Variations on this drink include using cream instead of milk, using non-dairy milk alternatives, and flavoring with cinnamon or chocolate powder. It is generally smaller in volume than a latte and has a thicker layer of microfoam.

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The name comes from the Capuchin monks and refers to the color they are accustomed to, in this case, the color of the drink when a small amount of milk is added to dark brewed coffee (mostly espresso today). The appearance of the modern cappuccino with espresso cream and steamed milk is the result of the long evolution of the drink.

Probably in the 18th century, the Viennese gave the name “Kapuziner”, which included whipped cream and spices of unknown origin. Italian cappuccino wasn’t known outside of Italy until the 1930s, and it appears to have been a Viennese-style café born in Trieste and other Italian regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through Kapuziner coffee in the early 20th century. The drink spread from Trieste, the main coffee port in Central Europe, throughout Italy, especially after the First World War and later around the world, and can be found in many establishments.

Outside Italy, a cappuccino is a coffee drink that today usually consists of a single shot of espresso and hot milk, topped with frothed milk. Cappuccinos are usually made with an espresso machine. Pour espresso into the bottom of the cup, then pour in an equal amount of hot milk, prepared by heating and deforming the milk using an espresso machine steam wand. The first third of the drink consists of milk foam; this foam can be decorated with artistic drawings made of the same milk, called latte art.

The total amount of espresso and milk/foam in a traditional cappuccino served in artisanal cafes in Europe and the United States is approximately 150 to 180 ml (5 to 6 imperial fl oz; 5 to 6 US fl oz). Commercial coffee chains in the United States more often serve cappuccinos as beverages of 360ml (13 imperial fl oz; 12 US fl oz) or larger. In Italy, a cappuccino consists of 25 ml (1 imperial fl oz; 1 US fl oz) of espresso; the rest of the cup is filled with equal amounts of milk and foam. Outside Italy, the ratio of espresso, milk, and foam is usually equal to 1/3 each.

Cappuccinos are traditionally smaller (up to 180ml) with a thicker foam layer, while “lattes” are traditionally larger (200-300ml). Lattes are usually served in large glasses. Cappuccinos are mostly served in 150–180 ml cups with handles. Traditionally, cappuccinos have a textured layer of milk microfoam that is more than 1 cm thick; microfoam is frothed/steamed milk in which the bubbles are so small and so numerous that they cannot be seen, but it makes the milk more Lighter and denser. So when the espresso is poured correctly, the microfoam will partially remain on top of the cup and mix well with the rest of the cappuccino.

Cappuccino Ingredients

As a cappuccino is defined today, aside from a single-serve espresso, the most important factor in making a cappuccino is the texture and temperature of the milk. When a barista steams milk into a cappuccino, it creates microfoam by introducing very tiny air bubbles into the milk, giving the milk its velvety texture. A traditional cappuccino consists of a single espresso shot over which the barista pours hot frothy milk to form a 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) thick milk froth on top. Variations can be made by adding another shot of espresso to make a double cappuccino. Paying close attention to getting the right froth ratio when steaming milk makes cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso drinks to make correctly. Skilled baristas can acquire artistic shapes (latte art) when pouring milk over an espresso.

Cappuccino Popularity

Cappuccino is traditionally a popular flavor in parts of Europe, Australia, South America, and North America. By the mid-1990s, cappuccinos were increasingly being served to North Americans with the rise of upscale cafes.

In Italy and across the continent, cappuccinos are traditionally drunk in the morning, usually as part of breakfast, usually with some kind of pastry. Italians don’t usually drink cappuccino with meals other than breakfast, although they sometimes drink espresso after lunch or dinner. In Italy, cappuccinos are only drunk before 11:00 am, as cappuccinos are milk-based and considered too heavy to drink later in the day. Conversely, espresso is usually ordered after a meal, due to the belief that the lack of milk aids digestion. In North America, cappuccino became popular at the same time as the U.S. coffee industry boomed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially in Pacific Northwest cities.

Cappuccinos are traditionally served in 150–180 ml (5–6 imp fl oz; 5–6 US fl oz) cups. By the early 2000s, fast-food chains began offering improved “quick” versions, serving up to 600ml (21 imperial fl oz; 20 US fl oz).

Cappuccino Preparation

Traditional and Latte art

While the size of different cappuccinos varies the most, there are two main ways to make cappuccinos: the traditional or classic method with a milk froth lid; and the “latte art” method. The former follows the traditional idea that a cappuccino is made with 1⁄3 espresso, 1⁄3 steamed milk, and 1⁄3 milk froth. The latter follows the same recipe but is more often served in a smaller cup, with textured milk being gently poured and finished with a pattern on the surface crèma. The inset in this article shows the preparation method.

Cappuccino Freddo

Cappuccino Freddo is the cold version of cappuccino, a drink usually topped with a small amount of cold frothy milk. The drink is available in Greece, Cyprus, and parts of Italy.

In Rome, coffee bars have prepared and refrigerated drinks. Cappuccino Freddo is less common in northern Italian cities like Milan. Instead, gelato da bere (a thick mixture of ice cream and espresso) or shakerato (espresso and ice shaken together) are more popular. The term has also spread throughout the Mediterranean, where foam is added to drinks before drinking, often unlike the Italian originals. caffè freddo or freddo espresso is a cold version of espresso (without milk).

In North America, terms such as “Cappuccino Freddo” or “Iced Cappuccino” may be a bit of a misnomer if the characteristic frothed milk is omitted from the iced variant. For example, at Starbucks, drinks without frothed milk are called “Iced Lattes.”

Freddo Cappuccino

In Greece and Cyprus, a cold cappuccino is widely known as a Freddo Cappuccino, not a Cappuccino Freddo. Despite its Italian name, the drink tastes and is prepared differently than it is in Italy and is not commonly found outside of Italy and Greece. Freddo’s cappuccino is topped with a cold milk foam called aphrogala, which is made using cold milk and an electric frother. These bubblers are common in Greek coffee shops as they are used when preparing smoothie coffee. The foam is then added to the espresso poured over ice.

Together with Freddo Espresso, they were conceived in Greece in 1991 and are in greater demand in summer. Outside of Greece and Cyprus, Freddo Cappucino or Cappuccino Freddo is mainly found in coffee shops and delis serving the Greek diaspora community. In 2017, Starbucks added Cappuccino Freddo to its store menus in Europe.

Iced Cappuccino

In Canada, the Tim Hortons coffee chain sells iced coffee cappuccinos under the Iced Capps brand. The coffee drink mix comes into stores as a thick, black syrup that is mixed in a Slurpee machine as three parts water and one part syrup. The frozen coffee drink is then mixed with cream (or milk or chocolate milk upon customer request) when serving. Ice Capp can also be made into Supreme, which includes seasonings, whipped toppings, and caramel or chocolate syrup. The chain also offers iced coffee on menus in Canada and the United States.