What is a Cappuccino, where is it from & how to make it.

Cappuccino is one of the most famous coffee drinks in the world, alongside its milky cousins, latte and flat white – but what is Cappuccino, how does it differ from latte & flat white, where did it come from, and how do you make it at home? 

If you have these kinds of questions, then you’ve come to the right place :-).  In fact, by the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll know far more than most people do about Cappuccino. 

The origins of Cappuccino – it’s not what you think!

If you were listening to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky – on Virgin Radio recently (recently at the time of writing, at least) you’ll already know this ;-), but for those of you who don’t, the Origins of Cappuccino are probably not quite what you think they are.

The reason I mention Chris Evans is that Chris was so shocked by this revelation, that he played some of my recent YouTube video live on his show! Listen to the clip below.

Photo of Chris Evans and Coffee Kev Lewis
Chris Evans and Kev – Defo not photoshopped 😉

Click Here to Hear the Clip

What I revealed, in my video below, which lead to Chris Evans doing the “Daa, Daaa, Daaaaaaaaaaaaa” revelation side effect, is that the Origins of cappuccino is not in Italy, but in Vienna, and pre-dates the espresso machine by at least a hundred years or so more, and probably more like a couple of hundred years!

The Capuchin monks, or “Order of Friars Minor Capuchi” were named so due to their hooded robes. Capuchi is Italian for hood.

At some time in either the late 1600s or in the 1700s, a coffee beverage became popular in Viennese coffee houses, and as it wasn’t black as coffee usually would have been back then, but was a brown colour similar to that of the Capuchin monks robes, this coffee was given the name “Kapuziner Kaffee”, which means “Capuchin Coffee”. 

I’m vague about the dates etc., because the first published recipe is from a guy from Vienna in 1790 by the name of Wilhelm Tissot, but it’s thought that the drink was already a popular beverage by that point, and that this recipe probably wasn’t a record of the invention, but the first recorded recipe.

This recipe calls for boiled coffee to be mixed with sugar, spices and cream, for that mixture to be reboiled and then mixed with egg, and for whipped cream to then be put on the top of the drink, which was (and still is) quite a normal thing to do with coffee in Vienna.

Apologies for the mispronunciation of the surname Tissot, by the way. I’ve never heard the name before so I pronounced it as it reads, which turned out to be wrong! ;-).

The most surprising thing about this ancestor of cappuccino, isn’t where it was created, but how it tastes! OK, I can’t know if the taste was right because the ingredients “sugar and spices” are very vague, but the version that I made tasted like a spiced latte. It was very tasty, a bit on the sweet side for me, but my hand may have slipped with the sugar. I was quite happy with the spicing though, which I was surprised with, given that my measure was a “bit” of each.

Cappuccino started to become a thing in Italy after the invention of espresso, sometime between 1910 and 1930, and initially was an espresso-based interpretation of the Kapuziner. It is recorded to have initially still contained spices, and to have had whipped cream on the top and not milk foam, although as far as I can tell, by the time the first records of “Cappuccino” start to show up, this drink has lost the spices and has frothed milk instead of cream, so by 1930 it’s evolved more or less to what we now know as cappuccino.

By the way, just to clarify, I am not saying Capuccino is not Italian. Cappuccino is clearly an Italian word, and what we know as Cappuccino is an espresso-based drink created in Italy. What I’m saying is that Cappuccino is the descendent of the Kapuziner, an Austrian drink that pre-dates espresso by quite some time.

My main sources for this info for anyone who wants to check that I’m not making this up ;-): Wikipedia, BBC, History of Coffee.

What is Cappuccino?

So we’ve dealt with the origins of cappuccino, but if the question is “what is cappuccino” now, then the answer to this is both simple, and complex – confused? You will be :-).

The simple answer is that cappuccino is an espresso-based beverage. Espresso with steamed, frothed milk. 

Where it gets more complex is that there are actually various styles of cappuccino now, so what you think a cappuccino is will depend on a mixture of your age, where you’ve grown up and where you’ve had your cappuccinos up until this point.

