History of the Cappuccino and Recipes to Make at Home


The cappuccino did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s. The origin of the drink goes back hundreds of years throughout Europe and Italy. In Europe, coffee was prepared according to the Ottoman style. The coffee beans and water were boiled with sugar occasionally added. The French and British began filtering out the beans during the late 1700s. As time passed, the popularity of brewed and filtered coffee increased.

The first cappuccino originated during the 1700s in Viennese coffee houses. The drink was called the Kapuziner. Advertisements run during 1850’s described the drink as coffee with spices, sugar and cream. The color was very similar to the robes worn in Vienna by Capuchin friars. This was where the name originated. The Italian translation of Capuchin is hood or cowl. Despite the name originating in Vienna, the Italians invented the cappuccino.

The name Capuchin was changed to cappuccino by the Italians. The drink was first created during the early 1900s. In 1901, the espresso machine became popular. The Cappuccino started to become popular in restaurants and cafes all over Italy. Espresso machines were only used by specialized cafes because they were bulky and complicated. Italians spent hours in these cafes enjoying cafe lattes, cappuccinos and espressos while reading or engaging in conversation.

Photographs from this period in time showed the Viennese style was used for serving cappuccinos. The drink was topped with chocolate shavings or cinnamon and whipped cream.

The Modern-Day Cappuccino

Once World War II ended, there were simplifications and improvements made to the cappuccino in Italy. This was mainly because espresso machines were better and more easily available. This was the beginning of the Age of Crema. The affluence after World War II combined with the improvements in the espresso machines started the popularity of cappuccinos all over the world. This was when it started being made using espresso, frothed and steamed milk and crema. It was even served in a little porcelain cup.

The cappuccino became popular throughout England and continental Europe. The cappuccino was the first type of espresso to became popular in England. By this point in time, the Brits were used to drinking milk with their coffee. The difference was the cafe culture and distinctive texture of the cappuccino made it stand out. Eventually, cappuccino became popular in other parts of Europe, South America and Australia. It was not until the 1980s that cappuccino became popular in America.

This was due to the marketing of coffee shops. In the past, black coffee was served. By the 1990s, cappuccinos and lattes were popular in the United States. The price was much higher. Due to some of the larger coffee chains, cappuccinos has become available all over the world. The traditional cappuccino is made using espresso, foamed milk and steamed milk. There are some areas where cappuccinos still resemble the Viennese Kapuziners. This includes the whipped cream.

Kapuziners are popular in Vienna and most of Europe and Asia including Bratislava, Prague and Budapest. This also includes the city of Trieste, Italy. Since the 1950s, both Kapuziners and cappuccinos have been available in espresso bars. Some countries including America have been using automatic beverage machines for the last thirty years to make cappuccino. This is accomplished with instant coffee powder or brewed coffee and a milk substitute or powdered milk.

The machine whips the coffee to create bubbles as opposed to being frothed or foamed. This drink is nothing like a true cappuccino. The cappuccino customs in Europe have changed during the last few years. Europeans in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Germany and France have started drinking cappuccinos throughout the day as opposed to just in the morning. The cappuccino is now popular in the afternoon at cafes and at restaurants for dinner.

Cappuccino Recipes

If you are a coffee lover, you probably love light and foamy cappuccino. The only two skills you need to make this drink are foaming milk and pulling shots. For most recipes, you will need an espresso machine to make your cappuccino. You begin by pouring the double espresso into the bottom of your cup. You then add the same amount of hot milk. Use an espresso steam wand for heating and texturizing your milk. The top third of your drink consists of milk foam. You can use the same milk to decorate your foam with latte art.

To make a cappuccino, you will need:
• A double shot (or two shots) of espresso
• Four ounces of milk

Once you have your ingredients, take a cappuccino cup and pull two shots of espresso. Foam your milk until the original volume has doubled. Immediately after foaming, use foamed milk to top your espresso. When you first pour your cappuccino, it will just be foam and espresso. The liquid milk will settle quickly from the foam. This is what creates the equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and foam for a classic cappuccino. Serve your cappuccino immediately.

If you do not have an espresso machine, you can make an easy cappuccino in your microwave. You will need:

• One-third cup of hot brewed easy espresso
• One-half cup of milk

Once you have your ingredients, put your milk in a microwave-safe, one cup measuring cup. Microwave uncovered for one minute on high or until there are small bubbles surrounding the edge of your cup and the milk is hot. Using a metal whisk, whisk your mixture vigorously in the cup. Hold the handle of your whisk loosely between your palms. Quickly rub your hands in a forward and backward motion.

As the foam forms, place it into a small measuring cup. Keep whisking until you have one-third of a cup of foam. Set your foam aside. Pour your easy espresso into a coffee mug, then add the hot milk you have left. Spoon your foam all over the top and serve your cappuccino immediately.


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