A Homemade Cup of Heaven
Think of gourmet coffee and many think of the beautifully decorated cups of frothy coffee presented by baristas decorated with delicate illustrations. What they are thinking of is of course, cappuccino, so called because the color of creamy coffee recipe resembles that of the robes of the Capuchin monks.
The difference between a cup of cappuccino and regular coffee is the large volume of foam which makes it so light and fluffy and therefore less filling than other coffees. Making cappuccino at home is not difficult. It basically requires equal parts of steamed and frothed milk and espresso, with the milk on top of the espresso. Then you are free to sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder on top.
How to Make Cappuccino
To make a good cappuccino you have to start with good espresso. Buying gourmet coffee beans to grind at home is the key to that rich and delicious fresh coffee flavor. When ready to use grind the beans fine and press the espresso down firmly, use a high pressure machine or stove top model, don’t make too much at once, the crema must be visible on top as a golden-brown foam, and use an espresso cup to keep the temperature from cooling down too quickly.
The Difference between a Cappuccino and a Latte
Lattes are also half espresso and half milk. If you are wondering what the difference is between a latte and a cappuccino, with a latte you take the milk and espresso and pour the milk down the side of the cup so it mixes with the espresso.
Making the Froth
Where does the frothed milk come from for cappuccinos and for lattes? If you are using the French press as a foamer, you heat a cup of milk (non-fat is best) on the stove or microwave, to a temperature that you can stand to put your finger into it, then pour the milk into a rinsed plunger pot. Pump the plunger in the pot for a few minutes and the milk will expand to three to four times its volume, creating the froth for your cappuccino (or latte).
Coffee Making Equipment
Not so long ago, coffee making equipment of any kind was a relatively luxury to have in the home. Nowadays though there has been an explosion of coffee making equipment available to home buyers including coffee grinders, espresso makers, cappuccino makers, French Presses and even coffee roasters machines if you would like to try your hand at roasting your own coffee beans. Of course, if you are in the market to buy a cappuccino machine make sure you buy a model big enough for a second round becasue one cup is never enough. 😉