For us, cappuccino is the best of all espresso variations that contain milk. The warming milk in combination with a creamy foam and the taste nuances of an excellent espresso is simply to melt away. For us, a well-prepared cappuccino is coffee enjoyment at the very highest level!
Here you can find out everything you always wanted to know about a cappuccino. We will also show you how you can prepare a delicious cappuccino yourself in your own four walls with a portafilter machine.
The prerequisite for preparing a perfect cappuccino at home is that you have an espresso machine (portafilter machine) with which you can froth up milk in addition to making espresso.
To prepare a perfect cappuccino, you must have two skills:
1. The ability to make a really good espresso.
2. The ability to produce fine-pored milk foam (microfoam).
Cappuccino: How to make it in simple steps
- Step 1: Preheat the cappuccino cup with hot water
- Step 2: Let 25-30 ml espresso run into the preheated cup
- Step 3: Froth 100 – 150 ml milk (milk temperature up to max 65 ° C)
- Step 4: Pour milk foam into the cup
- Step 5: stir
- Step 6: drink & enjoy
How do you make the perfect espresso?
We’ll show you how to make the perfect espresso at home . Find out in our ultimate guide for beginners how to proceed step by step with preparation.
Step by step to the perfect cappuccino
Step 1: Preheat the cappuccino cup (approx. 180 ml) with hot water.
Step 2: Tip the hot water out of the cup and pour 25-30 ml of espresso into the preheated cappuccino cup.
Step 3: In parallel with the espresso extraction, froth the milk. We recommend milk with a fat content of 3.5%.
Step 4: Pour the frothed milk into the cup with the espresso.
You are good now!
Finished! If you can pour Latte Art, then you have a cappuccino that not only tastes great, but also looks great.
We use this to make cappuccino:
Entry-level equipment for the preparation of a perfect cappuccino
Along with Flat White and Caffè Latte, cappuccino is one of the coffee specialties that can be used to create a pattern or “drawing” on the espresso surface using the milk foam. This artful way of preparation is known as ” latte art “.
Where Did Cappuccino Originate and who invented it?
The name cappuccino is derived from the capuchin. The capuchin has been a Viennese coffee specialty since the 19th century, in which a small coffee (mocha) was mixed with whipped cream until the drink took on the color of the capuchin monks’ robes. During the First World War, Austrian soldiers “imported” the Capuchins to Italy. The Italians then came up with the idea of replacing the whipped cream with milk that was frothed with steam from the espresso machine. The classic cappuccino was born.
Outside of Italy, the cappuccino was served with loads of dry, meringue-like foam until the 1990s. Most of the content in the cup consisted of air. Even if a lot has changed for the better in this regard, many cafés around the world are still offered cappuccino with foam mountain and chocolate powder. This is due to fully automatic coffee machines that have been programmed precisely for this preparation. Many people, therefore, do not even know that cappuccino can also be served without a mountain of foam and the resulting change in taste.
Cappuccino recipe: You need these ingredients to prepare a cappuccino
The cappuccino recipe is easy to remember because it consists of espresso, hot milk, and milk foam. There is a legend surrounding the recipe which says that a traditional cappuccino consists of espresso with equal amounts of milk and milk foam. It remains completely unclear whether only the milk and the foam should be present in the same quantities or all three ingredients in the same proportions. So it is not clear whether the preparation should be done with an espresso-milk-milk foam ratio of 1: 1: 1 or 1: 2: 2.
Even after intensive research, it is difficult for us to write down completely exact information for the cappuccino recipe. On other websites on the Internet that write about making cappuccino, the ratio 1: 1: 1 is predominantly recommended. As a rule of thumb, you can remember that the cappuccino weighs between 125 to 180 grams and should be prepared with an espresso-milk-milk foam ratio of 1: 1: 1 or 1: 2: 2. Specifically: With a ratio of 1: 1: 1, there is 50 ml of milk and 50 ml of milk foam for a (double) espresso (50 ml). With a ratio of 1: 2: 2, there is also 50 ml milk and 50 ml milk foam for a (simple) espresso (25 ml).
