Coffee turbo cappuccino composition

Traditional cappuccino with foam.

Approx. 17th century (beverage)
Black, dark brown, beige, light brown, white

A cappuccino ( ( listen); Italian pronunciation: ) is an Italian coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double espresso, and steamed milk foam.

Variations of the drink involve the use of cream instead of milk, and flavoring with cinnamon or chocolate powder. 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 (today mostly espresso). The physical appearance of a modern cappuccino with espresso créma and steamed milk is a result of a long evolution of the drink.

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 outside Italy 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. The drink has since spread worldwide and can be found at a number of establishments.


Cappuccino is a coffee drink that today is composed of double espresso and hot milk, with the surface topped with foamed milk. Cappuccinos are most often prepared with an espresso machine. The double espresso is poured into the bottom of the cup, followed by a similar amount of hot milk, which is prepared by heating and texturing the milk using the espresso machine steam wand. The top third of the drink consists of milk foam; this foam can be decorated with artistic drawings made with the same milk, called latte art.

In a traditional cappuccino, as served in Europe and artisan coffee houses in the United States, the total of espresso and milk/foam make up between approximately 150–180 ml (5–6 imp fl oz; 5–6 US fl oz). Commercial coffee restaurant chains in the US more often serve the cappuccino as a 360 ml (13 imp fl oz; 12 US fl oz) drink or larger.

Cappuccino is traditionally small (max 180 ml) with a thick layer of foam, while ‘latte’ traditionally is larger (200 ml-300 ml). Caffè latte is often served in a large glass; cappuccino mostly in a 150 – 180 ml cup with a handle. Cappuccino traditionally has a layer of textured milk micro foam exceeding 1 cm in thickness; micro foam is frothed/steamed milk in which the bubbles are so small and so numerous that they are not seen, but it makes the milk lighter and thicker. As a result, the micro foam will remain partly on top of the mug when the espresso is poured in correctly as well as mix well with the rest of the cappuccino.

The World Barista Championships have been arranged annually since 2000, and during the course of the competition, the competing barista must produce—for four sensory judges—among other drinks four cappuccinos, defined in WBC Rules and Regulations as a coffee and milk beverage that should produce a harmonious balance of rich, sweet milk and espresso The cappuccino is prepared with one (1) single shot of espresso, textured milk and foam. A minimum of 1 centimeter of foam depth A cappuccino is a beverage between 150 ml and 180 ml in total volume


‘Cappuccino’ comes from Latin Caputium, later borrowed in 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’. It is believed the capuchin friar, Marco d’Aviano, was the inspiration for this beverage.

The coffee beverage has its name not from the hood but from the colour of the hooded robes worn by monks and nuns of the Capuchin order. This colour is quite distinctive and ‘capuchin’ was a common description of the colour of red-brown in 17th century Europe. The Capuchin monks chose the particular design of their orders’ robes both in colour and shape of the hood back in the 16th century, inspired by Francis of Assisi’s preserved 13th century vestments. The long and pointed hood was characteristic and soon gave the brothers the nickname ‘capuchins’ (hood-wearing). It was, however the choice of red-brown as the order’s vestment colour that, as early as the 17th century, saw ‘capuchin’ used also as a term for a specific colour. While Francis of Assisi humbly used uncoloured and un-bleached wool for his robes, the capuchins coloured their vestments to differ from Franciscans, Benedictines, Augustinians and other orders.

The word ‘Cappuccino’ in its Italian form is not known in Italian writings until the 20th century, but the German language ‘Kapuziner’ is mentioned as a coffee beverage in the 18th century in Austria, and is described as ‘coffee with sugar, egg yolks and cream’ in dictionary entries from 1800 onwards. “Kapuziner” was by the First World War a common coffee drink in cafés in the parts of northern Italy which at that time still belonged to Austria.

The use of fresh milk in coffee in cafés and restaurants is a newer phenomenon (from the 20th century) when refrigeration became common. The use of full cream is known much further back in time (but not in the use as whipped cream ), as this was a product more easily stored and frequently used also in cooking and baking. Thus, a ‘Kapuziner’ was prepared with a very small amount of cream to get the ‘capuchin’ colour. Today, ‘Kapuziner’ is still served in viennese traditional cafés: still black coffee with only a few drops of cream (in some establishments developed into a capå of whipped cream).

