Beyond the Brew: What Is a Cappuccino?

Cosy cafes, frothy cups and sweet sipping are just a few things that come to mind when we think of a freshly brewed cappuccino. However, there’s so much more to this Italian coffee. To find out more about its origins and how to make a barista-level cappuccino keep reading.

Cappuccinos: what’s the hype?

What sets a cappuccino apart from beverages like lattes and flat whites, is its perfectly balanced three-way split – it’s the ultimate caffeinated trifecta. We’re talking about equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and milk froth. Its well-balanced blend offers you the boldness of espresso but with a velvety smoothness that’s ideal as a mid-morning pastry companion, or a afternoon pick-me-up.

Its the perfect drink for coffee lovers who want a caffeinated buzz with a touch of creamy smoothness. And unlike a milk-heavy latte, a cappuccino allows for a more intense coffee profile. Plus, you can top off your beverage with sprinkle of cocoa powder, or even sometimes cinnamon, for an extra sweet sipping experience.

The Cappucino culture

Cappuccino culture is also very real thing, espceccially in Italy, where it’s become more than just a drink. It’s actually a morning ritual to sip these milky coffees as a flavourful yet fulfilling breakfast drink. However, outside of Italy, it’s far more relaxed and you can enjoy savoring its full flavour any time of the day.

Top tip: make sure you don’t order a cappuccino after noon in Italy as you may get some strange looks!

The history of the Cappucino

The first known history of the cappuccino, was in Vienna, where it there was a drink dubbed ‘kapuziner’. A kapuziner was a coffee-based drink that also features frothy milk, sugar and spices. The cappuccino was created in Italy in the early but did originally follow the vieaneese recipe, until steamed milk was popularised in the early 1900s.

So, where did the name from from? Well, this is where it gets interesting. Like many coffee-style drinks, the Italian name “cappuccio” translates to the word “hood”. Why hood, you may ask? Well, this name was inspired by the Capuchin friars.

Yes, you heard that right: friars. These Italian friars were known for wearing brown hooded robes which resembled the exact colour of what coffee looks like when blended with frothy milk.

Beyond the Brew: What Is a Cappuccino?

Craft the perfect cappucino

Take your knowledge to the next level by trying your hand at making your own cappuccino. While it may seem simple on the surface, it is an art form that requires some patience and precision. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Prepare your espresso: as this is the base of the drink, you need to use a full-bodied coffee like our Signature Whole Beans or if you have a pod machine our Espresso Blend Coffee Pods are a great option.
  2. Steam the milk: you want your milk to become creamy but without boiling it, we aim for around 65°C, we find the best way to do this is with a steam want on a espresso machine.
  3. Aerate your milk: to achieve that signature frothy top, you need to aerate the milk with a steam wand until it’s light and airy – when it looks thic and glossy, you’ve done it perfectly.
  4. Serve it up: you always want the espresso to be the base of your drink so follow it by pouring in the steamed milk and then complete it with a generous layer of milk foam. Remember you can also add cocoa powder or cinnamon to the top too.

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