The cappuccino is a world-famous espresso drink that originated in Italy, and it is a breakfast tradition with an interesting history. While many people are unaware of the cappuccino’s history, it has a somewhat perplexing past that is intertwined with various influences. This foam-topped drink wasn’t always a fancy coffee shop drink, but rather a simple coffee and milk that revolutionised how coffee was served.
What is a Cappuccino?
A cappuccino is an Italian specialty and one of the most popular espresso drinks in the world. A cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. A cappuccino is always made with espresso rather than coffee, which is made with a different blend of beans and brewed in a different way. The cappuccino has a few variations, but the basic concept remains the same.
Where was the First Cappuccino Brewed?
While the history of the cappuccino is murky, the actual cappuccino drink was invented in Italy. The cappuccino, which was invented in the early 1900s with espresso and steamed milk, gradually gained popularity over the years. The cappuccino drink evolved from the Kapuziner, a coffee drink popular in Vienna’s coffee houses. The Kapuziner, described as a coffee drink made with milk and sugar, is the original drink that inspired the modern cappuccino.
What Does ‘Cappuccino’ Mean?
The name ‘Cappuccino’ is derived from several sources, the most notable of which are the ‘Kapuziner’ name for the Viennese drink of coffee with milk and sugar and the ‘Capuchin’ monks in Italy. As previously stated, the Kapuziner is considered the forefather of the modern-day cappuccino. The name ‘Cappuccino’ is derived from the name ‘Kapuzner,’ but the two drinks are not the same.
The Capuchin monks of Italy wore brown-ish robes that matched the colour of the frothed milk and coffee drink. According to legend, a friar requested that the strong coffee be diluted with milk or cream, resulting in a beverage that resembled the robes. The name ‘Capuchin’ is an Italian word that refers to the hooded robes worn by Capuchin monks.
Coffee Then and Now
When compared to today’s coffee-making technology, the way we brew coffee is vastly different from how it was once brewed. Coffee was brewed unfiltered with boiling water and sugar before the English and French began filtering out coffee beans in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is similar to the Turkish method of brewing coffee, which is still used today. However, filtered coffee eventually gained popularity and revolutionised the way we make coffee.
Espresso is an Italian word that means “pressed out,” which is exactly how espresso is brewed for modern cappuccinos. Though the concept of milk and coffee predates cappuccinos, Italy’s favourite breakfast drink evolved from the Viennese coffee house’s Kapuziner. Cappuccinos are now a must-have in the morning, but only after 11:00 a.m. in Italy. I
Does the Order of Espresso and Milk Matter?
With a cappuccino, the order in which you pour the espresso, hot milk, and milk foam is important. The reason for this is that modern espresso drinks, including cappuccino, are made in very specific ways. If you pour it in the wrong order, you’ll get a different drink. To make a cappuccino, start with equal parts espresso, then hot milk, and finish with milk foam.
Cappuccinos are a simple drink to make, but their origins are more complicated than they appear. It’s difficult to tell when the first cappuccino was made and what it would look like today between Capuchin monks and Kapuziner drinks in Vienna. Because coffee brewing has evolved significantly since the 17th century, the cappuccino we know and love today underwent numerous transformations before becoming a staple in Italian culture.
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