History and evolution

Cappuccino with heart decoration

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.

Adding milk to coffee is mentioned by Europeans already in the 1700s, and sometimes advised.

‘Cappuccino’ originated as the coffee beverage “Kapuziner” in the Viennese coffee houses in the 1700s at the same time as the counterpart coffee beverage named “Franziskaner”: ‘Kapuziner’ shows up on coffee house menus all over the Habsburg Monarchy around this time, and is in 1805 described in a Wörterbuch (dictionary) as ‘coffee with cream and sugar’ (although it does not say how it is composed). ‘Kapuziner’ is mentioned again in writings in the 1850s, described as ‘coffee with cream, spices and sugar’. Around the same time, the coffee beverage ‘Melange’ is mentioned in writings, explained as a blend of coffee and milk, presumably similar to the modern day ‘Caffè Latte’. Other coffees containing cream surfaced in Vienna, and outside Austria these are referred to as ‘Viennese Coffee’ or ‘Café Viennois’, coffee with whipped cream. Predecessors of Irish Coffee, sweetened coffee with different alcohols, topped with whipped cream also spread out from Vienna.

The ‘Kapuziner’ took its name from the colour of coffee with a few drops of cream, nicknamed so because the capuchin monks in Vienna and elsewhere wore vestments with this colour. Another popular coffee was Franziskaner, with more cream, referring to the somewhat ‘lighter’ brown colour of the robes of monks of the Franciscan order.

Cappuccino as we write it today (in Italian) is first mentioned in northern Italy in the 1930s, and photographs from that time shows the drink to resemble a ‘viennese’ —a coffee topped with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon or chocolate. The Italian cappuccino evolved and developed in the following decades: The steamed milk atop is a later addition, and in the US a slight misunderstanding has led to this ‘cap’ of milk foam being named ‘monk’s head’ -although it originally had nothing to do with the name of the beverage.

Though coffee was brewed differently all over Europe after the Second World War, in Italy, the real espresso machines became widespread only during the 1950s, and ‘cappuccino’ was redefined, now made from espresso and frothed milk (though far from the quality of micro foam steamed milk today). As the espresso machines improved, so did the dosing of coffee and the heating of the milk. Outside Italy, ‘cappuccino’ spread, but was generally made from dark coffee with whipped cream, as it still is in large parts of Europe even in 2014.

The ‘Kapuziner’ remained unchanged on the Austrian coffee menu, even in Trieste, which by 1920 belonged to Italy and in Budapest, Prague, Bratislava and other cities of the former empire.

Espresso machines were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, after Luigi Bezzera of Milan filed the first patent in 1901, and although the first generations of machines certainly did not make espresso the way we define it today.

Coffee making in cafés changed in the first decades of the 20th century. These first machines made it possible to serve coffee ‘espresso’ -specifically to each customer. The cups were still the same size, and the dose of beans were ground coarse as before. The too high temperature of the boilers scalded the coffee and several attempts at improving this came in the years after the First World War.

By the end of the Second World War, the Italians launched the ‘age of crema’ as the new coffee machines could create a higher pressure, leading to a finer grind and the now classic ‘crema’.

The first small cups appear in the 1950s, and the machines could by now also heat milk. The modern ‘cappuccino’ was born. In Vienna, the espresso bars were introduced in the 1950s, leading to both the ‘kapuziner’ and the by now new-born Italian ‘cappuccino’ being served as two different beverages alongside each other.

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.


As cappuccino is defined today, in addition to a double 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. The traditional cappuccino consists of a single espresso, on which the barista pours the hot foamed milk, resulting in a 2 cm (3⁄4 in) thick milk foam on top. Variations could be made adding another shot of espresso resulting in a double cappuccino.

Attaining the correct ratio of foam requires close attention while steaming the milk, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly. A skilled barista may obtain artistic shapes while pouring the milk on the top of the espresso coffee.