If you’re in your thirties like me (I’m thirty fourteen at the time of writing, so yeah, still in my 30’s thank you very much) or older, and if you’re not already a speciality coffee enthusiast, then what you think of as a cappuccino is probably closer to what I refer to as “old school cappuccino”.

This kind of cappuccino would always differ to some degree in terms of the coffee, depending on where it was served, but the consistent thing about old school cappuccino is the texture of the coffee, and the stiffness of the foam. We’re talking big piles of milk foam, usually with a generous dusting of chocolate, on the top of a milky coffee, essentially.

The coffee under the foam would usually not be all that velvety in texture in comparison to a flat white, for example, simply because this kind of foam isn’t usually distributed much within the milk, so you’ve mainly got hot milk mixed with coffee, and then foam on the top.

These days though, what a cappuccino is will depend on the cafe you go to. There are still some cafes and restaurants which will serve them old school to some degree, while in my experience most speciality coffee shops now will use microfoam for cappuccino, but they’ll make a slightly drier microfoam by stretching it for a bit longer than they would for a flat white.

We’ll get into flat white vs cappuccino in a sec, but I’m just talking about the milk texture at the moment. It’s not common now to find a barista in a modern, third wave coffee shop, producing old school cappuccino foam. 

But you can do what you want in the comfort of your own home as long as you’re not breaking any laws, international treaties or possibly creating a new pandemic, as I mention in my recent video on making cappuccino. 

 

Which brings us nicely to:

How to make Cappuccino at Home – With an Espresso Machine

If you have an espresso machine with a milk frother, whether it’s a pro steam wand or a panarello (aka turbo frothers, a sheath sitting over a steam pipe that delivers air into milk without any skill required) then making a cappuccino at home is very simple. 

1: Make espresso
2:Froth milk
3:Pour milk into the espresso

Simple. 

By the way, if you don’t have an espresso machine and you’re thinking of remedying that situation… see:

Best Espresso Machines

But as I cover in my video above, there are different ways to steam milk, and this is how you can really work on crafting your perfect cappuccino, by getting the milk texture and foam exactly how you prefer it.

When it comes to coffee to milk ratio, or strength, this part is really straightforward.

Just pull whatever shots you usually pull (single or double) and then simply adjust the milk volume accordingly. Obviously, you can adjust this by changing the basket in your espresso machine and pulling a single shot instead of a double shot, for example, but the most simple way is to leave the basket alone, pull whatever shots you usually pull, and tweak the milk volume.

When it comes to the kind of milk foam you want, and how to produce that, there are two types of foam you can make with a steam wand. Well, it’s the same kind of foam technically, but it’s different based on bubble size. 

Old school cappuccino foam

This is what I call it, anyway, I’m not sure if it has an official name. This kind of foam is made by breaking the surface of the milk more and “aggressively” drawing air into the milk.

By aggressively, I don’t mean you scream and shout expletives while steaming the milk.

You can, if you like. You can make your cappuccino however you like in the comfort of your own home. What I mean is that you’re leaving a bigger gap (than in the other method I’ll describe in a sec) between the milk and the hole(s) in the wand tip, which ends up with bigger bubbles being created.

As far as I can tell, the reason Cappuccino was originally made this way was to mimic whipped cream.

When baristas began making espresso-based kapuziner (which became “cappuccino” at some point as the drink spread in popularity from the North of Italy, some of which was previously a part of Austria-Hungary, throughout the rest of Italy) it was originally made with whipped cream, as it was in Vienna where Kapuziner originated.

It’s natural then, that when the relatively few cafes which had espresso machines discovered that they could make really frothy milk foam that looks a bit like whipped cream, they would use this on the top of cappuccino instead of whipping up cream, as it would be less labour intensive, I’d have thought – and probably cheaper.

Microfoam

This kind of milk texture is produced by more subtly aerating milk in a specific way, in order to create very small bubbles for a more velvety texture. I really don’t want to say where this style of foam was invented ;-). If I say Australia I’ll upset many Kiwi folk, and if I say New Zealand I’ll be upsetting Aussies.

