In a previous blog, Marvin already explainedwhat a cappuccino is exactly , but in this blog we go one step further. Namely: how to make a cappuccino at home with your own espresso machine and preferably by using a steam nozzle.
The cappuccino is extremely popular worldwide, and perhaps the most favorite coffee drink of all! In any case, a cappuccino is the most frequently ordered coffee drink in the Dutch catering industry. That says something! Do you also love cappuccinos and do you want to prepare this at home with your own espresso machine? Then this instruction is for you.
Read also: All types of coffee in a handy overview
Step 1: The basis is a perfect espresso
First of all, we start with the basics; a cappuccino is an espresso- based coffee drink. Most coffee drinks are made with an espresso. That's handy, because then you only need 1 coffee grinder (namely a grinder that you adjust to the perfect grinding degree for that coffee bean to prepare an espresso). Once you have made a perfect espresso, you can then use it to prepare all kinds of delicious coffee drinks.
But how do you do that? Because making the perfect espresso with an espresso machine is certainly not rocket science, but you definitely need to know what you are doing. Of course you need a nice bag of fresh espresso coffee beans that suit your taste. Did you choose that one and in the house? Then you can start adjusting your coffee grinder to prepare for the perfect espresso.
Have you just purchased a Sage espresso machine and do you want to set it up? In this blog I would like to take you through the process of adjusting your new Sage machine . Do you have a semi-automatic espresso machine? Then I recommend that you take a look at this blog about preparing the perfect espresso in 6 simple steps .
If you own a fully automatic espresso machine, you can unfortunately influence slightly fewer factors, but even then I have a guideline for you and you can find it in the blog about setting up a fully automatic coffee machine .
Practice makes perfect, so take your time for this first step in preparing a delicious cappuccino at home from your own espresso machine, with the coffee bean of your choice.
Step 2: Pick Your Milk and Practice With It!
The world of milk... it's one for me! :-) Milk is just milk, right? That's what I always thought. But the opposite is true. Especially if you are a cappuccino drinker, a world will open up for you if you try to make the most delicious cappuccino at home. Maybe you have a favorite type of milk per coffee bean or for the time of day. Everything is possible, and that's the great thing about making coffee at home with your own espresso machine.
Whole milk or skimmed milk for a cappuccino?
First of all, it is good to know that full-fat long-life milk is always a great option, but as I said, it can be of so much added value to really find the tastiest milk that fits your perfect cappuccino. I always find very fat and fresh milk a delicious option, such as Jersey milk. But maybe you don't like that at all. Buy a few packs, or even better, go to the local farmer and try out some milks with your own espresso machine in combination with your favorite coffee bean.
Skimmed milk foams up, but then does not mix with the coffee. So you want to avoid that as much as possible. The most convenient way to froth milk for a cappuccino is when the amount of protein and amount of fat are in balance. Air bubbles (microfoam) are surrounded by a layer of fat, fat provides stable microfoam, but proteins, on the other hand, provide a network between the air bubbles.
The right temperature of the milk
As the website Masterclass mentions, it is useful to cool the milk well in the refrigerator in advance . Cold milk foams more easily than milk at room temperature. This has to do, among other things, with the temperature difference, if this is larger, the process of frothing cappuccino milk will be slower, so that you can exercise more control over it. You can possibly put your milk in the pitcher (the milk jug) in the fridge, or pour cooled milk into your milk jug just before brewing.
How much milk you need for a cappuccino depends on your coffee cup, but you will probably know this after preparing a cappuccino a few times. I usually get by with a medium sized milk jug and filling the milk to a finger's width below the start of the spout (for a double cappuccino).
How do you froth the milk for a cappuccino
Frothing milk for a cappuccino requires a certain technique. Before you start, you want to empty your steam pipe to remove any residue and condensation water from the steam pipe. After this you can start immediately. You place the steam pipe in the milk, not too deep, and turn the steam pipe on completely, in one go.
You place your other hand under the milk jug so that you can keep an eye on the temperature. If you can't hold it anymore, stop. However, this is not a very reliable method because different people have different degrees of refractory hands. I would recommend that you measure the temperature the first few times afterwards. What is a good temperature for milk in a cappuccino? Cow's milk should not be warmer than 70 degrees, otherwise the milk will burn. Vegetable milk should not be warmer than 55 degrees, otherwise it will curdle.
Microfoam for the perfect cappuccino
If you're preparing the perfect cappuccino, you're looking for microfoam, a kind of silky smooth cream without large air bubbles. Exactly how deep you place the steam pipe depends on your machine, one espresso machine is not the other. Experiment with this and especially listen to the sound you hear.
You want to balance between the high shrill sound and lower (paper tear like) sound. This has to do with lowering the steam pipe deeper or not. You can hardly explain this, but you have to experience, feel, hear and taste yourself. Believe me, practice really makes perfect and in no time you will froth the perfect milk for your favorite cappuccino from your own espresso machine.
In the video below, James Hoffmann once again explains how to froth milk perfectly for a cappuccino:
Step 3: Pour the milk over the coffee
When you have prepared a perfect espresso and foamed the milk to microfoam, you are ready to put together your cappuccino. Just before pouring the frothed milk, swirl the milk around so that all the different layers can mix well with each other. This way you can mix the frothed milk well into the espresso as a whole. You do this by placing the jug on the counter and turning the jug over the counter in such a way that the bottom of the jug continuously touches the counter and you can see the milk swirling around.
Then you pour the milk on the espresso in one go, without too much hesitation. If you hold the milk jug slightly above the cup, so make good use of its height, the milk will break through the crema layer of the espresso, allowing the coffee and milk to mix well. If you do it right, there will also be a color difference on the surface (brown crema and white milk) that is so well known in a good cappuccino. This will also form the basis for any latte art.
My tip: let go of Latte art in the beginning and focus on the perfect microfoam for your cappuccino. Have you been practicing for a while and are you ready for the next step? In my blog about latte art for dummies I explain how you can achieve this!
Another tip: is your milk froth too thick/lobby? Then pour out the first thick dot shortly after rolling, in the sink for example. Thick, lumpy milk cannot be properly poured into a nice cappuccino. The structure must be exactly right. Then try to lower the steam pipe a little lower into the milk (or in other words raise the jug a little more).
In this blog I explained how to make the perfect cappuccino at home, simply with your own espresso machine. The cappuccino is the most popular coffee drink in the world, but at home you can make it even more special by combining your favorite coffee bean with the most delicious milk of your choice.
The basis is the espresso. It is very important that you master this step of preparing the perfect espresso because it really forms the basis of a good cappuccino. In the paragraphs above I refer to various other blogs that can help you make the perfect espresso, make good use of this so that you can dream this piece.
Experiment with milk. With different types of milk, but also with different frothing techniques. A cappuccino requires silky soft microfoam that is perfectly pourable. Then it's time to pour your milk on top of the espresso. By rolling you mix the frothed milk well and by using height during pouring, the milk can break through the crema layer for an ultimate taste effect! Practice, taste and practice again!
Then it's time to enjoy your own prepared cappuccino, at home on your own couch. Well done! Cheers!