Cappuccino was traditionally a taste largely appreciated in Europe, Australia, South America and some of North America. By the mid-1990s cappuccino was made much more widely available to North Americans, as upscale coffee houses sprang up.

In Italy, and throughout continental Europe, cappuccino was traditionally consumed early in the day as part of the breakfast, with some kind of sweet pastry. Generally, Europeans did not drink cappuccino with meals other than breakfast. Though they did prefer to drink Espresso after dinner. However, in recent years Europeans have started to drink cappuccino throughout the entire day. Especially in Australia and Western Europe (The UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain) cappuccino is popular at cafés and terraces during the afternoon and in restaurants after dinner. In modern-day Italy, cappuccino is consumed only up to 11 a.m., and Italians consider it very strange to ask for a cappuccino after that hour. If the beverage is requested in the evening, although not common, it should only be consumed after dessert, as the final part of the meal. Espresso is usually ordered after a meal due to the belief that the lack of milk aids in digestion. In the United States, cappuccinos have become popular concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry through the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially in the urban Pacific Northwest.

Cappuccino is traditionally served in 150–180 ml (5–6 imp fl oz; 5–6 US fl oz) cups. By the start of the 21st century, a modified “short-cut” version was being served by fast-food chains in servings up to 600 ml (21 imp fl oz; 20 US fl oz).


Traditional and latte art

Although size is what varies most among different cappuccinos, there are two main ways of preparing cappuccino: one is the traditional or classical way with a cap of milk foam; the other is the “Latte Art” way. The former follows the traditional idea of the cappuccino being prepared by ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk and ⅓ milk foam. The latter follows the same recipe, but is served more often in smaller cups, and the textured milk is gently poured in and finished with a pattern in the surface crèma. The illustrations in this article show the preparation methods.

Iced cappuccino

In Canada, Tim Hortons’s coffee chain sells iced coffee cappuccino under the brand name Iced Capps. The coffee drink mix comes to the Tim Hortons stores as a thick black syrup which is mixed at three parts water to one part syrup in a slurpee machine. The frozen coffee drink is then blended with cream at the time of service (or blended with milk, or chocolate milk upon customer request). The Ice Capp can also be prepared as a Supreme, which includes a flavour shot, whipped topping, and either caramel or chocolate syrup. There is also a Brownie Supreme, which is made with chocolate milk, and mixed with bits of brownie. This is then topped with whipped topping, and finished off with more bits of brownie scattered on top. The chain has also recently introduced traditional iced coffee to its Canadian menu in addition to its U.S. menu.

Capuccino Freddo

In Cyprus and Greece, the iced cappuccino is widespread, known locally as Freddo Cappuccino, as opposed to Cappuccino Freddo. Despite its Italian name, the drink both tastes and is prepared differently to its Italian counterpart, and is not common in Italy or outside Greece. The Freddo Cappuccino is topped with a cold milk-based foam known as aphrogala (Greek: αφρόγαλα), which is created using cold milk and an electric frother. These frothers are commonplace in Greek coffeeshops due to their usage during the preparation of Frappé coffee. The foam is then added to espresso poured over ice. Outside Greece and Cyprus, Capuccino Freddo can be mostly found on coffee shops and delis catering towards the greek expat community. More recently, Starbucks has added Cappuccino Freddo to branch menus in Europe.

Iced coffee

Cappuccino Freddo is the cold version of a cappuccino, and the drink usually has a small amount of cold frothed milk atop it. This drink is widely available in Cyprus, Greece, and parts of Italy. In Rome, for example, each bar has the drink already prepared. In cities of Northern Italy, like Milan, however, it is almost impossible to find cappuccino freddo. Instead, gelato da bere (a thick blend of gelato and espresso) or shakerato (espresso and ice shaken together) are more popular. The term has also spread throughout the Mediterranean region where foam is added to the drink just before serving, often varying from the Italian original.

In North America, however, the terms “Cappuccino Freddo” or “Iced cappuccino”, if offered, may be somewhat of a misnomer if the characteristic frothed milk is omitted in the iced variation. For example, at Starbucks, without the frothed milk the drink is called an “iced latte”.

