What is a Cappuccino?


So you want to know everything about a cappuccino? Great, because that's what I'm going to tell you today. The cappuccino is another type of coffee based on an espresso .

The cappuccino is perhaps the most famous coffee drink and is drunk very often in the Netherlands. 

The cappuccino is an Italian specialty coffee in which an espresso is made from freshly roasted coffee beans and mixed with warm, steamed milk.

What makes the cappuccino so popular and what is the history of this coffee drink? In this article I will tell you all about the cappuccino and even teach you how to make it at home.

Curious? Then read on quickly!

Read also: Which coffee is consumed the most?

What is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a coffee drink with an espresso as a base. Mixed with steamed milk, you get a cappuccino.

The cappuccino is very similar to a latte or aflat white , but the amount and ratio of milk makes all the difference.

The cappuccino has equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk foam. But with a latte, for example, you use 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with a very thin layer of foam.

The differences between these drinks are subtle, in appearance, but also in taste.

Read also: What is a latte?

Where does the cappuccino come from?

Although the cappuccino is a real Italian specialty, it is derived from a milk coffee from a completely different country.

The “Kapuziner” from Vienna, Austria. The Kapuziner was already popular in the 17th century, where a shot of coffee was enriched with a large dollop of whipped cream.[ 1 ]

The cappuccino as we know it today first originated in Northern Italy.

Around 1950, when espresso machines started to become extremely popular in Italy, the specialized 'baristi' learned to make a cappuccino with an espresso.

Together with steamed milk, instead of whipped cream, the cappuccino as we like to drink it today was born.

Which milk is best for a cappuccino?

What is the best milk to make a cappuccino? This is what we know and what works and tastes best according to our own experience:

The fresher the better , fresh milk foams much better than milk that is almost expired.

Whole milk froths the tastiest and easiest because this milk has a higher fat content than other types of milk.

You could try skimmed milk , but it doesn't give that full creamy taste that we like to see in a cappuccino.

Vegetable milk is also great for making a cappuccino. Our preference is oat milk. This foams up wonderfully and tastes great. Be careful when frothing plant-based milk. This can curdle very quickly if it gets too hot.

How do you froth milk for a cappuccino?

You get the best and most beautiful result for good milk froth with the steam nozzle of a semi-automatic espresso machine.

  1. Pour the amount of milk you want to use for your cappuccino into a milk jug.

  2. Turn on the steam pipe and let it steam for a very short time without holding the jug underneath. This way it gets warm and you lose some unnecessary moisture.

  3. Close the steam pipe again and place it in the milk, in the jug.

  4. Make sure the steam wand touches the milk, but don't insert too deep*

  5. Turn on the steam wand and froth your milk. Do you hear the sound of ripping paper? Then your steam pipe is just right, so also look for this sound.

  6. Hold the milk jug with 1 hand to keep a close eye on the temperature.

  7. You can (almost) no longer hold the jug. Then the milk is at the right temperature.

*If you place the steam pipe too deep, you will not blow enough air into your milk. The milk does get nice and warm, but you don't get nice micro-foam with it.

Video: Frothing milk with an espresso machine

How do you froth milk without an espresso machine?

“Hey, but I don't have an espresso machine!” You can also froth milk very well. The result may not be exactly the same, but you can make a cappuccino!

There are a few ways you can froth milk without an espresso machine. The bottom 3 methods work best.

  • A milk frother . A milk frother is a kind of jug that you plug into the socket and that produces quite thick milk foam. This is a very easy way to froth milk.
  • A whisk also works fine. Heat the milk in a pan and beat the milk vigorously with a whisk. The milk does get a little more air bubbles and the foamer is a little less 'foamy' but it works fine.
  • With the French Press . Do you have a French press at home to make coffee? You can also froth milk with this! Pour the heated milk into your french press and move the 'press' up and down until you have made beautiful milk foam.

This is how you make a cappuccino at home

As you know by now you need three things for a cappuccino. That's an espresso, hot which, and a little foam

Step 2: Froth the milk with your espresso machine or one of the other methods (if you don't have an espresso machine)

Step 3: Mix the milk with the espresso and your cappuccino is ready!

Are you going for the real deal and do you want a nice latte art in your cappuccino? Practice a lot, then it will come naturally ;-).