Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: What Are The Key Differences?

cappuccino - how to make a bone dry cappuccino at home | wet vs dry cappuccino

Do you love a delicious cappuccino? One of the most renowned creamy espresso-based treats in history is this little yet strong cup! Your heart will sing with pleasure as you sip that perfect combination of frothy milk, espresso, and steamed milk.

Over time, cappuccino has evolved and now there are several types of cups to choose from.

Even if specific types are not designated, wet and dry cappuccinos are the most popular. After that comes bone dry and extra wet. It seems likely that these are specials meant to appeal to a connoisseur’s palates.

Understanding what “wet” and “dry” drinks are allows you to easily modify your classic cappuccino. These terms allow you to choose how much foam you want in your cappuccino.

These variations like wet, dry, classic, and super wet cappuccinos are designed to provide an optimal balance of espresso, milk, and foam. The portions of the drink – more milk, less foam, etc. – define the difference between one variation and another.

Read on for the breakdown on what a “wet” or “dry” cappuccino is, as well as wet vs dry cappuccino and which style of cappuccino is worth appreciating.

All of your cappuccino questions will be answered ahead of!

First And Foremost: What Is The Classic Cappuccino?

To start off with an oldie but goodie, classic cappuccino is a traditional espresso-based drink that is prepared with steamed milk and milk foam (or microfoam).

And just like many other coffee menu items, it’s all about the ratios.

The classic cappuccino features equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. It’s served in a smaller cup than a latte. In Italian, the word cappuccino means “small-cap,” which reflects the foamed milk head perched on top of the drink’s espresso base. The name comes from the Capuchin monks, whose light-brown robes were similar to the beverage’s hue.

Starbucks began selling large-size cappuccinos,  which still come with a thick layer of foam. Although this deviated from tradition in terms of size, it allowed customers to maintain the same espresso/milk/foam ratio as before.

Cappuccinos offer a wonderful balance of delicious espresso tastes and creamy milk, making them a balanced, artful drink. They are a wonderful middle ground for people who want the strong, rich flavor of espresso without being overpowered by it.

Please, for the love of God, don’t ask for a “no foam cappuccino.” That would be ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ emptiness – and that’s just not right.  The drink’s identity is built around its signature foamy goodness. Foam is the lifeblood of a cappuccino. You can’t remove it or else it’ll just be a tiny latte or flat white!

You can also get a bit of chocolate sprinkled on top with a cookie on the side, but for now, let’s stick to the espresso and milk!

cappuccino- espresso drinks similar to latte - latte recipe- how to make latte at home

What is a Wet Cappuccino?

What makes it a “wet cappuccino?”

The extra milk content, of course. The usual shot of espresso is followed by a generous amount of steamed milk, and just a tiny amount of thin layer of foam on top. This capp drink will be somewhat closer in flavor to a latte, with the espresso taste coming through more subtly than usual.

Wet cappuccino is also called light cappuccino or cappuccini chiaro.

A wet cappuccino is for you if you prefer cortados but want a milkier flavor.


A key difference is an ease of creating these two capp drinks as they vary somewhat. A wet cappuccino is considerably easier to make than a dry one. All you have to do is add a minimal milk foam layer.


The espresso is tempered by the liquid milk, which may soften the more harsh tastes of a darker espresso shot but mute the nuances of a lighter, more nuanced roast. This combination will result in a more homogenized and sweeter flavor profile.

A “wet” beverage has a creamy dairy flavor overall than in the dry cappuccino counterpart.


Due to the difference in milk-to-foam ratios, your drink will more resemble a flat white or latte in its texture, and could well feature some latte art on top as a result of the controlled milk consistency.

Who Will Love it?

A wet cappuccino is ideal for persons who enjoy lattes but want something with less milk. Alternatively, a drink that allows espresso flavors to shine through more clearly while still maintaining texture. It’s also perfect for flat white fans looking for a little more foam and texture.

  • The combination of steam and milk in this case results in a silkier, creamier texture.
  • A milder flavor with a sweeter, less biting character
  • Latte art on top, great for posting on social media!
  • Due to the extra milk, milk and espresso are less likely to separate, so it may be kept for longer.
  • The extra milk mutes the flavors of a lighter, more nuanced roast.
wet cappuccino - bone dry cappuccino vs bone dry cappuccino

What is a Dry Cappuccino?

Like its wetter cousin, dry cappuccino starts with a one-shot of espresso. It is followed by a smaller amount of milk than a classic cappuccino and topped off with a thick layer of bubbly milk foam. The fluffy milky foam almost wiggles in the cup, with its bouncier texture.

