino that is entirely foam. One of the advantages of a bone-dry cappuccino is its strong coffee taste.

The downside is that not all cafes make it and it can be hard to actually drink.

what is a bone dry cappuccino

The bone-dry cappuccino provides a bold and intense experience, as there is no steamed milk to dilute the espresso. The frothed milk foam adds a creamy texture and sweetness to the drink, which takes the sharp edge off the espresso.

How to Make a Bone Dry Cappuccino at Home

If you’re looking to try a bone-dry cappuccino at home, it’s actually quite simple to make. All you need is an espresso machine, a milk frother, and your favorite espresso beans. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Brew a double shot of espresso and pour it into a cappuccino cup.
  2. Using a milk frother, froth your milk until it reaches a thick and velvety consistency.
  3. Spoon the milk foam onto the espresso, making sure to leave out any steamed milk.

A “Super Wet” Cappuccino is a Cross Between a Regular Cappuccino and a Latte

A cappuccino without foam may sound weird, but that’s essentially what a super wet cappuccino is: Basically a latte or a wet cappuccino taken to the next level.

It is made by adding extra milk to the cappuccino until there is no foam left. This results in a cappuccino that is almost entirely milk. Some people argue it’s not actually a cappuccino at all! 👀

Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Which Type of Cappuccino is Stronger?

They are equally as caffeinated and strong since both types of cappuccino have the same amounts of espresso.

But the different milk-to-foam ratios can affect the perceived strength of the drink. A dry cappuccino tastes stronger due to the less milk content, while a wet cappuccino can taste milder due to the extra milk.

Curious about caffeine content? Learn how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee here.

Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Comparing Milk and Calorie Content

If the two types of cappuccino maintains the same amount of espresso in each type, then the milk type and ratio affect calorie count the most.

A wet cappuccino has more milk, making it a slightly higher-calorie drink. 

A dry cappuccino has less milk, making it a lower-calorie drink. Yet, the difference in calorie count is usually minor. Here are the ratio differences between the two preparations.

wet vs dry cappuccino

TL;DR on Wet vs Dry Cappuccinos

When it comes to coffee variations amongst the famous cappuccino, you’re probably surprised at how many types there are. And wet and dry cappuccinos are two different variations of the same classic drink. 

Wet cappuccinos have more milk and less foam, giving them a creamier texture and milder milky taste. Dry cappuccinos have less milk and more foam, resulting in a thicker, layered texture and a sharp espresso flavor. 

Bone dry and super wet cappuccinos are extreme versions of their respective counterparts, with no liquid or foam left. So, which one is best? Ultimately, that’s up to you!

Now that you’re an expert on wet vs dry cappuccinos, find your ideal grind size with our comprehensive grind size chart guide.

Wet Cappuccino vs Dry Cappuccino FAQs

  1. What exactly is a wet Cappuccino?

    A wet Cappuccino is a type of coffee that has a higher ratio of steamed milk to espresso, resulting in a creamier texture. This version of cappuccino leans more towards the texture of a latte, making it a gentler coffee choice for those who enjoy their drink creamy.

  2. How does a dry Cappuccino differ from a wet one?

    A dry Cappuccino contains less steamed milk and more milk foam, making it have a more intense coffee flavor and a thicker layer of milk foam on top. It's considered a stronger and more concentrated coffee experience compared to its wet counterpart.

  3. Can you explain what exactly is a dry Cappuccino?

    Certainly! A dry cappuccino is a popular coffee drink that emphasizes the flavor of the espresso by using less steamed milk and a thicker layer of milk foam. This creates a more intense coffee taste with a velvety, less creamy texture, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts who prefer a strong coffee note.

  4. Is there a type of coffee similar to a wet Cappuccino?

    Yes, a flat white or latte can be quite similar to a wet Cappuccino as both drinks use a greater amount of steamed milk to create a creamy, velvety texture. The main difference lies in the amount and texture of milk foam used, with a latte being the closest in texture to a wet Cappuccino.

  5. What makes a cappuccino wet or dry?

    What determines if a cappuccino is wet or dry is essentially the ratio of steamed milk to milk foam. A “wet” cappuccino has more steamed milk, making it creamier, while a “dry” cappuccino features more milk foam, resulting in a frothier texture and a more potent coffee flavor.

  6. Is a normal Cappuccino considered wet or dry?

    A normal cappuccino is usually considered to strike a balance between the two, featuring a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. This balanced mix makes it neither too wet nor too dry, providing a harmonious taste and texture that cappuccino lovers cherish.

  7. Can I make a dry Cappuccino at home?

    Absolutely! Making a dry cappuccino at home involves preparing a strong shot of espresso and then adding a thick layer of milk foam on top, with minimal to no steamed milk. It might take a bit of practice to perfect the milk foam, but it's definitely possible to enjoy this intense coffee delight at home.

  8. Why is cappuccino considered among the most popular coffee drinks?

    Cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee drinks because it perfectly combines the rich taste of espresso with the creamy texture of steamed milk and the lightness of milk foam. This balance makes cappuccino a versatile drink that caters to a wide range of coffee preferences, from those who enjoy a gentler coffee to those who prefer their coffee with a more concentrated flavor.

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3 thoughts on “Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Never Mistake a Wet Cappuccino vs Dry Cappuccino vs Latte Again!”

  1. Warning: strlen() expects parameter 1 to be string, object given in /home/customer/www/coffeehex.com/public_html/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 3557
    Avatar for Nelly

    I would definitely prefer a dry cappuccino. I like the foam. I didn’t know there are two types. This explains why in some coffee shops they don’t put much foam. Thanks for sharing this useful post!

  2. Your dedication to providing detailed explanations and visual comparisons makes it so much easier to understand the distinctions. As a coffee lover, I’ve always been curious about the various ways to enjoy cappuccino, and your article has not only satisfied my curiosity but also expanded my coffee knowledge.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise and passion for coffee with us. I can’t wait to experiment with both wet and dry cappuccinos and truly appreciate the art of crafting the perfect cup.

    Best regards,



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