How to Make Cappuccino
So, you’re addicted to cappuccino :), and you don’t know how it happened. You’ve been stopping and grabbing one everyday, 5 days a week, at $4 a pop. You didn’t realize that in one year, you’d spent over $1000, and that’s not counting the ones you snuck in on the weekends. And you love cappuccinos so much you could drink TWO a day, but you’re not made of money.
Well, good news! With a little practice, you can learn how to make cappuccinos yourself for just pennies.
How to Make Cappuccino – Step 1 Understanding Cappuccino?
Before you can learn how to make cappuccino, you need to understand what a cappuccino is. Usually, a cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam. As an ex-barista, I can tell it’s all about the foam. I’ve never had a customer complain when I gave them a little extra foam. Once you’re making them yourself, you can play around with whatever ratio tastes best to you.
How to Make Cappuccino – Step 2 Choosing the Equipment.
But first you’ll need to get some equipment. There are some pretty good home espresso machines available for several hundred dollars, but there is still no guarantee that you would be able to produce the espresso crema. Crema is the light brown foam on top of the espresso. Think of it like the foam on a glass of Guiness.
When you make cappuccino, the crema takes a backseat to the frothed milk.
You can purchase a manual espresso pot that will provide the hot espresso for your drink. You can find them on the internet from $16.99 to $125. The concept of the manual pot is similar to the old peculators that our parents used to make coffee on a stove top burner or a campfire. You will also need a milk frother, which you can get for under $12 — and that is the key to your cappuccino.
Follow the instructions that come with your particular model of frother. Make your foam first because it will hold longer and can be reheated just a few seconds if needed. There are stainless frothers and glass frothers. The glass frothers are less expensive and more fragile, but you can put them in the microwave to heat and reheat your milk.
The trick to great froth is to use skim milk. A skilled barista can turn ? cup of skim milk into 4 inches of foam. There are practically zero milk solids in skim milk. It’s the fat (milk solids) that inhibit the frothing – which is almost all air. Once you’ve got your foam and hot milk, set it aside.
How to Make Cappuccino – Step 4 Making the Espresso
The instructions for your particular manual espresso machine will vary, but these are the basic steps:
A. Fill the lower chamber (to the line or the safety valve) with cold water. For the best taste, use distilled water, which is free from impurities.
B. Measure the espresso that you have finely ground into the “filter basket.” The “filter basket” doesn’t look like a coffee filter, or a basket. Tamp down the espresso. Sometimes the pots come with a tamper, but you can use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a small measuring cup. If there is not a measuring line, try to make the espresso grounds level with the top rim of the filter basket. Don’t pack it too hard or the water will never get through.
C. Place the filter basket into the lower water chamber, and screw them tightly together. Try to keep everything level. You don’t want the water sloshing up onto the espresso grounds.
D. Place over medium heat until the water boils. When the water boils, the steam will push the water up from the bottom and into the filter basket.
E. Once the boiling commences, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting.
F. Eventually you will learn to hear and smell when it’s done. When the water is pressed up into the coffee the bubbling sound will be erratic, much like when you’re popping popcorn and it’s almost done.
G. Remove the espresso pot from the burner. Wait until you can no longer hear any bubbling.
How to Make Cappuccino – Step 5 Assembling the Cappuccino
Traditionally, cappuccino is served in porcelain coffee cups. You can preheat the cups with hot water. Porcelain will help the cappuccino retain its heat.
Pour your espresso into the cup. Using an ice tea spoon or the flat back of a table knife, place the straight edge over the frother’s pouring spout. Pour the hot, steamed milk out from under the foam. Dip the spoon into the frother and pull out as much foam as your heart desires. Voila. You’re done.
A cappuccino made with ? cup of skim milk will only have 45 calories in it. Once you learn how to make cappuccino, you can indulge yourself two or three times a day for pennies instead of $4 each.
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