We believe that the exact proportions of milk and milk foam are not decisive for the taste of a good cappuccino. The proportion of the foam does not have to correspond exactly to the proportion of milk. For us, the cappuccino is successful when the result tastes amazing and the foam layer in the cappuccino is approx. 10 mm thick. What is more decisive for the taste is how high the proportion of espresso is.
We recommend that you just try out both mixing ratios. You will notice that with a ratio of 1: 1: 1 the taste will taste much stronger like espresso. If you like the intense espresso taste, you should use this recipe to prepare it.
For friends and acquaintances who you would like to surprise with your home barista skills for the first time, we recommend preparation with a ratio of 1: 2: 2. Why? People who are used to filter coffee with milk (and sugar) will most likely be irritated by the taste when it is made with a ratio of 1: 1: 1. The intense espresso taste could hit people with an inexperienced espresso palate like a slap in the face.
So let your guests take it a little shallower in terms of taste and increase the amount of espresso in the cappuccino if necessary.
cappuccino: how to make it at home
We admit that we are real cappuccino lovers because, for us, it is the most harmonious combination of coffee and milk. If a cappuccino has been made with love, passion, and experience, everyone will likely have the unique sensory experience this drink can create.
Finding a café that gives us this pleasure on the palate is not so easy for us these days. The quality of a cappuccino, which we now enjoy in our own four walls, is in some cases far above that offered by many cafés and restaurants (with their fully automatic machines). The preparation of a good cappuccino is not that difficult if you have the necessary equipment. To make a perfect cappuccino at home, you will need the following things:
- Espresso machine with a milk frothing nozzle
- electric espresso grinder
- fresh espresso beans
- Milk jug made of high-quality stainless steel (“pitcher”)
- fresh, chilled milk (fat content of 3.5%)
- Cappuccino cup with a capacity of up to 200 ml
Besides, you should also have a certain willingness to learn, because the correct preparation of espresso and milk foam with the steam wand requires practice. If you deal more closely with the supreme discipline, Latte Art, you will not be able to avoid intensive training. So start with the basics first before you tackle latte art.
In the following we explain step by step how to proceed with the preparation:
Step 1: preheat cups
If the cappuccino cups are not on the cup shelf of your espresso machine, preheat them by running boiling water, which you can draw from the kettle or directly from the preheated espresso machine.
Step 2: “Draw” espresso
Now start preparing the espresso and let it run into the preheated cup. Depending on your taste, you can extract a single (7g ground coffee – approx. 25 ml espresso) or double espresso (14g ground coffee – approx. 50 ml espresso).
Tip: If you are unsure how to prepare it, we recommend our guide article on preparing espresso.
Step 3: create milk foam
The next step is to take care of frothing the milk. With dual-circuit machines and dual boilers, you can even carry out this process parallel to the espresso dispensing. With single-circuit machines, on the other hand, you can only start frothing milk after the espresso has been drawn off. In our opinion, the right choice of milk is extremely important for the taste of the cappuccino.
In principle, you can froth almost any type of milk – regardless of whether you prefer fresh or long-life milk, low-fat or skimmed milk, soy milk, lactose-free milk, or whole milk. The frothing of almond and coconut milk, however, does not work. When frothing milk, it is not the fat content that is decisive, but the protein content in the milk. So it’s worth taking a look at the nutritional information on the packaging.
Good to know: The higher the protein content in the milk, the firmer the milk foam will be after frothing. We have already tested various types of milk and can therefore give you a recommendation: We use fresh organic whole milk with a fat content of 3.5% for our cappuccino.
As you probably know, fat is generally a flavor carrier. Milk with a higher fat content ensures that the flavors are released better – the cappuccino will taste fuller compared to a cappuccino that was prepared with low-fat or skimmed milk.