So I’ll say that somewhere down under, at some point from around 1985 – 1989, someone down there somewhere figured out that a “Coffee – White, Flat” which was originally made by either holding back the foam when pouring, or scraping the foam off the top of the coffee, was a “Flat White” when it wasn’t aerated in the same way.

Instead of the big chunky foam, a wetter, more velvety milk foam was made, and flat whites became a hit down under. I’m not sure why they took so long to reach us here in the UK, weird.

This kind of milk texture, though, has become the staple of third-wave coffee, and it’s unlikely you’ll find anything other than microfoam now in most speciality coffee shops. 

You’ll get something similar to old-school foam from some of the bigger chains which use one-touch bean to cup machines, and in some cafes and restaurants, but an increasing number of coffee shops now will use microfoam of varying consistency. 

The consistency just depends on how long the barista aerates for, also known as stretching. Most baristas will aerate the least for a flat white, for example, and a bit more for latte, and the most for a cappuccino. 

What this means, however, is that when it comes to the texture beneath the foam, most milk drinks these days tend to be very similar. So the main difference between each milky is going to be strength (milk to espresso ratio) and how much foam is on the top, and the texture is usually very similar.

But as I’ve said, you can do what you want at home, this is one of the great things about owning your own espresso machine, so if you want old school foam, than old school foam you shall have. On the other hand, if you do want microfoam, but you want more foam on the top than you’d usually get at coffee shops these days, you can do that, too.

While my video below is titled “how to make a flat white” – it shows various milk texturing techniques.

Basically, I’m showing what happens when you under-aerate, so you end up with no white foam coming up to the top, what happens when you create microfoam, but more of it than you’d usually want for a flat white (more along the lines of modern cappuccino), what happens when you break the surface more, for bigger bubbles (this is what I’m talking about when I say old school foam) and then how to produce what most people would consider the right kind of texture for flat white.

 

I’m using the Sage Bambino in this video, which is a semi-automatic (which just means it has a pump, not a lever) traditional espresso machine. If you’re thinking of investing in a coffee machine so you can make cappuccino at home, but you want the convenience of being able to press a button and walk away, then you’ll want to look at bean to cup coffee machines. See: 

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

Importance of using the right coffee

It sounds very obvious to say that the coffee you use is of the utmost importance when it comes to making coffee… ;-), but it doesn’t always seem to be the first thing that people consider when they find that their coffee doesn’t taste how they’d like it to. 

I’ve spoken to people & have had email exchanges with people who’re talking about replacing expensive equipment, coffee grinders or even espresso machines, because they’re not happy with the quality of the coffee they’re producing. Often when I ask if they’ve thought that it could be the coffee itself that they need to change, not the equipment, this suggestion comes as a surprise.

Many people are of the opinion that coffee is just coffee, and that to get good results what you need is expensive gear. This is just about the polar opposite of the truth. 

The reality is that the most important thing is the coffee, followed very closely by the skills of the home barista – and when it comes to the quality of the coffee, the gear plays a relatively small part.

For evidence of this, see the video below which compared the results of a setup costing tens of thousands in the hands of a novice, vs an entry-level setup (Sage Bambino) in the hands of an experienced barista, both using good quality coffee beans.

For more on the Sage Bambino (and Bambino Plus) see:

Sage Bambino & Bambino Plus Review

Freshness is key. When you pick up coffee from a small batch coffee roaster, or from a speciality coffee supplier who sources from various roasters, you’ll find a roasted on date, and you’ll usually find that it was roasted from a few days to a few weeks from when you end up with the coffee. 

In addition to freshness, small batch roasters will usually work with high-quality, great-tasting coffee beans – so it’s freshly roasted high-quality coffee beans that you end up with. So just make sure the coffee you’re using is freshly roasted, and high quality, and you can’t go far wrong. You might find that you’re not keen on the coffee for whatever reason, but that’s no big deal, you can just try different coffees until you find one that you’re happy with. 

