The main characteristic of the cappuccino, in comparison to the caffè latte, is the amount of foam and steamed milk in the beverage.
Where the caffè latte will consist of mostly textured milk with emphasis on quality of micro-foam and latte art, the cappuccino will commonly consist of equal partsespresso, milk and foam. The foam can be anywhere between 1-2cms depending on the type of cappuccino that is preferred. Usually rising above the height of the cup in a dome shape the froth acts as an insulator keeping the beverage hot until consumed. It’s also common for cinnamon or chocolate to be sprinkled on top for added sweetness.
Modern baristas have blurred the lines between the two beverages with the different varieties of cap and the common practice of skillfully texturing micro-foam for all espresso beverages. One recent technique is to add chocolate sprinkles to the espresso and then pour textured milk. This allows the barista to design latte art into the cappuccino which would otherwise be covered by the chocolate.
A couple of variations exist such as the ‘dry’ (or dark, also called cappuccino scuro) cap contains more foam than textured milk.
The ‘wet’ (or light, also called cappuccino chiaro) cap has more textured milk than foam and will basically resemble a flat white.
A cappuccino freddo (cold in English) is a cappuccino served over ice. Also known as a Iced Cappuccino.