When frothing milk with a portafilter machine, you have to pay attention to the following things: On the one hand, the air has to be whipped into the milk so that bubbles form and, on the other hand, the milk has to be heated. We recommend that you do both in separate passes: Start in the so-called infusion phase to draw air under the milk. During the brewing phase, the steam wand should be only a few millimeters below the surface of the milk. You should hear some sort of slurp. When the volume of the milk has doubled and the milk has reached a temperature of approx. 36 ° Celsius, you have to immerse the steam lance deeper into the milk jug.
Now the so-called rolling phase begins, in which you heat the milk to a temperature of 60-65 ° Celsius. We recommend that you tilt the steam wand slightly so that you can see the milk begin to swirl.
It is helpful to use a thermometer to check the temperature in the milk jug. Alternatively, you can heat the milk until the bottom of the jug becomes uncomfortably hot for your hand. After foaming, you have to wipe the steam wand with a clean, damp cloth and turn the steam valve briefly to remove milk residue from the inside.
Tip: You can find more information on this topic in our comprehensive guide article frothing milk.
Step 4: pour in the milk and milk foam
After frothing, you should pour milk as soon as possible, because the milk froth separates into hot milk and froth after about 30 seconds. When pouring the milk foam into the cappuccino cup, the foam must penetrate under the surface of the espresso first.
It is best to place the jug on the edge of the cup and tilt the jug so that a fine and constant stream of milk runs centrally into the cup. Be careful not to pour the milk too slowly – otherwise, the milk would run under the foam and the foam would stay in the jug.
When the cup is half full, you will need to increase the speed of the milk flowing. The milk now rises to the surface and with a little experience, you can conjure up artistic figures with the milk foam in the rising crema of the espresso. Welcome to “Latte Art” – the next barista level!
We recommend beginners to first concentrate on ensuring that a crema rim is visible in the cup after pouring and that the first sip tastes like coffee. You should also stir the cappuccino so that all the flavors in the cup combine.
What are the right cappuccino cups?
It should be clear to you that the quality of a cappuccino is not only reflected in its taste but is also influenced by how and in which it is served. Serving your guests a cappuccino in a paper cup at home is an absolute no-go for us! Cappuccino cups are available in a wide variety of variations in terms of color, material, and shape. The cup filling volume should be between 120 ml and 200 ml. The ideal material is thick-walled porcelain, which stores heat well and protects the cappuccino from temperature loss.
As described above, it is important to remember to preheat the cups well before preparation. The selection of cappuccino cups is enormous – in the online shop of D&S Espresso International GmbH alone there are over 75 different models to choose from, some with funny motifs and various colors.
Our favorite cappuccino cups are bright white, are heavy in the hand, have a smooth surface, clear lines, a capacity of 180 ml, and come from the northern Italian porcelain manufacturer Ancàp SpA
Cups from this manufacturer are very popular with baristas and are also used in the most important competition for coffee professionals, the “SCAE World Barista Championship”. We can unreservedly recommend these cappuccino cups. You can buy the cups at amazon.com
Which beans are suitable for a cappuccino?
To make a cappuccino, you should use high-quality espresso beans. Excellent espresso is the basis for an excellent cappuccino taste. Therefore, you should rely on quality goods. We recommend that you avoid the espresso beans from the discounter, even if they are of course unbeatable in terms of price.
Instead, buy beans directly from specialty roasters on the Internet or from a local roaster near you. Because here you can usually be sure that the beans have been freshly roasted and are of good quality. And another advantage: the local roaster you trust can tell you a lot about the origin, preparation, mixture, grind, and roasting method of its espresso beans in a personal conversation.
Which espresso beans you like best depends on your taste. We advise you to simply try different beans from specialty roasters. There are no limits to your willingness to experiment – from a very dark, mega-oily, southern Italian 50/50 Arabica-Robusta mixture to a light, fruity, single-origin Arabica, you can try everything.