While we’re talking about high quality coffee beans, it would be rather silly of me not to mention my own coffee, wouldn’t it? ;-). 

I started The Coffeeworks as a project, to begin with, involving a few hundred of my fellow coffee botherers (this is what I refer to my readers and viewers as – and it’s bother-ers, by the way, not brothers as a couple of people have misread it to be and who’ve emailed me asking do I think all my readers are blokes) who helped me with each decision.

I wanted to end up offering my readers their perfect coffee, so the best Idea appeared, to me at least, to be which involved as many of my readers as possible in the process. This worked remarkably well, and what started out as a very small business offering a tiny range of just four coffees, has since grown to a range of currently 16 coffees, a coffee subscription, and more on the way including rare, seasonal coffees.

If you fancy trying coffee from The Coffeeworks, use the discount code “YT25” for 25% off your first order, and after that, use the code “coffeebotherers” for a discount on all orders (usually 10%).

Use discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

Another thing to consider as well as the quality of the coffee you’re using is the roast profile. I’d just keep in mind that coffee beans for espresso would usually be on the darker roasted side of things, and while it’s possible, of course, to use lighter roasted coffee beans for espresso, lighter roasted beans are more of a challenge for the gear and for the user.

Even if you’re using a several thousand pound setup that is very capable of working with lighter roasted coffee, I’d still recommend starting off your home barista journey over on the dark side, Luke, simply because they’re easier to work with, generally speaking.

When I say dark, it doesn’t have to be super dark. There’s no set rule on what is medium, what is medium-dark, what is dark etc., it just depends on where you’re getting your coffee from. If you’re buying from small batch roasters or speciality coffee suppliers though, I’d recommend looking for dark, or medium/dark, or labeled as being intended for espresso, and I’d avoid lighter roasts, at least initially.

If you absolutely must work with lighter roasts, that’s fine, but just keep in mind that it may be a bit more of a challenge initially to get decent results, and you may end up with sour-tasting shots.

 

So, this deals with how to make a cappuccino at home with an espresso machine. But, what if you don’t have one and either can’t afford one at the moment or don’t have the space, or the other half would wrap it around your head if you bought one? This brings us perfectly to:

How to make a cappuccino at home without an espresso machine.

1: Drink espresso
2: Drink hot milk
3: Jump up & down vigorously 

Well, that’s one way to do it. There’s a better way though, which involves various options for both the coffee, and the milk.

So if you don’t have an espresso machine, you need another way to produce espresso, or “espresso-style” coffee.

Here are some options: 

Bailetti/Moka pot/Stove top coffee maker

This is the obvious method for making espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine. It’s been the way to produce coffee at home for Italians for quite some time, and that’s probably the only proof you really need that it’s a good option.

All you need is a stovetop coffeemaker and a stove, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to produce really nice espresso-style coffee for the base of your cappuccino. OK, moka pot coffee isn’t typically quite as intense as true espresso, but cappuccino made with Moka pot coffee is something that many people will be more than happy with, in the absence of an espresso machine.

The video below from  Chefsteps with James Hoffmann will help you to get better results from your Moka pot, well worth a watch:

Aeropress

While many people use the Aeropress via the inverted method to make coffee in a similar way to pourover, this isn’t actually what it was made for. Alan Adler, who invented the Aerobie flying ring, invented the Aeropress to make espresso style concentrated coffee to then be diluted with either hot water or milk.

I’ve exchanged emails with Alan Adler, by the way, a very nice chap, sent me a very nice email a while back.

Can you call this espresso? Well, I say you can call it whatever you like – call it Dave, if you like, or Quentin – you’re making coffee at home, there are no rules.

Technically speaking, because it’s not made using an espresso machine, then I suppose it’s not really “espresso” which is why I usually use the term “espresso-style” when referring to coffee makers which make something similar to espresso in a different way.

For more on the Aeropress, see:

Aeropress Review

Instant Coffee

What?? Who said that? It can’t have been me, Kev wouldn’t utter such treason on this blog, surely? Well, yeah, actually I would. I’ve got no problem with instant coffee.

Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. I do have a problem with instant coffee, unfortunately, I can’t drink it. Since I allowed my palate to become accustomed to freshly brewed coffee, the normal instant coffees aren’t something I can actually drink if I want to enjoy it, and what’s the point if I can’t enjoy it? But I don’t have any problem with other people enjoying it.

I recall discussions with my boss about this, back when I used to have to work for a living. He couldn’t understand what I was doing faffing around with an Aeropress, taking a minute or so to make a coffee, when he could lob his two teaspoons of instant coffee into a cup and pour hot water on the top.

The reason I had to do that, and that I couldn’t do what he did, is that he enjoys that coffee & I don’t. For me to use instant, now that I’m just so accustomed to freshly brewed coffee, I’d need to buy one of the speciality instants that I’ve tried which are palatable for me, and they work out at a couple of quid a cup, so it doesn’t really make financial sense.

Although I’m sure this kind of instant coffee will become more affordable at some point, as it’s mainly to do with the process of producing instant coffee which is very expensive to do in smaller batches.

So if you’re like my old boss, and you enjoy instant coffee – then great, the coffee part of your home made cappuccino without an espresso machine is really easy, just heap a couple of tea spoons (or however much works for you) of your favourite instant into a cup and dissolve it in a small amount of hot water.

For more on instant coffee, see:

Best Instant Coffee

Sieve/Strainer

As I demonstrate in the video you’ll find a bit further below, this is a straightforward method that involves immersing ground coffee in hot water for a bit and then straining it into a cup.

It’s not perfect, you’re probably not going to become the next world barista using this method, but it is a way to make a short and fairly concentrated shot of coffee for the base of cappuccino. 

Manual espresso makers

There are various different manual espresso makers on the market now, including The Rok, Flair, Wacoco Nanopresso, Wacoco Minipresso & Wacoco Picopresso.

I’ve used the Rok (not to be confused with Dwayne the Rock Johnson, although he could probably make espresso by squeezing coffee beans into a cup) and Flair, and they’re both impressive in their own ways, although there are new versions of Rok & Flair that appear to be better than the original versions I reviewed, so I do need to do some follow up reviews. The original versions of both, that I used, were capable of making fairly decent espresso, manually.

I’ve not used the Wacoco devices, I keep meaning to but just somehow haven’t got around to it, but I will do at some point as they look really cool, especially for travel coffee. The main drawback I hear about them is that when you’re brewing into the plastic lid which doubles as an espresso cup, that it’s plastic so it doesn’t heat up much, and zaps the heat from the espresso as it hits the cup. 

If you’re using one from home though, I don’t think this is as much of an issue, as you can pre-heat your cappuccino cup and pull (pump) the shot into that. 

Nespresso machines

Nespresso machines don’t make espresso, as such, they make Nespresso, but “Nespresso Espresso” is close enough for most people, either to drink on its own or as the base for a cappuccino, latte etc. I’m not putting down Nespresso by the way, by saying they don’t make Espresso, I’m just pointing out that what they are is different to espresso machines.

They’re a very clever invention by a very clever guy, and they deliver something generally slightly less intense and more palatable for many people to whom espresso is a bit too strong, and they do so with amazing convenience. 

The clever guy I’m referring to, by the way, is the same guy who invented what we know as the Lavazza pod machine, Eric Favre

For more on Nespresso machines, see:

Best Nespresso Machines

OK so I’ve given you various options for producing an espresso style coffee for the base of your home made cappuccino without an espresso machine with milk frother, so the next thing you’ll need is a way to heat and froth the milk, and this part is going to be a lot shorter, as there aren’t as many options.

You basically have manual milk frothers and electric milk frothers.

Manual milk frothers 

Cafetiere

This is probably the option most people will go for, simply because it’s the cheapest – given that most people have a cafetiere somewhere, or will know someone who does. If you’re in the UK and you don’t have a cafetiere hiding in the back of a cupboard somewhere, you’ll probably have a neighbour or a family member who does, and who’d gladly let you have it in order to gain a bit of space back in the cup cupboard or wherever it was hiding.