Similar drinks

Other milk and espresso drinks similar to the cappuccino include:

  • Caffè macchiato (sometimes called espresso macchiato) is a significantly shorter drink, which consists of espresso with only a small amount of milk.
  • Cortado is a Spanish hybrid; a slightly shorter drink, which consists of espresso mixed with milk in a 1:1 to 1:2 ratio, and is not topped with foam. Cafè Cortado has traditionally been served in a small glass on a saucer, and its character comes more from the Spanish preference of coffee beans and roast plus condensed milk replacing fresh dairy milk. Modern coffee shops have started using fresh milk.
  • Flat White is a hybrid which is popular in Australia and New Zealand. It is in-between a cappuccino and a caffè latte (‘flat’ indicating little or no foam), typically prepared with a double shot of espresso and a little latte art atop. A flat white is prepared with a milder espresso and no robusta.
  • Latte (short for “caffè latte”) is a larger drink, with the same amount of espresso, but with more milk and a varying amount of foam, served in a large cup or tall glass.
  • A steamer or babyccino is a drink of frothed milk without coffee (hence no caffeine), which is available in some coffeehouses. In North America it often has flavored syrup added, while in Commonwealth countries outside North America it is primarily marketed to children as a coffee-free cappuccino, as the name indicates, and is sometimes topped with marshmallows, a chocolate flake, or sprinkles.

See also

  • List of coffee drinks


  1. ^ a b “Cappuccino vs Latte – What’s The Difference?”.
  2. ^ “Cappuccino – Definition of cappuccino by Merriam-Webster”.
  3. ^ “Cappuccino”.
  4. ^ “2013 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version 2012.10.13” (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved December 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Pope beatifies ‘father of cappuccino’, BBC News (April 27, 2003) Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  6. ^ a b c Ellis, Markman (2004). The Coffee-House: A Cultural History. London: Orion Publishing Group (Weidenfeld & Nicholson). p. 122. ISBN 9780297843191. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  7. ^ “How to Make a Cappuccino”. Top Espresso Gear. Retrieved 15 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Ins Kaffeehaus! : Geschichte einer Wiener Institution by Gerhard H Oberzill, Jugend & Volk Verlagen 1983, page 77 – 85
  9. ^ An Espresso Timeline
  10. ^ “Most Everyone Loves a Good Cappuccino, but Where Did It Come From?”. The Spruce. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  11. ^ Morris, Jonathan (2007). “The Cappuccino Conquests. The Transnational History of Italian Coffee”. 
  12. ^ “The history of cappuccino – Frati Lucca’s Cappuccino”. Frati Lucca’s Cappuccino. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  13. ^ “Italian Coffee Culture”. ITALY Magazine
  14. ^ The Pacific Northwest – Coffee Culture Central | Gourmet Coffee Zone – Daily Blog. (2008-03-07). Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
  15. ^ “What Is Latte Art?”. Latte Art Guide. 2013-04-28. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  16. ^ “BARISTAS OF AMERICA: Please Stop Screwing Up My Cappuccino”. Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  17. ^ Tsolakidou, Stella. “Summer Coffee in Greece: Frappe Vs. Freddo Variations |”. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  18. ^ “Starbucks has launched two new cold coffees in the UK”. Cosmopolitan. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-06. 
  19. ^ Cafes milk profits from young latte set – Sydney Morning Herald, November 6, 2005

External links

  • Coffeegeek with how-to steam guide
  • Italian Espresso National Institute
  • Coffee Taster, the free newsletter of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters, featuring articles on the quality of espresso, chemical and sensory analysis, market trends

Water, coffee, air and milk. These are the four essential elements in the Italian caffetteria recipe and cappuccino is one of its hallmarks.

As it passes through a pad of finely ground coffee, softened water absorbs the quintessential features and is transformed into an elegant espresso topped with the signature nut brown crema while accompanied by the classic aroma.

Meanwhile, the steam wand blows hot air through the milk generating a whirlpool which modifies its structure and turns it into a soft, fine creamy milk.

When combined, espresso coffee and frothed milk are a perfect twosome of colors, flavors and fragrances resulting in the distinctive Italian cappuccino.

