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. 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?
A wet cappuccino, short for “wet foam cappuccino,” is made with more steamed milk and less foam. The result is a cappuccino with a thinner layer of foam on top, and a creamier, smoother texture.
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.
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.
Dry cappuccinos have a lower milk-to-espresso ratio. This means baristas use less steamed milk, making them taste stronger.
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.
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
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 are Sharper and Richer
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?
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.
The bone-dry cappuccino is bold and intense, 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:
- Brew a double shot of espresso and pour it into a cappuccino cup.
- Using a milk frother, froth your milk until it reaches a thick and velvety consistency.
- Spoon the milk foam onto the espresso, making sure to leave out any steamed milk.
What is a “Super Wet” Cappuccino?
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 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
The milk type and ratio affect the calorie count. 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 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.