Cappuccino - Made in Italy ... and Around the World
cappuccino is generally defined as 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk.
is consumed mainly early in the day for breakfast, although
it is not uncommon at all today to see Italians drinking it
(alone) throughout the day; except for breakfast time, where
it's consumed with cookies, biscuits, and croissants.
Italians never drink it with meals; in some other countries
it may be consumed throughout the day or after dinner.
Basically, cappuccino is strong espresso, tamed by a generous helping of milk and milk foam, which gives cappuccino its creamy, frothy appearance. The addition of sugar, topped with a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon, makes cappuccino the perfect dessert after a large multi-course meal.
a quality shot of espresso, the most important element in preparing
a cappuccino is the texture and temperature of the milk. When
a well-trained barista steams the milk for a cappuccino, he
or she should create microfoam by introducing very tiny bubbles
of air into the milk. This gives the milk an extremely velvety
texture and sweet taste.
cappuccino is ideally prepared in a ceramic coffee cup, which
has far better heat retention characteristics than glass or
Start with strong espresso, then add milk, heated foam, and top with a
sprinkling of cinnamon and -- presto! -- the perfect cup of cappuccino.
some restaurants and coffee houses, skilled baristas create latte art when pouring properly steamed milk into the espresso, making designs such as apples, hearts, leaves and rosettes.
for after the hooded robes worn by the Capuchin monks, cappuccino
was a taste largely confined to Europe and a few of the more
cosmopolitan cities of North America until the mid-1990s when
cappuccino was made much more widely available to North Americans,
as part of the new upscale coffee bar chains with a consciously
"European" air (notably Starbucks).
the first years of the 21st century a modified version of cappuccino
was being served by McDonald's. At America's most popular coffee
chain, Starbucks, one must order the off-the-menu "Short
Cappuccino" to get a drink that is approximately 1/3 espresso
and 2/3 microfoam.
The widespread acceptance in the U.S. of what was once regarded
as a taste of coastal urbanites and older Italian-Americans
has led to many establishments, such as convenience stores, offering
what they represent as cappuccino to their patrons.
But Buyer Beware:
What is usually produced is a faux cappuccino, made by machines
similar to those that mix cocoa drinks where all the buyer need
do is touch a button and position the cup properly. The drink
that comes out is usually produced either from a preproduced
mix or double-brewed coffee and bears little relation to the