The Perfect Cappuccino: A Quick Guide

Imagine yourself stuck at home with snow piling up the lawn. You feel like going for a cup of coffee but couldn’t in a dreary weather such as this one. What to do? Make your own! There is just nothing more exhilarating than being able to make your own brand of cappuccino. Play dress up to the nines or simply wear whatever ragamuffin clothing you have in your closet, plop in a divan, and ingest the hot liquid sensation into your throat. Making a perfect cup of cappuccino doesn’t need a barista. This frothy treat is so easy to make and does not need an expensive apparatus whatsoever. So, here’s a sweet treat just for you—a guide to the perfect cappuccino right at the heart of your kitchen.

What’s a Cappuccino?

Before we move to the next phase of making a perfect cappuccino, it is important to understand the anatomy of one. Like the latte and the macchiato, this coffee-based drink is made primarily from espresso and milk. It’s distinction from other coffee specialty mixes, however, is in the portioning. A cup of cappuccino consists of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 heated milk, and 1/3 milk foam—and is generally served in a 6-8 ounce cup.

Cappuccino literally means “little cappuccino” in Italian or little cap. This milk and coffee sensational drink always comes with a foamy milk concoction sprinkled with cocoa powder or cinnamon. It is important to note that temperature is a crucial part of making a cappuccino. So, sit back, read up, and relax, a perfect cup is coming in a jiffy.

3 Ways to a Perfect Cappuccino

Concocting a perfect cup is usually based on the 1/3 principle, that is, of equal third amount of espresso, hot milk and milk froth. But in some cases, others may also ask for a dry cappuccino (or one with more froth) or wet cappuccino (less froth). As cups get bigger the amount of espresso also changes, for instance a 12-ounce cup needs a double espresso while an 18-ounce cup needs a triple shot.

Now, on to the most important stuff.

1. Preparing the Espresso

If you have no espresso coffee ground handy, consider grinding your own. Simply grind enough espresso beans according to single, double or triple espresso shots you need depending on your bitterness preference. When grinding, simply pinch the powder between the index finger and the thumb. It must clump together without showing your thumbprint.  As soon as the perfect texture is achieved, empty and evenly distribute it into the machine’s portafilter by using your pinky. Press it down gently then, let loose of the espresso ground inside by slightly tapping the exterior area of the portafilter. Firmly push the pellet to pack the espresso in. Don’t pull just yet until the foamed milk is ready.

2. Foam the Milk

Start by pressing the “steam” button on an espresso maker. Follow the indicator light of your machine when releasing the steam wand to release residual moisture. Once released, pour in 120mL milk into a metal pitcher. Do take note that nonfat milk releases a more foamy result while whole milk is creamier than the rest.

Lower the wand into the pitcher until it rests just below the milk’s surface. A hissing sound should be evident when milk foams. Send the wand lower into the milk portion as the temperature becomes 100-deg F (or 38-deg C). To create a whirlpool, slowly swirl the pitcher. When the temperature reaches at least 150deg F (or 65.5deg C) the steaming process should be complete by then and the milk will be set aside.

3. Pour and Garnish

Now, it is high time to pour in everything into your cup. Take out the espresso and pour it into the bottom of the cup. Pour the milk steadily without plopping it into the espresso shot. Do this by angling the cup at a 50-deg angle and slowly but steadily shaking the pitcher in a smooth horizontal movement.

The trick in creating the perfect foam for your cappuccino is in the pouring of the milk—slowly but steady. To save most of the foam, use a spoon to trap it on top of the pitcher. Pour out the foam afterwards using a spoon. Add a little zing to your cup with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, nutmeg or cinnamon on top of the foam.

In a nutshell, making a perfect cappuccino is a lot easier than you think it should be. It can actually be done at home. When the weather is freezing, go for a hot cup. But during the dog days of summer, you may want to convert into an iced one to make the whole drink perfectly refreshing. Now, you can say godetevi il vostro cappuccino!

The Perfect Cappuccino: A Quick Guide
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The Perfect Cappuccino: A Quick Guide
Do you know that making a cup of perfect cappuccino can be done at home? Here’s how.

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