How many coffee drinks can be made from espresso and frothed milk? More than you can imagine! However, the most famous and so far most popular is undoubtedly cappuccino.
Italian drink with Austrian roots
Although cappuccino originated in Italy around 1900, its Austrian predecessor is a bit older. The first written mention of the cappuccino drink comes from 1805. Even then, this delicious coffee drink with cream and sugar was prepared in Austrian cafés. Its name was derived from the clothing colour of the local Capuchins. In the Italian environment, the term cappuccio, which literally means cape, has gradually adapted to the current form named cappuccino.
Although cappuccino was talked about in Italy before the Second World War, modern cappuccino, as we know it today, was created after it. Its birth can be dated around 1950, when the so-called creamy era began. Thanks to technical progress, the new coffee machines were able to create a high pressure, with the help of which baristas could prepare espresso with a rich cream, but they were also able to easily froth milk or cream.
Danka´s favourite coffee:
„I think Guatemala is the perfect cappuccino coffee. The milk softens its fruitiness and, on the contrary, makes its chocolate tone stand out.“
How is cappuccino different from coffee with milk?
Somebody may think that cappuccino is just ordinary coffee with milk. However, this is not quite the case. The whole essence of traditional cappuccino is based on the structure of three even layers: espresso, frothed milk and whipped foam.
TIP! The market already offers a number of cow’s milk substitutes, which are suitable not only for vegans, but also for people with various intolerances. Many of these so-called herbal milks can be whipped beautifully and also used for professional latte art.
The foundation of every cappuccino is especially a well-prepared espresso. Although most people prefer darker roasting and hotter tones, lighter roasted coffees with mild acidity also stand out beautifully in cappuccino. From our coffees, Cuba Serrano Superior, Colombia Medellin or the more fruity Ethiopia Dimtu Terro are perfect for the cappuccino. For lovers of coffee blends, we can recommend our blends Piano and Harmonelle.
According to the Italian National Institute, about 125 ml of whipped milk should be added to 25 to 30 ml of espresso. The milk should be cooled and contain min. 3.5% of fat, because it is fat that guarantees its proper whipping. Cappuccino should be served in a heated cappuccino cup with a thin layer of microfoam.
Cappuccino preparation: Classic versus modern approach
There is also a development, shift and modernization in the world of coffee. And it is not only the cappuccino, which has also evolved.
„In cappuccino, I love our Cuba. Soy milk softens its distinctive bitterness beautifully, but at the same time it preserves its full taste.“
The classic approach to preparing cappuccino, which you can still find in Italy or in most Slovak cafés, is based on the belief that the uniqueness of this drink dwells in its clear structure. Cappuccino is formed by three even components of espresso, milk and foam, which, according to hard-line classics, should be separated from each other, thus defining not only the appearance of the drink, but also its taste.
TIP! We do not recommend sprinkling the fine cappuccino microfoam with cinnamon or cocoa – it will significantly disrupt the delicate taste of quality coffee and the structure of a well-prepared milk foam.
However, the modern approach states that the times of coarse, heavy milk froth are already gone, and the surface of the cappuccino should be a soft, fluffy microfoam. Instead of a white shapeless “pillow”, the barista should be able to create a perfect latte art from whipped milk. The taste of the cappuccino should also be different – each sip should be equally harmonious and delicious, so the differences between the individual layers should not be felt at all.
You might also be interested in: Ristretto: the little brother of espresso coffee
Whether you are a fan of the old or the new school, preparing a cappuccino is still considered a test of a barista’s skills. After all, cappuccino is not just ordinary coffee with milk…
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