The cappuccino is an icon of the Italian caffetteria

Simply by adding milk, cappuccino is the first beverage ever created by altering the character of one of the most ingenious Italian creations – the espresso.

Millions of consumers worldwide have fallen victim to the charms of the cappuccino. Cappuccino with a “cornetto” (Italian croissant) is a classic of the Italian breakfast.

In Italy, million of espressos are prepared each morning with nearly half being served as cappuccinos.

Considering the total daily espresso consumption, the Italian cappuccino number hovers around 20% because in Italy, cappuccino is only a breakfast beverage!

In other countries, these statistics skyrocket since more than 80% of the espressos are served as cappuccinos.

Even if in many countries, the biggest mistake is made with the milk-to-espresso ratio.

Together with espresso, the cappuccino takes its rightful place among the standard-bearers of Italian food abroad.

Their popularity is also confirmed linguistically. The terms “cappuccino” and “espresso” top the list of the most important Italian words, historically and culturally.

From “frappuccino” onwards, the terms “cappuccino” and “espresso” are often used to evoke the Italian tradition up to the improper phenomenon of Italianization.

Origins of the cappuccino…

It appears in 1660 when exotic, hot beverages such as tea, cocoa and coffee were gaining popularity. Johan Nieuhof, world traveler and Dutch ambassador to China was the first to try adding milk to coffee mimicking the way tea was consumed.
The clear lines of history, legend and folklore blur with the many stories recounting other possible forefathers of cappuccino.

There can be no cappuccino without espresso

What is certain is that no blend of coffee and milk can be called cappuccino as we know it before the invention of the espresso coffee machineThe classic Italian cappuccino is composed of 100-140ml of fresh, whole milk that has been perfectly frothed and poured, equal parts liquid and foam, over 25-30ml of espresso held in a 150-220ml cup.

There can be no cappuccino without a “barista”

“Barista” is another coffee oriented word originating in Italy.

Used when you ask for a cappuccino, to advise the barista to don’t do it too small.

(Cit. Dizionario Moderno 1938)

“Barman” was commonly used until 1938 when fascism introduced “barista” as a more “Italian” word.

The barista is fundamental in the preparation of the cappuccino, as well as the espresso.

He knows ingredients, parameters and equipment (espresso coffee machine, steam wand and milk pitcher) for preparing the Italian cappuccino and other alternative preparations such as frothing techniques, as well as processing the milk foam.

But above all, the barista knows how to choose the raw materials (coffee and milk) which requires a careful consideration both in terms of type and professional use.

Italian cappuccino starts out with the preparation of a superb espresso and then continues with the meticulous frothing of the milk.

What coffee blend makes a perfect cappuccino?

When speaking of cappuccino, we must first remember that besides coffee, milk constitutes most of the beverage.

We must keep these two essentials in mind when determining the composition of the most appropriate blend and the best roast.

Milk is sweet and this has a marked effect on the flavor of the beverage. Therefore, creating only a generic blend (even if an aromatic one with a good classic medium roast) does not guarantee a good cappuccino.

In the end, to guarantee a good final result that meets the tastes of many and takes into consideration the various preferences of consumers worldwide, we must find a symbiosis between the appropriate blend and ideal roast for the cappuccino.

This is when it’s paramount to remember that consumers in Northern Europe prefer a sour-sweet flavor while those in Southern Europe and North America prefer a sharper and more well-balanced flavor. Asians favor a stronger, even bitter-caramelized flavor.

Therefore, an ideal cappuccino that all consumers will appreciate must abide by the following:


The coffee used must have high acidity that’s able to penetrate the alkalinity of the milk; and this must be supported in the blend by a full-bodied coffee that adds strength to overcome the barrier milk erects against the typical coffee flavor.


The roast must be adequately intense to give great aromatic body and make its mark on the beverage which enables the flavor and aroma of the coffee to emerge from the milk ensuring that they are dominant and more persistent

Hey barista

remember that it’s wrong to think that a mediocre blend of coffee can be hidden: its defects cannot be masked simply with milk and sugar.
Even a magnificent latte art decoration cannot fool all one’s senses at the same time.

