How Is Homemade Cappuccino Different (Grosser) Than 'Starbucks'?

Q: I have a nice 'Krupps' Cappuccino maker, and have had a cheaper brand, too... but I just can't make drinks that compare to the pros. I know they have expensive machines, but how many ways can water flow over grounds?!?!?

A: There are tricks to making a good Cappuccino. First, you need a good Esspresso bean. You can get Esspresso beans at 'Starbucks', or at most independent coffee shops. I don't recommend getting them at the grocery store. They are usually not as fresh, and they are not as good quality. I actually order green coffee beans on the Internet and roast them myself, but not everyone is the coffee freak I am! lol If you grind the beans yourself, you need to make sure you do a uniformly fine grind. A 'Burr' grinder does a much better grind for Esspresso than the blade grinders do. In making the shot of Esspresso, you need to be careful to pack the grounds just right. This takes a little experience, but pay attention to get it packed a little, but not too much. Water will flow too quickly through too loosely packed grounds, and if packed too much, it will taste bitter. There is a happy medium that you will find with experimenting. In frothing the milk, bring the milk to 160 degrees. If it's not hot enough, it will not be as good, and having it too hot will give that burnt taste. If you use flavors, add a tablespoon of the flavor in the milk before frothing. I have a cheap Espresso machine, and it does a fine job for just me and my husband. If I were making drinks for guests, I would want a better one that would put out Espresso shots faster. I hope you get it figured out. It really is nice having an Espresso machine at home. I sure enjoy mine...and yes, you CAN make a good Cappucchino at home! I personally don't think 'Starbuck's' is the best by any means. I've had much better coffee drinks at some of the independent coffee shops............and yes, even at home, but of course, that's all in personal preference. :)The nicer machines certainly do make a difference, but the biggest difference is in the barista. The person making the coffee. The best Cappuccino I've ever had was homemade. Date a couple baristas, they'll teach you.