All you do with this method is heat the milk and then pump the plunger. For something close to an old school cappuccino, you want full plunges, to create bigger bubbles. If you’re wanting something more akin to third wave coffee shop microfoam, then do very short plunges where the plunger is only just leaving the milk before being plunged again.

Lance Hedrick (a mega Barista & coffee expert with a world latte art championship title under his belt) has a great video on using this method to create microfoam:

I know, he calls it a French Press – but he’s American, we’ll let him off. He’ll probably also call crisps “potato chips”, and chips “fries”, don’t even get me started on Aluminium ;-).

In addition to the cafetiere, there’s the Bodum Latteo milk frother, which is essentially a cafetiere which is all microwave safe. While most cafetieres sit in a metal frame so you have to take the glass part out, you don’t have to do that with the Bodum frother, also they’re made to fit in microwaves, being a bit shorter than many cafetieres, and the plunger material is made with frothing milk in mind.

They’re good, don’t get me wrong, I was impressed with this frother, but I can’t help but think they’re just a tad pricey for what they are, given you can get similar sized glass cafetieres for about half the price.

Battery-powered hand frother whisks

You’ll know the ones, you could get them in Ikea in the 90s for a quid (I know, I’m showing my age). The modern versions of these aren’t a quid ;-), although you can get them at varying prices from a few quid & upwards. I bought the KitchenCraft Le’Xpress one which is under a tenner, although the newer Dallfoll milk frother is very interesting, it has a dual use as a whisk for whipping cream etc., and is USB chargeable. 

They’re actually OK, and they do give you some element of control when it comes to how long you froth for and how close to the surface you hold it. Just play around with different times and positions, but basically the idea is to get a vortex going in the jug as you would with a steam wand, and if you lift the frother part close to the surface, you’ll create bigger bubbles for stiffer cappuccino foam, while if you keep it deeper in the milk you’ll create the more “silky milky” velvety microfoam.

And that brings us to the end of this post. You now know more than most people do about cappuccino and how to make them at home with or without an espresso machine.

For those who still have more questions:

Kev’s Cappuccino FAQ

What is the difference between a cappuccino and a latte?

Generally speaking, cappuccino vs latte are the same or very similar in intensity, in other words milk to coffee ratio. The main difference is in the layer of foam on the top, and the milk texture. Cappuccino would usually have more foam on the top, and less of the milk mixed in with the coffee than with a latte. It’s also common for latte to be served in a glass, and cappuccino to be served in a cup/mug, but this isn’t always the case.

I say “generally speaking” because the difference will depend on where you’re drinking your latte or cappuccino. If you’re making them at home you can do whatever the heck you like, and if you’re drinking them at coffee shops, it’ll depend on which coffee shop you go to. In fact it can even depend on the Barista, some coffee shops don’t standardize their drinks all that much so you might even get a slightly different latte and cappuccino on any given day depending on which Barista serves you. 

What is a cappuccino machine?

Some people refer to espresso machines with milk frothers (which most have) as cappuccino makers or cappuccino machines, but they’re not, they’re espresso machines which are capable of making various espresso-based drinks including cappuccino. One touch bean to cup coffee machines which have auto milk frothers are often referred to as cappuccino makers or cappuccino machines, but again, they’re simply coffee machines with milk frothers.

What is the difference between a cappuccino and a flat white?

Taste (intensity) and texture. Flat white is usually stronger, with a higher coffee to milk ratio than cappuccino, usually consisting of a double shot of espresso or ristretto, and around 4-6 ounces (120-180ml) of milk. The milk used for flat white is microfoam, which is milk which has been more subtly stretched (aerated) than with traditional cappuccino foam.

In many third wave coffee shops these days, however, you’ll find that the real old school cappuccino foam is a thing of the past, and all the milk texture is some form of microfoam – and cappuccino is microfoam textured milk simply stretched for slightly longer than for flat white.

