A foaming blend of steamed milk and espresso, with a dash of cinnamon or chocolate powder on the top, cappuccino has become famous among coffee lovers who like their coffee with a little bit of milk. Cappuccino doesn’t taste the same everywhere; it requires a skilled barista to make the perfect light and airy cappuccino. Cappuccinos served in a cafe or restaurant are usually made with the help of a steam producing device.
History of Cappuccinos and Frothed Milk
The origin of most coffee recipes came to us from Italy. There are different stories about how the name of the famous coffee became cappuccino. The Italian meaning of the word cappuccino means “little cap.” In the coffee world, the term cappuccino denotes how the frothy milk floats on the upper surface of the espresso.
The traditional ottoman preparation of the coffee was made just by boiling the mixture of coffee and water, sometimes based on the preference, sugar was even added to the mix. This type of coffee has similarities with modern Turkish coffee. During the 2nd half of the 17th century, British people started to follow a different way; they began to strain their coffee.
The trend of filtering the coffee passed on to France and other parts of Europe. The concept of mixing the milk into the coffee was also introduced in the 17th century in Europe. In the early 1700s, there was mention about the type of drink in Vienna named “ kapuziner,” which appeared for the very first time in the Viennese coffee house.
It follows the concept of making coffee with cream and sugar or coffee with spices, cream, and sugar. When this type of coffees moved to other places, outside of Vienna, it was named after Vienna as the “Viennese coffee” or “Café Viennois” to make people aware of its origin. It is then called cappuccino concerning the Capuchin friars, which referred to the color of their appearance.
In Vienna, the capuchin or the kapuzin friars were famous for the type of dress they used to wear. The capuchins used to wear brown robes that had hoods and were usually shaved heads. The extended hoods used to hang at their back. The typical hood had an Italian name, cappucio. When one catches a glimpse at the cappuccino, it might show some resemblance to their appearance.
While cappuccinos are made with a white froth of milk, another drink named “Fraziskaner” came into existence. The amount of milk froth was more in that coffee and was named after the Franciscan monks faded toned brown robes.
After the invention of the espresso machine, the popularity of the cappuccino drink was enhanced in the 20th century. The first production of the espresso machine turned out to be a huge, bulky, and complicated machine. It was limited to specific cafes and was only used by the baristas across Italy.
The café culture in Italy includes the hours of conversation over the coffee in these specific cafes, reading while enjoying the coffee was also a part of this culture. Images of that generation show that the coffees used to be served in the Viennese style. In the early 19th century, cappuccinos were made using espresso, milk, whipped cream, and a dash of cinnamon and chocolate.
This was regarded as the Viennese style drink. In the 1920s, a new instrument called the steam wand was included with an espresso machine. It makes the life of baristas easy as it consists of the mechanism of heating and frothing the milk.
After World War II, the modern, less bulky espresso machines were manufactured, which added to the step by step popularity of cappuccino. The contemporary espresso machines took the cappuccinos into the, “age of crema.” By the time the cappuccino became famous and was consumed by the majority as it is now. The drink contains espresso and milk froth with the preferable toppings.
The first-ever creation of this coffee was in Italy, after which many other countries embrace the cappuccino. Nearby European countries and England were the second countries to adopt cappuccino. By then, British people already adapted coffee with milk.
Americans started to embrace cappuccinos after the introduction of café culture in the 1990s. Even before the café culture invention, American people liked coffee, which was the black coffee that they used to get on the nearby diner. The game-changer was the chain like Starbucks; when Starbucks came into being in the 90s, the popularity of the cappuccinos, lattes, macchiato, flat whites blew up.
When the menu of these coffee drinks flourished as an overwhelming range of options, chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, pumpkin spice, whipped cream, and many other coffee drinks were served mostly as dessert more than they were served a drink.
The emergence of powered cappuccinos and less bulky automatic coffee machines became readily available in places like gas stations and superstores, though the quality was far different from the traditional cappuccinos; instead, it acts as a sugary alternative to the consumers.
Sometimes milk powders are used. The milk is not foamed or frothed like the original cappuccino; instead, it is whipped inside the machine to create bubbles. When a cup of traditional espresso is made beside the espresso, shot the amount, texture, and the temperature of the milk added to it is essential. Microfoam is usually created using the steam wand of the espresso machine.
Air is introduced from the steam wand by submerging only the tip of the wand in the milk. A traditional cappuccino consists of three layers; the first layer is the espresso, the second layer is the steamed milk whose temperature is comparatively high, and on top of it is the frothed milk. The amount of milk poured in the cappuccino will vary its taste; more, the milk lighter will be the cappuccino, also known as wet cappuccino. On the other hand, if less milk is added to the espresso, the cappuccino will be dry cappuccino or dark cappuccino.
Even in the 20th century, popularity remained constant. The cappuccinos were found across the globe from Australia to America. A lot of new variation was introduced based on consumer preference, Freddo cappuccino became famous, which was the cost version of the traditional cappuccino.
To make the cold version, the baristas used cold froth milk on the top. This version gained popularity in Greece and the other region of Italy. Gelato da bere, Shakerato, also made their place in some parts of Italy. Gelato da bere was a thick blend of gelato with ice cream and espresso, whereas the Shakerato was an espresso and ice shaken together.
If you are a coffee lover and have enjoyed cappuccinos in different café shops, you will be able to differentiate between the quality of the cappuccino. Not every cappuccino tastes good. Only a skilled barista will always be able to make the cappuccino different from the latte … so you would think but espresso machines with frother wands are changing that.
Italy, the origin of the cappuccino, is still taking the lead in the design of espresso machines and in the making of the artisanal quality espresso shot with a delicious crema that is perfect for the taste buds. The cappuccino not just made itself a popular drink but has also evolved and improved over the years.