Last week we talked about the history of cappuccino, but what is a cappuccino more exactly? Cappuccino is an Italian coffee, consists of one third espresso, one third steamed milk and one third foam steamed milk. Is usually served in thick, pre-warmed cups of porcelain. In Italy is served exclusively for breakfast. Cappuccino is the second most consumed beverage in Italy, after espresso, but despite it′s being served and consumed everywhere in the world, not everyone knows how to prepare it properly, but it would be enough to follow these simple rules.
Foam the milk
Release the steam wand briefly to get rid of residual moisture in the wand. Pour 120 ml of cold milk into a metal jug, the level reaches just under the spout. You have to use fresh whole milk because it creates a better foam.
- If necessary place a thermometer into your jug. Your foam should be between 65ºC and 68º C when the steaming process is complete.
- Put the steam wand in the milk jug until it rests just below the surface of the milk and then release the steam.
- Listen as you foam the milk. You should hear a steady ch-ch-ch sound if you have the wand in the right position. If you hear a whine your steam wand tip it is too deep in the milk jug, higher the steam wand, but if you see big bubbles, your steam wand tip is too high raise your jug slightly.
- Until 38º C you create the foam, later you only warm the milk.
- Turn off the steam wand when the foam reaches the desired temperature which will be 68ºC when you stop at 68ºC the temperature will still go up to 70ºC.
Prepare the espresso
- Choose good, fresh and high-quality coffee beans, grind between 7 and 8 g of coffee in the grinder, empty the grounds into your espresso machine’s portafilter, and tamp the ground espresso into the portafilter using a tamper. Pour the shot after you have foamed the milk. The extraction of a good ground coffee for espresso should take between 20-25 seconds.
Pull the espresso shot and assemble the cappuccino
- Place your cappuccino cup under the espresso dispenser and start the brewing cycle. The first part of the shot will be dark followed by a rich golden foam called the crema. Remember that the shot should pour for 20 to 25 seconds.
- Pour the foamed milk over the espresso shot and if you have skills make some latte art. Your cappuccino should be about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foamed milk.