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|Country of origin||Italy|
|Introduced||Approx. 17th century (beverage)|
|Color||Dark brown, beige, black, light brown, white|
A cappuccino (//; Italian pronunciation: [kapputˈtʃiːno]), is an Italian coffee drink which is traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam. The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habits.
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A cappuccino is a coffee drink topped with foamed milk. It is made in a steam-producing espresso machine. The Espresso is poured into the bottom third of the cup, followed by a similar amount of hot milk. 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. The drinker may sprinkle shaved chocolate, raw sugar, cinnamon, or other spices onto the top of the finished drink, or have chocolate melted into the coffee before the milk is added. Cappuccinos are usually served with a teaspoon.
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 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' comes from the diminutive form of cappuccio (it), meaning hood or something that covers the head. The coffee beverage has its name not from the hood but from the colour of the robes worn by monks and nuns of the capuchin order. The capuchins 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. 'Cappuccino' in its Italian form is not known in writings until the 20th century, the German-language 'kapuziner' is mentioned in the 18th century in Austria, and is described as 'coffee with sugar, egg yolks and cream' in dictionary entries from 1800 onwards. Although it seems the 'kapuziner' may have had whipped cream on top, it seems likely the name comes from the specific colour of the beverage's mix of coffee, cream and eggs.
History and evolution of the cappuccino 
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 by adding sugar. The British seem to have started filtering and steeping coffee already in the 2nd part of the 17th 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.
'Cappuccino' originated in the Viennese coffee houses in the 1700s: a coffee beverage named the 'Kapuziner' shows up on Coffee House menus all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire around this time, and is in 1805 described as 'coffee with cream and sugar' (it does not say how it is composed, but the name indicates the capuchin colour). 'Kapuziner' is mentioned again in writings in the 1850s, described as 'coffee with cream, spices and sugar'. Other coffees containing cream surfaces in Vienna, and outside Austria 'Viennese Coffee' or 'Café Viennois', -coffee with whipped cream-, becomes known. Predecessors of Irish Coffee, sweetened coffee with different alcohols, topped with whipped cream also spreads out from Vienna. 'Kapuziner' had its name from the colour of coffee with a few drops of cream, nicknamed so because the capuchin monks in Vienna wore vestments with this colour. Another popular coffee was Franziskaner, with more cream (or milk), referring to the somewhat 'lighter' brown colour of the robes of monks of the Franciscan order.
Cappuccino is first mention in Italy in the 1930s, and photographs show a 'viennese'—a coffee topped with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon or chocolate. Though coffee was brewed differently all over Europe after WW2, in Italy, espresso machines became widespread only during the 1950s, and 'cappuccino' was re-defined, now made from espresso and frothed milk (far from the quality of 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. The 'Kapuziner' remains 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 years after the 1st World War. By the end of the 2nd World War, the Italians launched the 'age of crèma' as the new coffee machines could create a higher pressure, leading to a finer grind and the now so classic 'crèma'. The first small cups appear in the 1950s, and the machines can 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 '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.
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. The traditional cappuccino consists of an espresso, on which the barista pours the hot foamed milk, resulting in a 2 cm (¾ inch) thick milk foam on top. Variations of the mixtures are usually called cappuccino chiaro (light cappuccino, also known as a "wet cappuccino") with more milk than normal, and cappuccino scuro (dark cappuccino, also known as a "dry cappuccino") with less steamed milk than normal.
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, preferring espresso throughout the day and following dinner. However, in recent years Europeans have started to drink cappuccino throughout the entire day. Especially in 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 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).
Iced cappuccino 
Cappuccino Freddo is the cold version of a cappuccino, where the drink usually has a small amount of cold frothed milk atop it. This drink is widely available in 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".
An 'Iced capp' or 'Icecap', short for 'Iced Cappuccino', has in recent years become a very widespread summer beverage in Canada. First popularized by the ubiquitous Canadian cafe chain Tim Hortons, the blended mix of coffee, milk, and ice has spread to many competitors.
Similar drinks 
Other milk and espresso drinks similar to the cappuccino include:
- Caffè macchiato (sometimes called espresso macchiato) is a coffee drink, which consists of espresso with a small amount of milk (not a small amount of milk 'stained' with espresso, which is a latte macchiato), and is shorter than a cappuccino.
- Latte (short for "caffè-latte") is a longer drink, with more milk, and varying amount of foam.
- cappuccino. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cappuccino (accessed: September 15, 2012).
- "Cappuccino". BuyCappuccinoMachine.net. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- An Espresso Timeline timelineindex.com
- Morris, Jonathan (2007). "The Cappuccino Conquests. The Transnational History of Italian Coffee".
- The Pacific Northwest – Coffee Culture Central | Gourmet Coffee Zone – Daily Blog. Blog.gourmet-coffee-zone.com (2008-03-07). Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
- "Copycat Tim Hortons Iced Cap Recipe".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Cappuccino|
- 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