If you don’t want to give up on that strong aromatic taste of espresso coffee but you want something little softer and sweeter, I suggest going for cappuccino. It is a simple way to get the perfect cup of coffee with little luxury inside.
Cappuccino is a coffee drink prepared from espresso coffee and milk.
People still confuse cappuccino with latte coffee. This is because espresso and steamed milk are basic ingredients for both cappuccino and latte.
The difference between cappuccino and latte is the lovely foam on top of it. While latte is prepared from espresso and steamed milk only, cappuccino has one additional ingredient – foam.
Cappuccino foam is in fact milk which has been foamed with the help of steam wand, the small hanging stick we can see on espresso machines.
Although people believe that foam has just one purpose – to improve cappuccino’s look, there is a lot more. Frothed milk also changes coffee taste and structure. This is why cappuccino and latte will give different sensory experience when you drink them.
The Perfect Cappuccino
I strongly believe that a true coffee lover should be able to tell the difference between a good and bad cup of coffee.
Often, your cappuccino will be served with too much milk or with badly formed milk. In one word, you will get a poorly brewed cappuccino.
This is why I want to point out a few things which may help you determine how good your cappuccino truly is. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should send it back or torture your waiter if they don’t serve a perfect one ;) It only means you will be able to enjoy every moment of a cappuccino that was done properly.
As I have already mentioned, cappuccino coffee drink is prepared from espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. What I haven’t mentioned is that it is prepared from equal parts of these three. This is the main criteria every good cappuccino drink needs to fulfill.
Properly brewed cappuccino has nice, soft, creamy taste. Because of milk, acidic taste of standard espresso is avoided, but it still keeps characteristic espresso strength and aroma. If you can’t find espresso taste in your cappuccino it has too much milk.
Nicely steamed milk will result in full, rich structure of this coffee drink. It also gives sweetness instead of simple, flat taste as regular milk would.
And what about frothed milk (milk foam)?!
Although it is “just a foam”, it has an important role in overall cappuccino’s taste. Too tick foam with visible large bubbles will most probably ruin the taste and texture of this coffee. The proper foam used for cappuccino drink is called microfoam. This is because it has miniature, hardly visible bubbles. In fact, this foam really looks a lot more like a liquid than like foam.
It is sweet, rich and has subtle structure. Microfoam should be one third of the cappuccino.
Vanilla, chocolate, etc…
Besides the original cappuccino you can also order flavored cappuccino when you go out. Most coffee shops have vanilla, mocha, chocolate etc. cappuccino’s in their menu. Although they are tasty, they are not real cappuccino recipes.
If you don’t have an espresso machine at home, I recommend ordering a real classic cappuccino when you go to a coffee shop. Without an espresso machine it is pretty much impossible to make a good cappuccino.
On the other hand, you can find all sorts of flavored cappuccinos in the form of instant coffee in a little bag so you can always mix it with some hot water.
So use the opportunity to drink a good cappuccino when you go out, your bartender may be making the best cappuccino in the world, without even realizing it.