A well-made cappuccino from an experienced barista is a delectable work of art. However, you can learn to make a cappuccino on your own by following these instructions.
One of the most popular drinks these days is a cappuccino. This is a big part of the reason for that you see a coffee shop on every corner. Most people don’t really have the equipment that they need to make one at home but there are ways around that.
It is essential that you have established how to make the perfect espresso before moving on to other drinks such as cappuccino, as this is the base of the whole drink. If your espresso is bad it doesn’t matter how well you froth or pour your milk, it will never make a good cappuccino!
A cappuccino is simply a mixture of espresso along with some steamed milk and some milk foam. This of course raises the obvious question of just what is espresso? Espresso is simply a concentrated extraction from coffee beans; it requires a special machine to make it. When you make a cappuccino you can vary it by changing the amount of steamed milk or foam that you have on it allowing you to make the drink just the way that you like it. This is a big part of the reason that they have become so popular.
Myth: cappuccino’s silky magic is beyond the grasp of home baristas. It’s just too delicate of a dance, best left to the cafe.
Truth: great cappuccino is a delight available to discerning coffee lovers, right in their own kitchens. It takes some practice with water, steam and foam, along with the right equipment on your countertop. You’ll want an espresso machine with a built-in steaming wand. And of course, illy coffee on hand as your foundation.
A cappuccino is an approximately 150 ml (5 oz) beverage, with 25 ml of espresso coffee and 85ml of fresh milk The foaming action creates the additional volume.
The best foam
Foam’s consistency depends on the milk’s fat content.
For the most velvety, rich cappuccino, use whole milk. You can substitute low-fat milk, at the sacrifice of some smoothness.
Foam produced from skim milk is light and meringue-like, quick to dissolve.
Step 1- Prepare the Espresso
1. Grind enough espresso beans for a 1-ounce (30 ml) espresso shot.
Check the consistency of the ground espresso by pinching some between your thumb and forefinger. The espresso should clump lightly together, but you shouldn’t be able to see your thumbprint.
If you see a visible thumbprint or the espresso doesn’t clump at all, adjust your coffee grinder according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Empty the grounds into your espresso machine’s portafilter. Use your pinky to lightly touch the surface of the ground espresso to evenly distribute it around the portafilter.
3. Tamp the ground espresso into the portafilter using an espresso tamper.
Press the grounds down gently and then tap the outside of the portafilter to get loose espresso off of the inside of the portafilter.
Push the pellet with firm pressure to compact the espresso into the portafilter.
4. Place the portafilter into your machine. Don’t pull the espresso shot yet. You will wait to pour the shot until you have foamed the milk.
Step 2- Foam the Milk
1. Press the “Steam” button on your espresso maker. When the indicator light comes on (or goes off, depending on your machine), your machine is ready to dispense steam. Release the steam wand briefly to get rid of residual moisture in the wand.
2. Pour 4 ounces (120 ml) of milk into a chilled metal pitcher. Nonfat milk makes more foam, while whole milk creates a creamier shot.
3. Place a thermometer into your pitcher. Ideally, your foam should be between 150 and 155 F (65 and 68 C) when the steaming process is complete.
4. Lower the steam wand into the pitcher and release the wand. Then, lower the pitcher until the steam wand rests just below the surface of the milk.
Listen as you foam the milk. You should hear a steady ch-ch-ch sound if you have the wand in the right position.
If you hear a whine and see big bubbles, your steam wand tip is too high. Raise your pitcher slightly.
5. Sink the wand into the lower portion of the milk when the temperature reaches 100 F (38 C). Slowly swirl the pitcher to whirlpool the milk.
6. Turn off the steam wand when the foam reaches the desired temperature. Set the milk aside.
Step 3- Pull the Espresso Shot and Assemble the Cappuccino
1. Place your cappuccino cup under the espresso dispenser and start the brewing cycle.
2. Analyze your shot for quality. The first part of the shot will be dark followed by a rich golden foam called the crema.
3. Time the shot. The shot should pour for 20 to 30 seconds for the best quality.
4. Keep the shot if it pours correctly. Otherwise, discard it, grind and tamp more espresso, and try again.
5. Pour the foamed milk over the espresso shot. Your cappuccino should be about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foamed milk.