So given that in many coffee shops the texture is now very similar with cappuccino vs flat white, the difference is mainly the amount of foam on the top, and the intensity. Also, cappuccino (often, although not always) has chocolate in some form, either some chocolate powder sprinkled on the top of the foam, or ontop of the espresso prior to pouring the milk.

How big should a cappuccino be?

There are no rules when it comes to cup sizes, just ask Starbucks & Costa Coffee, synchronized swimming teams could use their cups for practice sessions. Personally, I’d expect a standard cappuccino to be served in a 10 ounce (285ml) cup, but they’re regularly served in anything from 8-16 ounces, or even 20 ounces in some cases. 

What are cappuccino cups?

Cappuccino cups, are usually made of some kind of ceramic material, some are glass but it’s a lot more common to find a ceramic, earthenware, porcelain or bone china cappuccino mug than it is to find glass cappuccino cups, especially in coffee shops. That being said, a cappuccino cup can be made from just about anything. They’re usually bowl shaped, too, although again there’s no rules, some cappuccino cups are tulip shaped, or even square.

How many shots of espresso in a cappuccino?

This will usually depend on the size of the drink and therefore the amount of milk it’s being mixed with, in other words it’s more about the coffee to milk ratio than it is about a specific espresso volume being used. I’d usually expect a “standard” cappuccino served in a coffee shop to be made with a single shot if it’s served in an 8-10 ounce cup, but it’s common to find double shots in 12/14 ounce cups or bigger.

Does cappuccino have chocolate on the top?

Generally speaking, yeah, but once again – there are no rules, the cappuccino police aren’t going to raid your local indy coffee shop and handcuff the baristas for missing out the chocolate dusting. This reminds me of a funny (well it made me laugh at least) incident a few years ago in a cafe when I was a TV extra.

I was with another extra who I often worked with (or “Supporting Artiste” as we were usually kindly referred to as, but we all just referred to ourselves as Extras, sometimes even “spares”) in a coffee shop at Media City in Manchester while waiting to be called in for this “Sitcom Showcase” thing, which we were both working in as extras. 

He ordered a cappuccino, and the barista asked him “would you like chocolate?”, to which he pulled a quizzical face I’ll never forget, and barked at her in his native Yorkshire tongue “CAPPUCCINOOOOO”. It took me a while to stop laughing at that,  and he didn’t know what I was laughing at ;-).

Incidentally, this was the Salford Sitcom Showcase, a platform for 6 potential new comedy shows (including Citizen Khan & Hebburn), to be performed live on stage in front of an audience including BBC bigwigs, in the hope of being commissioned. 

I ended up working with some mega comedians for 3 days, including Chris Ramsay, what a top bloke he was, honestly, true salt of the earth. It was quite a surreal few days, including standing having a pee next to Adil Ray (from Citizen Khan), being sat in Russ Abbot’s dressing room (*much to his surprise, haha, but what a nice bloke!), and standing next to Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Dougal), who’s dressing room was suddenly filled with extras, so he just stood there in the middle of us all and stripped down to his grunts ;-).

Who invented cappuccino?

In simple terms, Cappuccino is the Italian-created espresso-based version of the Kapuziner Kaffee that was a favourite in Viennese coffee houses by the end of the 1700s and probably from the end of the 1600s.

The only individual I can find connected to the original Kapuziner Kaffee that cappuccino is the descendent of, is Wilhelm Tissot, an Author who as far as I can tell, wrote about a coffee he’d experienced while in Viennese coffee houses. This isn’t to say this author invented Kapuziner, but he appears to be the first person to have had anything published that referred to the beverage.

Cappuccino itself though appears to have been a gradual evolution, (similarly as to with the flat white) rather than a singular invention, with early Cappuccino probably being similar to the Kapuziner you’ll still find in some coffee shops in Vienna now who still serve a more traditional version, with whipped cream on the top of espresso. At some point between around 1910 – 1930, Baristas in Italy began making a milk foam to mimic the whipped cream (faster, and probably cheaper), and the cappuccino as we know it was born.

The post What is a Cappuccino, where is it from & how to make it. appeared first on Coffee Blog.

Originally posted at Coffee Blog

Related Post