Wet Vs. Dry Cappuccino

The Coffee Jargon Decoded

Cappuccino drink
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Ah, the language of coffee! There is quite a list of terminology, so much so that jokes are made about the complicated and ridiculous sounding orders. ("Triple half-caff, low-fat, no foam, late with a caramel drizzle!") But learning a few main coffee ordering terms can make all the difference in your day—when you are hankering for that cup of joe you want to be sure you get the right thing. Whether it is a mocha, frappuccino, or cappuccino, there are some descriptive words that can make or break your drink order, especially when it comes to espresso drinks.

The Anatomy of a Cappucino

A coffee that originated in Italy, Cappuccino is a double espresso drink with a layer of steamed milk and then a layer of milk foam on top of the coffee. A typical cappuccino recipe calls for roughly equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. However, as with many coffee beverages these days, there are variations on this.

Ordering Espresso Drinks

Two key terms to know when it comes to espresso drinks are "wet" and "dry." A "wet" drink has more creamy, hot milk. A "dry" drink has more frothed milk. The foam in dry drinks keeps them more insulated, so they stay hotter longer. Plus, they are great for making latte art in caffe lattes and other dry drinks.

For a cappuccino (or cap, as it is sometimes called), the difference is this: A wet cappuccino has more steamed milk than frothed milk. A dry cap has less steamed milk and more frothed milk. To add to this long list of coffee jargon, you can also order a cappuccino "bone dry," which means only espresso and foam—no steamed milk at all.

And a "super wet" cappuccino is actually a latte since latte is espresso and steamed milk.