A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that is prepared with espresso, hot milk and steamed milk foam. Cream may be used instead of milk and is often topped with cinnamon. It is typically smaller in volume than a caffè latte, with a thicker layer of micro foam.
The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habits, and in this context referring to the colour of the beverage when milk is added in small portion to dark, brewed coffee.
The word ‘Cappuccino’ in its Italian form is not known in Italian writings until the 20th centuryWikipedia
Cappuccino is a coffee drink that today is composed of espresso and hot milk, with the surface topped with foamed milk. Cappuccinos are most often prepared with an espresso machine. The espresso is poured into the bottom of the cup, followed by a similar amount of hot milk, which is prepared by heating the milk using the espresso machine steam wand. The top third of the drink consists of milk foam.
The Viennese bestowed the name “Kapuziner” possibly in the 18th century on a version that included whipped cream and spices of unknown origin. The Italian cappuccino was unknown until the 1930s, and seems to be born out of Viennese-style cafés in Trieste and other cities in the former Austria in the first decades of the 20th century.
Cappuccino comes from Latin Caputium, later borrowed from German/Austrian and modified into ‘kapuziner’. It is the diminutive form of cappuccio in Italian, meaning ‘hood’ or something that covers the head, thus ‘cappuccino’ reads ‘small capuchin’.
History and evolution
The consumption of coffee in Europe was initially based on the traditional Ottoman preparation of the drink, by bringing to boil the mixture of coffee and water together, sometimes adding sugar. The British seem to have started filtering and steeping coffee already in the second part of the 18th century and France and continental Europe followed suit. By the 19th century, coffee was brewed in different devices designed for both home and public cafés.
In the United Kingdom, espresso coffee initially gained popularity in the form of the cappuccino, influenced by the British custom of drinking coffee with milk, the desire for a longer drink to preserve the café as a destination, and the exotic texture of the beverage.
The way the cappuccino is defined today, in addition to a shot of espresso a most important factor in preparing a cappuccino is the texture and temperature of the milk.
When a barista steams the milk for a cappuccino, microfoam is created by introducing very tiny bubbles of air into the milk, giving the milk a velvety texture.