Cappuccino is an absolute classic coffee. But for some people or media the drink sounds “dusty and old”. People living in big cities in Europe prefer to order a Flat White with almond milk than an aromatic cappuccino. In Italy drink it only in the morning and the rest of the day drink espresso. I believe we should not take cappuccino out of our coffee variation list!
Has Cappuccino Coffee an “Identity Crisis” as The New Work Times announced?
Do we have accept the opinion of The British Telegraph that we should finally grow up and accept that Cappuccino has his best times behind him?
No question!!! The Cappuccino was long time ago the most popular.
This article here is about the perfect Cappuccino – and yes, it exists.
When espresso and milk froth come together to bring this aromatic amazing flavor, even the today popular “Flat White” is for me only a Cappuccino successor.
The same happened some time ago with the classic Milk Coffee!!! Many people said that it belongs to the past. But almost everybody including me drink it again and again and still belongs in the Coffee list of every good “Cafeteria”.
Are you looking for good milk froth? Look here: milk frothers test.
A little bit of history and the real facts about cappuccino
Just a few cold facts: According to statistics, each of us, the coffee lovers, drinks 77,000 cups of coffee in his life (Germany – Statistic). And in 2013, the coffee report, in German speaking Europe, wrote that the consumption of cappuccino plays a very important role – at least in the Café Shops and Cafeterias. But now, as the Telegraph tells us, even Starbucks takes the Cappuccino from the US program. The coffee chain replaced it with the Flat White, which works with fine micro-foam instead of with a thick milk froth hood. With the burned espresso beans, however, the best foam cannot do anything anymore!
And this is the reason for the cappuccino crisis. The thick milk froth hood. Cappuccino means “hood”. At some point, the bad habit was that the Italian cousin of the milk coffee actually had to get a hood from “milk foam”. There are so many absurd mistakes about the Italian morning coffee that it is a miracle that Cappuccino could stay so long time at the first place in the worldwide Cafè.
Here are some of the worst crimes against the enjoyment of coffee:
• One third of coffee, one third of milk, one third of milk froth
• Firm, frothy foam
• Cocoa or cinnamon on the foam hood
• Whipped cream instead of milk froth
• Syrup, sauces and other similar bad products
• Cup sizes, in which you can park a jumbo jet
• Instant Cappuccino “ready-to-use”
The Italian founders of Cappuccino still enjoy it and I believe that’s almost a miracle.
But what makes the perfect Cappuccino?
• 20 to 25 ml of freshly brewed espresso coffee from the filter holder. Which one you should choose, you will find in my Espresso test 2016.
• A pre-heated cup with around 120 to 180 ml capacity.
• An almost liquid milk froth without air bubbles, with which you can crack the cream and prepare the Cappuccino in “one slip”.
Cappuccino is something like an intermediate between Espresso Macchiato and Latte Macchiato.
On the first drink, the milk froth is rather decorative, on the second, it plays the leading role. And with the Cappuccino you have the perfect mixture of milk “cream” and coffee in the mouth with every sip.
And this ominous Flat White? This is basically just a more perfect version of Cappuccino. Coffee Nation pay attention to the fact that in a 140 ml-cup espresso and micro-foam are harmoniously bound to each other – whereby the espresso still stands in the main front.
Let us summarize briefly: First of all a good cappuccino is an Eyesight, which you can transform with a little bit of practice into an amazing “latte art”. Second, it has nothing to do with what many coffee shops are selling with the “ToGo” cup. Thirdly the espresso flavor is strong enough and milk cannot cover it.
Sounds good? I agree.
Cappuccino: This is how it works at home
If you are serious about the coffee making process at home, you need the right equipment – and few tips that I can give you here for the perfect cappuccino.How to create the perfect black coffee?
Ingredients for a cappuccino
We have already noticed that we can make a good Cappuccino without many Extras and Witchcraft. So you only need two things:
• Fresh and good espresso beans
• Decent milk
The milk should contain at least 1.5% fat, whole milk is an even better idea because of the taste. The fatter the better!
You have to experiment a little bit with the beans and find out which are your favorites. A normal content in the espresso mixture ensures a stable cream, which is essential not only for the taste, but also for the cappuccino look.
Because a cappuccino without cream is actually only coffee with milk, you need either a real espresso machine, or a very good coffee machine. The two espressos have only different structure. A sieve holder makes it more powerful, the full automatic machine easier.
With the really pretty good manual Espresso Maker you can create delicious coffee, but no real espresso (keyword: pressure) and very tasty Cappuccino.
Cappuccino’s classic recipe Prepare espresso, milk froth, into the cup, finished. As easy as the cappuccino preparation sounds, it is so difficult for many of us to implement it. So I explain to you here again a few basic rules and attitudes:
– Before you do anything else, warm your cups properly. Caution: Do not forget to dry them, otherwise your cappuccino will be rather medium. Let an espresso runs directly into the warm cappuccino cup.
– The coffee volume is normally 20 to 25 ml – you have to correct the factory coffee machine settings before you use it. In perfect espresso preparation the sieve holder transforms about 7 g of fine coffee with a pressure of 9 bar on the brewing head in 25 seconds. But also here, you have to deal intensively with your machine.