The name  “dry” is down to the extra of that famous bubbly foam on top of your espresso than the wet or standard cappuccino. It is also called dark cappuccino or cappuccino scuro.

When you order a dry cappuccino, you’re asking for less steamed milk liquid and more of that famous bubbly microfoam on top of your espresso.

If you’ve ever been to a regular Italian cafe, you’d be familiar with this dry-style cappuccino.


Making a dry cappuccino, especially one that is ‘bone dry’, takes more time and effort to create the extra foam. You’ll also spend more money since you’ll need a lot of milk for a dry cappuccino.


As there is less amount of steamed milk, the espresso’s bitterness is more pronounced than in the wet cappuccino counterpart.

A “dry” cappuccino is less creamy due to less steamed milk and more microfoam.


The generous amount of milk foam gives it a creamier texture without cutting through the flavors of the espresso too much.

The foam in a dry cappuccino has lots of air bubbles, which pop to give off aromas that enhance the taste even more.

Who Will Love it?

A dry cappuccino is ideal for individuals who are curious about creating their own foam mustache. It’s also wonderful for people searching for a macchiato-style foam with a greater amount of airy foam. If you’re in need of a refreshing drink while still craving a creamy espresso, this is the way to go.

  • Low calories count because of a lesser amount of steamed milk
  • A more distinct and rich flavor of espresso
  • The foam in a dry cappuccino keeps it more insulated, so the coffee stays hotter longer
  • Thanks to the thick foam, the barista has a  perfect canvas for latte art
  • Great for people who prefer the taste and texture of foam over milk.
  • A powdery and dry feel of the entire drink
  • The foam dissolves fast
  • Since it will have less creamy milk to cover up the bitterness, a dark roast may taste bitter
dry cappuccino - bone dry cappuccino vs dry cappuccino

Wet vs Dry Cappuccino: Which One is Best for You?

Bone dry vs Super wet

Some coffee snobs like to push rules for cappuccino milk proportions farther than the usual ‘wet’ and ‘dry.’ They take things a step farther with their creation of Cappuccino to ‘bone dry’ and ‘super wet’.

Personalize Your Cappuccino Order

Once you’ve decided on the type of cappuccino, you can personalize your cappuccino, like a latte, with a variety of additions just the way you want.

Choose your milk; there are numerous varieties to choose from, so consider their flavor, texture, and taste. You may go for nonfat/skim milk, 1 percent or 2 percent milk, or anything non-dairy like vanilla soy milk or unsweetened almond milk.

You can also specify a different sweetener, such as stevia or Splenda. You may choose from syrups, sugar, raw sugar, honey, Sweet and Low, Equal, or Splenda in your drink. You may also ask about sugar-free syrup choices like raspberry and vanilla as well as seasonal syrup alternatives like peppermint.

After you’ve chosen the main flavor, top off your cappuccino with a flavorful topping, such as a powder, drizzle, or whipped cream. Cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, marshmallow, and sea salt are some of the many possibilities.

If you’re not sure about what to order, consider what’s in season or try something new on the menu—it just might be your new favorite order.

bone dry cappccino - how to make a bone dry cappuccino at home


Extra dry foam is the polar opposite of microfoam. The extra dry milk foam will sit on top of your bone dry cappuccino as a separate layer of milk foam from the espresso shot. Because the bone dry milk foam is thick and foamy, it cannot be used to make latte art. It will form a separate, non-mixable layer on top of your drink instead.

In general, an extra-dry cappuccino is somewhere between a dry and bone dry cappuccino in terms of foam; there’s a little splash of milk between the espresso and foam. In light of this, you wouldn’t be wrong in believing that it leans more towards the dry side than the bone dry side.

A cappuccino boasts a stronger espresso flavor than a latte. A typical latte has more milk and less foam than a cappuccino, whereas a cappuccino may or may not contain any steamed milk. Of course, the no-milk version only applies to bone dry cappuccinos.

The recipe calls for one shot of espresso, one ounce of steamed milk, and one ounce of foamed milk. If you prefer a bone dry version, simply take away the one ounce of steamed milk and it will be perfect.

Wrapping Up

So, now you know the crucial differences between a wet vs a dry cappuccino, you’ll never be embarrassed when your coffee-drinking pals ask you what’s what.

The espresso shots are the underlying link between both wet and dry cappuccinos. The most significant difference is the amount of steamed milk used.

With a “wet” drink, you will find it to be slightly sweeter because there’s more steamed milk to dilute the bitter espresso.

With a “dry” drink, the espresso’s bitterness will be more pronounced.

Make your decision: Do you prefer dry cappuccinos or wet cappuccinos?

Either way…

Happy Caffeinating!

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