Ahh, the humble cappuccino. For many, it's a staple in their daily routines. In fact, cappuccinos are the UK’s second most popular coffee drink order, and are adored in every country in the world.
The Perfect Ratio
So, what exactly is a cappuccino? Traditionally, a cappuccino is equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and froth. Unlike a latte or flat white, which are both more milk-heavy drinks, the cappuccino is also meant to be 'layered'. The layering technique of a cappuccino results in a more distinct and rich coffee flavour.
Making a cappuccino at home? We love the coffees in our Strong Box for milky coffee drinks.
So, how did this beloved drink come to be?
Much like the history of coffee itself, the origins of the cappuccino are debated. One story suggests that the drink first got its name from a Catholic Franciscan Friar order known as the Capuchin Monks, sometime in the 17th century in Italy. These monks often covered their heads with the brown hoods of their cloaks, known as a cappuccio in Italian, which is similar to the colour of a coffee with milk. As the espresso in a cappuccino is ‘cloaked’ with milk, it is thought this group of monks inspired the name of the cappuccino.
Whether or not the monks actually influenced the name of this modern day milky creation, we do know that towards the latter end of the 1700’s, “kapuziners” were found in Viennese coffee houses. While not quite the drink we all know and love today (but similar!), kapuziners were short cups of coffee, mixed with cream, sugar and sometimes spices. This drink quickly became popular and spread across Europe.
The word and drink ‘cappuccino’ as we know it now did not first come to be until the early 1900’s, after the invention of the espresso machine in 1901 by an Italian man named Luigi Bezzera. “Cappucini” as they are known in Italy, became a staple of Italian culture by 1930. Traditionally they were served kapuziner style with whipped cream and topped with chocolate or cinnamon, they have now been adapted to the drink we’ve come to adore; simply espresso, steamed milk, and froth.
Nowadays, the 8th of November is celebrated as International Cappuccino Day. While the drink is slightly adapted wherever you are, one thing is for certain - the cappuccino is a staple on coffee menus across the world!