Widely enjoyed around the world, cappuccino is a coffee beverage made with espresso and milk. It is an Italian drink influenced by Viennese and Turkish traditions and coffee culture, and its origins are just like its flavours — rich and vivid. Here’s a brief introduction to the cappuccino!
What does “cappuccino” mean?
Conjure an image of friars, hoods and religious reforms; you might think of it as a movie scene from Robin Hood — but it’s not far-fetched to say that these are also the origins of the term “cappuccino”. In the 16th century, the Capuchin friars started a reform movement among the Franciscans, calling for a return to the frugal life of their founder. In 1531, the reformers were officially named Cappuccini — with hoods this time! These roughly dressed and bearded men got their name from children who shouted: “scappuccini” after them on the streets, which means without hoods, whereas “Cappuccio” means hood.
A cup of cappuccino lightened by the use of dairy, cream or eggs looks similar to a Cappuccini’s brown tunic, which is how the coffee got its name. Today, modern cappuccino is the result of coffee machines development to make espresso, heat and foam milk.
How does a cappuccino taste like?
A proper cup of cappuccino is usually made with one double espresso shot, and its composition is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 microfoam. Creamy, slightly bitter and mildly sweet — that’s how a cup of cappuccino should taste like. Other tasting notes may include nuttiness, bright acidity and dark chocolate. Cappuccinos have rich, creamy textures with a microfoam layer that produces slightly larger bubbles and has a texture similar to a meringue, which can be up to several inches thick if you like it on the dry side.
A good cappuccino should give a recognisable espresso taste, low acidity, rich structure and rich sweet foam. Balance is key to a good cappuccino: if there is a lack of espresso notes in your cup, this means that the ratio is off balance with too much milk. If your coffee tastes burnt, this means that either the milk was steamed at high temperature for too long or the espresso shot took too long to make.
How to make a good cup of cappuccino?
First, heat a cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers, then set it aside. Next, create the microfoam by whipping the milk, gradually increasing the speed as the milk begins to thicken. Continue mixing until you get the desired volume of froth. Then, brew the coffee in an automatic drip coffeemaker or a French press by measuring two tablespoons of grounds for 5 to 6 ounces of water. Finally, make the cappuccino by pouring in the right amount of coffee, milk and microfoam.
If you do not have ground coffee at home, the instant coffee powder works just as well! Discover this cappuccino recipe from NESCAFE that calls for instant coffee powder, milk and boiling water — a quick and simple way to enjoy a robust cuppa at home. All you need to do is make the coffee, froth the milk and pour it into your cup accordingly. For a finishing touch, sprinkle some nutmeg or cocoa powder for an extra dash of flavour. Enjoy relaxing moments with a cup of Nescafe!