For our perfect cappuccino, we like to use dark 80/20 Arabica-Robusta-Espresso roasts with a full-body, in which chocolate, nutty and sweet aromas such as caramel emerge. We find that a dark espresso with a strong, strong note and full-bodied aroma harmonizes very well with the sweetness of the milk in the cappuccino.
If you are looking for espresso beans with a higher acid content in terms of taste, then we can recommend the beans “Serra do Cigano” from the Berlin roasting company Five Elephant.
How many calories are there in a cappuccino?
A cappuccino that has been prepared in a mixing ratio of 1: 1: 1 with milk that has a fat content of 3.5% and a total filling quantity of 150 ml has 68.5 kcal. The 100 ml milk make up the largest share with 64 kcal. The 50 ml espresso, on the other hand, only contains 4.5 kcal.
The difference between cappuccino, latte macchiato, flat white, and caffè latte
Before we explain the differences between the drinks mentioned above, let’s first list what they have in common: The main ingredients in all four drinks are espresso and milk. There are differences in the preparation, the mixing ratio of the ingredients, the look, and the taste.
The latte macchiato is prepared a little differently compared to the other drinks. The milk foam should be firm and dense. You can produce this type of foam by making sure that when the milk is foamed with the steam wand of your espresso machine, more air is simply drawn into the milk. The drawing phase should therefore be a little longer.
If you leave the milk jug after foaming without swiveling the jug, the liquid milk will settle at the bottom, while the dry, solid foam stays at the top of the milk jug. Exactly this effect is desired when preparing a latte macchiato. The drink is served in a glass in which the layers of warm milk, espresso, and firm milk foam are visible. To achieve this layering, you first have to pour the contents of the milk jug into a glass and then carefully pour the finished espresso directly into the center of the glass.
Tip: You can find more information about this in our comprehensive guide article on the subject of latte macchiato
The preparation of the caffè latte is very similar to the cappuccino. Here, too, espresso is first extracted into a cup or glass and then infused with liquid, cream-like, and fine-pored milk foam. The Caffè Latte, however, has a milder taste and contains more liquid milk (approx. 210 ml) than in the cappuccino. Accordingly, the proportion of milk foam is also slightly lower. The top foam layer should ideally be only 5 mm. The filling volume is larger than with cappuccino and can be between 220 ml and 260 ml.
Tip: You can find more information about Caffè Latte in our article How to prepare a Caffè Latte.
Flat white, originally from Australia or New Zealand, also resembles a cappuccino, but has a stronger espresso taste, less foam, and is often served artfully decorated. To get a stronger espresso taste, we recommend preparing it with a double ristretto. The amount of milk foam is also significantly lower than with cappuccino. So you only have to add a little air to the milk when frothing, so that the consistency of the milk foam is almost liquid. This makes it easier to create sophisticated patterns – latte art – on the crema surface. The filling quantity is similar to that of cappuccino, but can sometimes also be adjusted upwards.
Cappuccino in Italy
Most Italians usually only drink cappuccino for breakfast. During the rest of the day, only espresso is consumed. Background: Like so many southern Europeans, the Italians are also lactose intolerant. You can consume a small amount of milk without any problems. However, larger amounts can cause digestive problems. Therefore, Italians prevent excessive consumption of milk and drink only one cappuccino a day.
Cappuccino Recipe (180 ml)
September 06, 2020 Recipe Category: specialty coffee
Tags: cappuccino preparation , cappuccino recipe , make Cappuccino , Prepare Cappuccino
Description: Cappuccino for us is the best of all espresso variations with milk content. Here you can find our cappuccino recipe for 1 cup (180 ml).
Nutritional Information (180 ml):
5.4 grams of fat
– 30 ml espresso
– 150 ml milk foam (with 3.5% fat content)
Instructions for preparing 180 ml cappuccino with the portafilter machine:
Step 1: Preheat the cappuccino cup with hot water.
Step 2: Let 30 ml espresso run into the preheated cup.
Step 3: Froth 150 ml milk (3.5% fat) (milk temperature up to max 65 ° C).
Step 4: Pour milk foam into the cup