6.Drink your shot. You can sprinkle the foam with cinnamon for extra flavor, if desired.
Cappuccino was traditionally a taste largely appreciated in Europe, Australia, South America and some of North America. By the mid-1990s cappuccino was made much more
widely available to North Americans, as upscale coffee houses sprang up.
In Italy, and throughout continental Europe, cappuccino was traditionally consumed early in the day as part of the breakfast, with some kind of sweet pastry. Generally, Europeans did not drink cappuccino with meals other than breakfast, preferring espresso throughout the day and following dinner. However, in recent years Europeans have started to drink cappuccino throughout the entire day. Especially in Australia and Western Europe cappuccino is popular at cafés and terraces during the afternoon and in restaurants after dinner. In Italy, cappuccino is consumed only before 10 am, and Italians consider it very “strange” to ask for a cappuccino after that hour. In the United States, cappuccinos have become popular concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry through the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially in the urban Pacific Northwest.
There are 4 types of cappuccino today in the world.
Traditional Style Cappuccino is possible to find in cafes and some Old Italian shops. Recipe of traditional cappuccino is strong espresso of 2 shots, hot milk and foamed milk. Some cafes use blanket milk instead of foamed one. Coffee lovers can add more espresso shots if they like their cappuccino stronger. Milk level is the key for the best taste and when milk is low or high, it will not be cappuccino. If more than enough milk for cappuccino, it’s latte.
Wet Cappuccino is very similar to traditional cappuccino. Same amount of espresso is used for wet cappuccino but milk level varies according to recipe. When someone wants wet cappuccino in a café, he means more milk poured in the espresso. Also he wants little less steamed foam on it. This is for coffee lovers who like their cappuccino with more creamy and light taste than traditional cappuccino. There were coffee gourmets in the end of 19th century and they were professional to differ cafe latte and wet cappuccino. But today it’s hard to separate them. Only foam level can show if it’s café latte or wet cappuccino.
Dry Cappuccino is also very similar to traditional cappuccino. When a customer wants dry cappuccino, he means no steamed milk poured in the espresso. Steamed foam will be increased instead of steamed milk so it will make the cappuccino stronger but will not break its creamy taste. It’s especially for people who like the layer of milky foam over the cappuccino.
Flavored Cappuccino is a new type of drink and it’s possible to have it by adding flavor to all types of cappuccino. They are mostly in bottles. Syrup can be directly poured into cappuccino for flavor. There are many new cappuccino types now calling with their own name. Flavors can vary like mint, vanilla and caramel. In some café, it’s possible to see powdered cocoa or sugar is sprinkling over the foam.
Iced cappuccino or iced cappuccino is popular in some parts of Italy. While café owners prepare their iced cappuccinos from morning for customers, it’s very hard to find prepared one in Milan. Northern Italy cities have their iced cappuccino variations like “gelato da bere” and “shakerato”. There are today big coffee shops are selling this product with various names like Starbucks’ “iced latte” Also Tim Hortons in Canada is selling ‘Icecap’ or ‘Iced capp’ which is short name of iced cappuccino.
Other milk and espresso drinks similar to the cappuccino include:
- Caffè macchiato is a significantly shorter drink, which consists of espresso with only a small amount of milk.
- Cortado is a spanish hybrid; a slightly shorter drink, which consists of espresso mixed with milk in a 1:1 to 1:2 ratio, and is not topped with foam. Cafè Cortado has traditionally been served in a small glass on a saucer, and its character comes more from the spanish preferation of coffee beans and roast plus condensed milk replacing fresh dairy milk. Modern coffee shops have started using fresh milk.
- Latte (short for “caffè latte”) is a larger drink, with the same amount of espresso, but with more milk and a varying amount of foam, served in a large cup or tall glass.
- Flat White is an Australian hybrid and a way of preparing something between a cappuccino and a caffè latte (‘flat’ indicating little or no foam), typically prepared with a double shot of espresso and a little latte art atop. A flat white is prepared with a milder espresso and no robusta.