SpecialCoffee’s blend for a perfect cappuccino?

Morning – A blend of coffee beans for espresso machines at the coffee bar with a rounded and aromatic taste. Made up of a balanced proportion of Arabica and Robusta coming from selected plantations growing the best Brazilian, Central American, Asian and African coffees.

SpecialCoffee has developed the ability to fine-tune the roasting process according to the blend and based on the specific use, market and country where the coffee will be used.

For handling such a difficult task, besides specific competence, one also needs a great deal of experience.

Varying the milk-to-espresso ratio from a few drops of milk to a few drops of coffee results in a macchiato, caffelatte or latte macchiato.With cappuccino we have known many alternatives. Prepare with a lot of foam or without. Flavor with cocoa and cinnamon or not. Prepare with different types of milk including alternative milks such as soy, rice, oat and almond.

There can be no “latte art” without the barista

In the late 1970s, the eclectic creativity of an Italian barista produced ingenious decorations on the cappuccino based on the heart, leaf and apple.

Later this art form was dubbed “latte art”.

We Italians immediately associate the term “latte art” with everything related to the decoration of the cappuccino and really take it for granted that it literally means “the art of milk” or “art with milk“.

In reality, however, this expression derives from English as spoken in the United States.

Today, thanks to the training offered to thousands of baristas worldwide, the “latte art” technique has been reviewed, broken down and reassembled creating hundreds of new figures providing daily joy for millions of consumers.

There are a lot of different espresso-based drinks, sometimes this much variety can be confusing. I have a friend who admitted that she didn’t like to go a coffee shop. She couldn’t choose between macchiato, latte, cappuccino, mocha, and many others because she didn’t know what they were. She was embarrassed to ask the barista what the differences were, so she started to buy a different coffee drink every day.

What makes these coffee beverages different from each other? What are the distinctive characteristics between them?

Espresso Based Drinks

All the coffee based drinks in coffee shops are a mix of two base ingredients, espresso and milk. These are also called espresso based drinks for this reason. Some recipes call for extra ingredients such as cocoa, chocolate, ice, sugar, vanilla, etc… Espresso and milk based drinks are great for people with sensitive stomach, because the milk tones down the coffee. Caffeinated beverages such as latte, mocha, and cappuccino are also a great way to break the daily coffee routine or to be served at parties. Espresso drinks are usually made using an espresso machine, which is the traditional method. This is what you are buying from a coffee shop. However, you can make your latte at home using cheap equipment, if you want to ditch your barista.

Cappuccino vs Latte vs Mocha

Here are the major differences between latte, cappuccino, and mocha:

  • Cappuccino – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk
    The espresso is toned down with milk, but the coffee taste is still featured. Full cappuccino recipe.
  • Latte – 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, 1/6 foamed milk
    This is a milk based drink with just a little coffee. More about latte…
  • Mocha – 2/5 espresso, 2/5 chocolate, 1/5 steamed milk
    A strong coffee with a chocolate flavor. Full recipe here.
  • Flat White – 1/3 espresso, 2/3 frothed milk
    Very similar to cappuccino, but the milk is micro-foamed and it doesn’t have the dry foam top.
  • Mocha latte – 1/8 espresso, 5/8 steamed milk, 1/8 foamed milk, 1/8 hot chocolate
    A latte with a hint of chocolate.
  • Mochaccino – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 frothed milk, 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
    A cappuccino with a hint of chocolate.

 Loading …

What Is Latte?

Latte is an espresso based milky drink with a 1 to 3, up to 1 to 9, espresso to milk ratio.

Latte Recipe

The standard latte is prepared in an 8 oz. cup, and it contains the following ingredients:

  • 1 or two shots of espresso (1 shot = 1 oz)
  • Around 5 to 6 oz. steamed milk, (around 5-6 oz.)
  • Top up the cup with a thin layer of frothed milk.
  • Add flavorings as desired.

Latte is nothing else than milk with coffee, and it originates in Italy, where it is called café latte. Latte is very popular because the coffee content is a very diluted, and the recipe can be tweaked by adding various flavorings, making latte a dessert. The frothed milk layer allows baristas to create beautiful drawings.

