What is a cappuccino?
A cappuccino is an espresso coffee drink that uses steamed milk, milk foam and espresso. If you think that sounds like a latte, you're not wrong. They are very similar to each other, but the proportion of steamed milk is different in a latte. A cappuccino is equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam. Whereas a latte is 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, but with a thin layer of foam at the top. With a latte, you're aiming for microform and a texture that's hard to get without an espresso machine. A cappuccino, on the other hand, is easily achieved with frothed milk. The differences may be subtle, but they are there.
First up, let's make that espresso
A good espresso coffee makes a huge difference. You need to find that right balance of flavor and bitterness. Koffee Kult has three great espresso coffees that are perfect for cappuccino's, or any coffee drink that needs espresso.
Our Eye Cracker espresso combines Colombia, Brazil and Kenya coffee beans to deliver a bright and fruity flavor. This is perfect for those who want bold taste, but with a kick of sweetness. Our 2 Alpha espresso combines Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil and Sumatra coffee beans, and it crackles with robust notes of cinnamon, nuts and chocolate. Talk about an espresso that's delicious and powerful. And finally, many people may not realize it, but our famous Dark Roast is also perfect for espresso.
Next up, let's add the milk
What's the best milk for a cappuccino? Well, it mostly comes down to your personal preference. However; whole milk does froth the best due to its high fat content (in the milk world, anyway). If you want to use 2% milk, it does work fairly well, but you will lose some richness. For those who only use non-dairy milk, oat milk will be your best option for cappuccino. It renders a good froth and it has great flavor. No matter which milk you use, just make sure it's as fresh as possible. Milk that's close to its expiration date will not foam as well.
Steaming milk with an espresso machine
The easiest way to steam milk is with an espresso machine, at least one that includes a steamer. Steaming milk adds a sweet creamy flavor, and this is the best foam for a cappuccino. Unlike micofoam for a latte, you don't have to perfect it either. Here at Koffee Kult, we use Synesso machines and they are incredible. They are perhaps a little pricey, but worth every penny if you can get your hands on one. Simply hold the steaming wand just below the surface of the milk until it doubles in size and becomes very foamy.
Frothing milk without an espresso machine
If you do not have an espresso machine, it's okay! You can simply heat and froth the milk, and still get that delicious cappuccino taste. There are a few different ways to froth milk at home. For example, you can use a handheld milk frother. These are common and affordable handheld devices that you can buy at most local or online retailers. They do a great job of getting the milk frothy for cappuccino's. Another way is by using a French press. Yes, these aren't just great for making coffee, but they make great foam too. Another way to froth your milk is by simply using a whisk. Yes, you can just whisk it up! It whip up the milk pretty well. It may have more bubbles and less foam than other methods, but it'll do the trick.
To recap: making a cappuccino
Once you have all of your tools and ingredients, it's very simple.
1) Make the espresso using an espresso machine, espresso maker or Aeropress.
2) Steam the milk using a steaming wand or froth the milk with one of the methods mentioned above.
3) Pour the frothed milk over the espresso and serve. Try topping your cappuccino with a little cinnamon for extra delicous flavor.
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