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Welcome to Kings of Caffeine! 

Our aim is to make you as educated as possible in the world of coffee, so you can confidently order or make a coffee that you know you’ll love!

So if you have ever wondered…

How to make a Cappuccino?

Then wonder no more!

We will explain in clear and concise language how to make the perfect Cappuccino and offer up the answers to any other related questions we think you might be interested in.

Now, let’s jump in!

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What is it?

A Cappuccino is an Italian coffee beverage, approximately 150ml to 180ml (5oz to 6oz) in volume – made up of one third Espresso, one third steamed milk and one third foamed milk.

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A short history

Where does the Cappuccino get its name?

The origins of the name date back to Italy in the 16th century with an offshoot of the Franciscan order: The Monks Of Capuchin.

The Monks of Capuchin commonly wore a coffee brown, hooded robe – the Italian word for which is cappuccio. Actually the word cappuccino translates directly to ‘small capuchin‘.

However, it was not the Italians that first applied the name to coffee, this had its origins in Vienna with a modified version of the word: kapuziner.

Mentions of coffee beverages and coffee houses are found in Viennese history around the 1680’s, but it would not be until the 18th century that the word kapuziner would be given to a coffee drink which contained, in addition to coffee – cream, spices and sugar.

The first generation of the Cappuccino that we know and love today is mentioned in 1930’s Italy and bore a large resemblance to the Viennese kapuziner, though at this stage it was just Espresso with milk (the foam was yet to come).

Finally the 1950’s saw the rise of the Espresso machine, this revolutionised the drink and saw the final addition of a steamed milk top, producing the beverage we see today.

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What is sprinkled on top of a Cappuccino?

It is common practice (though not in Italy) to top the Cappuccino in a chocolate or cocoa dusting. There are many variations on the market which include many cocoa grades to sugar granules coated in cocoa.

Cinnamon or nutmeg can also be used.

What does a Cappuccino taste like?

Because the Cappuccino has a 1:3 ratio, it has a great balance between the taste of the Espresso and the dilution of the milk making the Cappuccino taste stronger than a Latte but not as strong as a Flat White.

How to make the perfect Cappuccino using an Espresso machine

Making the perfect Cappuccino yourself gives a kind of satisfaction that you just can’t achieve from a bought one, so let’s find out how that’s done! 

Fill a coffee cup with hot water and place it to one side – by keeping the cup at a high temperature, less heat will be required in the milk later on, improving its flavour.

The Espresso Shot

Clean the portafilter than wipe it dry with a tea towel.

Fine grind approximately 5g of coffee to throw away (this ensures only the freshest beans will make it into the drink and if you have changed your grind setting since the last grind that first 5g will still be the old size), before grinding a timed dosage of coffee.

 

Weigh the grounds, I’m using 18g but this depends on the coffee, your taste, etc. but for this Espresso I’m using 18g.

Level out the coffee by moving it around the basket with the side of your finger.

Compact the grounds with a tamper – this is done by pressing the tamper directly down, on top of the coffee grounds, ensuring an even spread. This will guarantee that water passing through the grounds will travel at the same speed regardless of where it penetrates.

Tampers we love!


De’Longhi DLSC058 Coffee Tamper


LuxHaus 49mm Calibrated Espresso Tamper


Vienesso Coffee 53mm Tamper Set

Run a small amount of water through the group head, empty the previously filled cup and place it in position.

Extract the coffee, looking to produce 36g of liquid Espresso (2:1 ratio), if you have ground fine enough the extraction time should be around 30 seconds.

For more information on making the perfect Espresso checkout our comprehensive guide!

The Milk

Add a small amount of milk (any cold milk will do) to a pitcher.

Steaming the milk should take 5 – 6 seconds in total. First texturise the milk; this is done by sitting the steam wand on its surface for a few seconds. The steam wand is then plunged deeper, allowing the milk to heat up further without affecting the texture created in the previous step.

 

Tap the pitcher on the table a couple of times and give it a swirl, this is a process called polishing and will ensure a smoother, shinier texture on the milk.

Clean and purge the steam wand.

Combining The Ingredients

Swirl the Espresso before pouring in the milk.

The addition of a sprinkling of chocolate or cinnamon can be used to flavour the coffee.

Espresso machines we love!


Delonghi EC155 Coffee Maker


Breville BES810BSSUSC BES810BSS Espresso Machine


Sage Barista Express Espresso Machine – Bean to Cup


Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand

How to make a great Cappuccino/Latte at home using a cafetiére (French press)

For people who don’t have an Espresso maker, we will walk you through a great way to make a delicious Cappuccino at home with minimal equipment.

Before starting make sure to purchase a Cafetière that is metal free as it will be going in the microwave.

Preheat a coffee cup by pouring in hot water and leaving to one side.

Scoop ground coffee into the Cafetière, one heaped tablespoon per cup of coffee to be made.

Pour just enough hot water to cover the coffee, no more. This will allow the Carbon Monoxide to escape the coffee grounds.

 

Let sit for approximately 30 seconds, swirl, slowly pour in the remaining water and stir gently. Once again, the quantity of water required is determined by the number of cups of coffee to be made.

The coffee is left to sit for 3 minutes; the cap is than placed on top.

With a gentle hand, push the top down slowly.

 

Empty the preheated cup and pour the coffee in.

Rinse all of the left over coffee from the French press.

Now half fill with milk and place in the microwave for approximately one minute.

Place the top back on the French Press and start plunging up and down in quick succession until the milk is at your desired texture.

 

Tap the French Press on the table a couple of times and give it a swirl, polishing the milk.

Pour the milk over the coffee.

 

4 other ways to froth milk at home

  1. Heat milk over the stove and use a whisk.
  2. Purchase a frothing wand.
  3. Heat milk, pour it in a suitable container than shake.
  4. Purchase a milk frother.

That’s it!

We hope you found this useful – now get out there and make some coffee!

As always if you have any questions or feel like we have missed anything please send your questions/suggestions to [email protected]