Maxwell House Instant Coffee Latte

I strongly recommend a latte made with real espresso and real steamed milk. However, life is hectic sometimes. If you need to juggle between job, kids, and house chores, who has time for making the real stuff? Maxwell House’s solution is an instant coffee and milk for a delicious latte.


What Is Cappuccino?

Cappuccino is an espresso based drink, of Italian origin, with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 wet foamed milk. The difference between a latte and a cappuccino is the milk content. Latte has a lot of milk, whereas cappuccino is a strong coffee. The coffee to milk ratio in a cappuccino is around 1 to 1.5, considering that foamed milk is at least double in volume compared to steamed milk. Cappuccino has a rich and bold taste, as any espresso would, but is toned down by the steamed milk.

Cappuccino Recipe

A standard cappuccino should contain:
• 1 shot of espresso, (cannot be instant, or drip coffee). Cappuccino is not drenched in milk so that the espresso is the featured taste.
• 1 oz steamed milk
• 1 oz microfoamed milk
So once again, the recipe for cappuccino is mixing equal volumes of: espresso steamed milk and frothed milk.

Dry cappuccino is a variant that has more of the dry foam, and less of the steamed milk. An interesting variation is the bone dry cappuccino, nicely explained by Thomas.

Mocha Cafe

Mocha coffee is an espresso based coffee with a strong chocolate flavor, containing 2/5 espresso, 2/5 hot chocolate, and 1/5 steamed milk. Mocha breve is a variant with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot chocolate, and 1/3 half & half cream.

Mocha Coffee Recipe

Mocha coffee is actually a type of coffee beans with a natural chocolate flavor. These coffee beans originate in Mocha – Yemen. In order to enhance the chocolate taste, baristas have added a little chocolate to the mocha recipe. If we were to compare latte vs mocha, latte is a very light drink, with little coffee per ounce of milk, whereas mocha is even stronger than cappuccino.
Mocha coffee recipe, as we find it in most coffee shops is a combination of three elements as follows:

  • 2 espresso shots
  • 2 oz hot chocolate
  • 1 oz steamed milk
  • Optional, a thin frothed milk top layer

Mochaccino is simply a cappuccino with some chocolate syrup, or a few squares of chocolate, added.
Mocha latte is simply latte with chocolate added. If you want to go with your mocha recipe a step further, and add a hint of booze the beverage. You can add Sambuca, Baileys Cream, Cognac, Metaxa, or coffee liqueur. The Italian way to booze your coffee is with Sambuca.

Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother

For those who want to make a latte at home, one of the biggest challenge is frothing the milk. Nailing a perfect texture and temperature of your foamed milk is not that easy, and many give up before even trying. There is the super-automatic route, but not everybody affords an expensive machine. The manual frother works, but you still have to know how to use it, and it does take some effort from your part.

One of the best options on the market is the Breville milk frother. The unit comes with separate frothing disks for latte and cappuccino, and it automates the process to pressing a couple of buttons and adjusting the dial button. Pretty neat…

Milk for Espresso Based Beverages

All coffee based beverages need steamed or frothed milk, and sometimes cold milk. It might seem unimportant, but using the right type of milk makes a great difference between various recipes. The milk density is different, hence the volume ratios are changed, and the texture is definitely different. Here are a few tips on how to prepare steamed and frothed milk.

Frothed Milk vs. Steamed Milk

To obtain steamed milk and frothed milk you need to use either the steam wand of an espresso machine, or a special milk frother. The frothing device blows steam into the milk, heating it up, and incorporating air into it. The major difference between various foamed milks is the amount of bubbles introduced. Frothed milk is milk foam with a volume doubled by the air bubbles, whereas steamed milk less foamed, with a volume increased by a third.

For steamed milk, you will put the steam wand in the milk, around 1 inch in, and position it in an angle, so that the steam creates a vortex. When the milk reaches the right temperature, (145 to 155 °F), stop steaming.

