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Cappuccino Question...?

Q: I have just recently tried my first Cappucino, and I am thoroughly addicted (to the 'French Vanilla' anyways)! I was wondering a couple of things: First, what exactly is in Cappucino? And second, does anyone have an at-home Cappucino machine, and is the Cappucino as good as what you can get in the coffee shops? Thanks!

A: A. cappuccino is an Italian long coffee, topped with foamy milk, and dusted with cocoa powder. It takes the name from the color of the monks Cappuccini, who wear a habit of the color of milk-and-coffee. Sugar is only added at the table by the customer. B. Only if the machine has an implement to make foamy milk. In that case, you can get excellent results. Where did this wonderful beverage come from? Coffee originated in the 'Ottoman Empire' and was first introduced to the West by Italian traders. At first, Pope Clement VII was urged by his advisors to consider this favorite drink of infidels a threat. After he tasted it, however, he succumbed to a prerogative that women have relied on for years: he changed his mind. Pope Clement actually baptized the delicious drink, making it an acceptable Christian beverage. No one knows for sure exactly where Cappuccino came from, but there are a few sneaky suspicions. The most popular belief is that the drink gets its name from the robes and cowl of The Capuchin Monk's habit. How so, say you? Well, read on. The Capuchin order of friars played an important role in restoring Catholicism to Reformation Europe. Its Italian name came from the long, pointed cowl or Cappuccino, derived from Capuccio, meaning hood. Capuchin was later used as the name (first recorded in English in 1785) for a type of monkey with a tuft of black cowl-like hair. The first use of the word Cappuccino in English is recorded in 1948. Whether or not this exquisite beverage was invented by the Capuchin monks is unknown. It is a fact however, that a properly prepared Cappuccino of Espresso and steamed milk leaves a brown ring along the rim of the cup much like the edge of the monk's cowl (Does this mean there is still hope for the ring around my bathtub to become famous?). Have you ever wondered exactly how Cappuccino is made? Well, the basis for any cappuccino worth its salt (or grinds) is a strong blend of Expresso coffee with added milk or frothy cream topped with optional chocolate powder. The correct proportions are 1/3 expresso, 1/3 milk, and 1/3 froth. To produce the froth, fill a small jug to 1/3 with fresh milk. Insert the Espresso machine-frothing arm to just below the surface and turn on the steam, gradually lowering the jug but keeping the arm in place. Add half of the froth into the expresso coffee and sprinkle with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. Add the rest of the froth and top with more cocoa. (If you do it right, the process might never end.) Cappuccino is more than just a coffee, a flavor, or a process. No one can find chocolate Cappuccino cookies, and even lollipops that can offer an authentic Cappuccino experience even to toddlers! Whether you take the drink fancy or plain, with chocolate or just plain cocoa powder (Italians do not use cinnamon), Cappuccino is a delight that should be enjoyed often. It is unique to the Italian culinary culture and cannot help but force even the most unimaginative among us to contemplate misty Roman afternoons, and at least one balmy bistro night!