– Prepare the milk froth (here is my detailed milk froth guide). Make sure to froth so long the milk is almost still liquid and doesn’t contain air bubbles, and it’s only slightly sluggish
And then it goes fast to the Cappuccino-Preparation. You do not have to be a “latte” artist to add the milk froth into the cup. Just make sure that the first sip comes into the cup powerfully. So you can rip the Cream and then fill the cup with a gentle swing from the wrist. By ripping you make sure that espresso and milk are optimally combined together and you get this perfect coffee-milk-result, for which I love in cappuccino. The person now adding sugar, cinnamon, cocoa or syrup, could have saved the whole effort by the way – because all these extras don’t fit to Cappuccino. After all, why to work on the perfect coffee aroma with perfect milk accompaniment, when you end it up with two kilos of sugar in the cup?
One more word about Cappuccino from the Coffee Machine
To get as close as possible to the heart of a cappuccino – the perfect espresso – you should not bring any bad Coffee Machine into the house. The more you can change the default settings, the better. In the end, however, you will usually arrive in the corner of Cafe Latte, especially when the fully automatic machine foams the milk independently over a tank. Espresso from the fully automatic machine is just “Espresso light”. When you push a button to create milk froth you can always have a few quirks – but the end result is surprisingly good. If you prepare your coffee, taking a lot of care in the selection of coffee beans and the machine settings, you will have a very good Cappuccino. Even the automatic coffee machine is not so beloved in the real coffee lovers’ circles, for many is a very good choice! Even in cases where Cappuccino Button is pressed and the Coffee doesn’t come out!!
Cappuccino with the Milk Frother?
What happens if your coffee machine cannot froth? Bye-bye, Cappuccino? Not necessarily. There are automatic, battery operated and manual milk frother. All three versions have their advantages and disadvantages and I’ve tested them for you.
Personally Battery-operated Milk Frother is not suitable for cappuccino foam because it requires a lot of practice to make good and usable foam in the right consistency. With an Automatic Milk Frother, it’s mostly a matter of the manufacturer – most of them aim for a solid foam consistency. However, you don’t have to worry about anything here. I believe Manual Foaming Machines – which are sometimes bitchy – are a good choice for cappuccino preparation, because you can influence the foaming result by yourself. Also you don’t have to rely on the machine to determine whether the temperature of the milk is correct or not because you warm it by yourself too.
The best cappuccino cups
It is interesting that many coffee brewers devote themselves
to such questions as roasting, grind or water quality – but forget that the right cups are just as important for the final result.
Because the right cup gives you first, how much volume should have the ingredients for the optimal taste. Second, it ensures that the drink has the right temperature. Third, the haptics and the “mouthfeel” (if you can say that for a cup) play a big role. And fourth, the eye “drinks together the mouth” and finds good cappuccino cups just great. Basically you will find two variants in the market, made of glass or made of porcelain. Both should meet the following requirements:
Filling quantity: Not more than 250 ml, ideally between 140 and 190 ml. You can choose the large cups for other cappuccino variations such as with double shot or milk coffee but for real cappuccino I recommend the smaller cups.
Weight: The cappuccino cups must have a little bit more weight. Otherwise the coffee spills over every time you lift it, and the possibility to stain your clothes will rise. Form: Whether the cup shape is conical or classic, is no important. What is important is that it widens upwards. So you have enough room to transport the milk foam optimally under the Crema.
Height: This factor is very important, because the cup must fit under the spout of the machine. Adjustable brewing heads make it easier for you, but you will not find it at any Full Automatic Machine.
The material: glass or porcelain?
Here we have often 2 different opinions. The Cappuccino cups from insulating glass are a very good choice. Cappuccino cup with double glass such as this thermo-glass mug from DeLonghi, fits to the optical pleasure. The coffee practically slides in the glass, the individual components are visible and you immediately get the desire to take a sip.
These cups are made of double-walled and heat-resistant glass, not only important for the safety but to remain the drink hot because of the insulating glass. Classic Cappuccino porcelain cups, like this inexpensive “No Name” version, isolate naturally and better your coffee. They also have this typical coffee-flavor look – if you understand what I mean.
I find the Cappuccino porcelain cup unproblematic – mainly because they bring a handle as standard. The glass versions do not usually have because of aesthetic reasons. If the glass is hot and has no handle, I simply do not want to know that I have to wait till I can touch it. Or in the morning to see how the glass slips from the tired hand.
Glass cup also loses the drink temperature quickly. That is why I find this cup style really stupid in Coffee Bars. Here everything is served in simple glasses (often for water!) -and people have to wait until the glass and the coffee is cold to drink it.
My conclusion is: A (steam) lance for Cappuccino
Do you hate an espresso in the giant glass milk froth? Or are you not yet ready to become a traditional espresso lover? Then enjoy a cappuccino. This beverage is rewarded with genuine creamy pleasure. I’m not quite sure if the announcement about Cappuccino’s decline are real or just let the Flat White wave go crazy, until they realize that here is a super coffee type like cappuccino which works. I hope you like this Italian classic and I am happy if you write me your opinion in a comment.