Frothing milk is very similar, we place the wand so it creates a vortex, and as the milk gets foamed on the surface, we need to advance the steaming wand inch by inch, until the bottom of the cup. Don’t steam too long in one place, when the froth has formed, the volume expands, and you need to go further to the bottom.
This is just a basic guide, for a comprehensive read the frothing guide from

Manual Milk Frother

This is a manual milk frother, very simple, reliable, that produces a great frothed milk. It is made of stainless steel, and it’s a sturdy device, and the price makes it so much more attractive.The frother is perfect for preparing any coffee based recipes such as cappuccino, latte, mocha, or macchiato. The genius of it is that it doesn’t need power. The HIC milk frother makes a very dense, creamy froth. You will get microfoam for your flat white, and you will also get some less dense, fluffier foam.

You can read our article about manual milk frothers, where we compare plunger style frothers, with battery operated whisk frothers.

In its pure form, espresso is more popular in Europe than America, particularly in Italy. Though catching in America, derivatives and misconceptions are spreading like cream in coffee. For instance, many hold the misconception that espresso is a dark, bitter to burnt-flavored roast of coffee.

In fact, espresso is not a roast at all; it is a method of preparing coffee. Espresso coffee is often blended from several roasts and varietals to form a bold – not bitter flavor. The finely ground coffee is tightly packed or tamped into a “portafilter”; high-pressure water is then forced through the grounds and extracted in small, concentrated amounts. Intensity is the key here. Why do you think they call it a “shot?”

Pure Espresso

This is the intense experience of coffee that most Europeans prefer and believe Americans are too scared to try. Proper Espresso is served in small demitasse-style cups and consumed promptly after extraction in the following types of servings:


The “short shot” is the first ¾-ounce of espresso in an extraction, which many believe is the absolute perfect espresso.

    Single Shot

A 1-ounce shot of espresso.


Otherwise known as the “long shot”, this is a 1 ½-ounce shot of espresso.

    Double Shot

This is not merely a 2-ounce shot of espresso; this shot uses twice the amount of coffee in the portafilter, whereas the lesser shots use the same single serving.

Espresso Macchiato

Despite Starbucks’ popularization of the term Macchiato as a brand name, this is a very simple drink devoid of the flavored caramel and chocolate treatment better suited to an ice-cream parlor. It is simply a shot of espresso with a layer of foamed milk

    Espresso con Panna

A shot of espresso with a layer of whipped cream.

Café Breve

A shot of espresso with steamed half and half, a.k.a. light cream.


Another drink warped by misconceptions! Cappuccino, named for its similarity in color to the robes of Capuchin monks, is simply a shot of espresso with steamed, wet milk, not necessarily slathered with a frothy, dry foam.

Café Latte

This is very popular drink in America probably due to its sweet, mellow flavor. One shot of espresso is mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of steamed milk, then topped with foam – if you prefer. Without the foam it’s officially known as a Flat White. Since it’s hard to find a latte in the super-sized United States smaller than 12 ounces, a double shot of espresso is common. If you prefer greater amperage via caffeine, up the number of shots!

With a few minor variations, this also goes by the name Café con Leche or Café Au Lait, depending on whether your coffee spirit is channeling Spanish or French.

    Café Americano

This is essentially a watered-down shot of espresso with the resulting flavor arriving very close to simple, brewed coffee. One espresso shot (1 ounce) with 6-8 ounces of hot water.

Flavored Espresso Drinks

These are essentially the same drinks listed above with flavored syrups added somewhere in the process. For instance, Café Mocha is simply a latte with chocolate syrup added with the steamed milk.

    Iced Coffee

Like Sasquatch and Yeti, the perfect iced coffee is very elusive. Coffee with ice cubes makes for watery, cold coffee. Begin with strong coffee – stronger than you would normally brew hot. Try bolder tasting, dark roasts. Brew it strong. You can double brew by pouring hot coffee back onto fresh grinds – like pouring the coffee back into the coffee maker and brewing again. Add sugar or spices like cardamom before chilling so they dissolve thoroughly. You can add ice then, but it’s best to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight so the ice doesn’t melt so fast.

Once chilled, pour over ice and mix with whole milk or, even better, half and half, to taste. Favorite syrups, like chocolate for an iced mocha, can go in to the mix now. Just be sure to use all of that energy or an afternoon workout.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *