A cappuccino (/ˌkæpʊˈtʃiːnoʊ/ ( listen); Italian
pronunciation: [kapputˈtʃiːno] Italian plural cappuccini) is
an Italian coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double
espresso, and steamed milk foam.
Variations of the drink involve the use of cream instead of milk, and
flavouring with cinnamon or chocolate powder. It is typically
smaller in volume than a caffè latte, with a thicker layer of micro
The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of
their habits, and in this context referring to the colour of the
beverage when milk is added in small portion to dark, brewed coffee
(today mostly espresso). The physical appearance of a modern
cappuccino with espresso créma and steamed milk is a result of a long
evolution of the drink.
The Viennese bestowed the name "Kapuziner" possibly in the 18th
century on a version that included whipped cream and spices of unknown
origin. The Italian cappuccino was unknown outside Italy until the
1930s, and seems to be born out of Viennese-style cafés in Trieste
and other cities in the former Austria in the first decades of the
20th century. The drink has since spread worldwide and can be found at
a number of establishments.
3 History and evolution
6.1 Traditional and latte art
6.2 Iced cappuccino
6.3 Capuccino Freddo
6.4 Iced coffee
7 Similar drinks
8 See also
10 External links
A cup of Cappuccino
Cappuccino is a coffee drink that today is composed of double espresso
and hot milk, with the surface topped with foamed milk. Cappuccinos
are most often prepared with an espresso machine. The double espresso
is poured into the bottom of the cup, followed by a similar amount of
hot milk, which is prepared by heating and texturing the milk using
the espresso machine steam wand. 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.
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 restaurant 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 is traditionally small (max 180 ml) with a thick layer
of foam, while 'latte' traditionally is larger
(200 ml-300 ml).
Caffè latte is often served in a large
glass; cappuccino mostly in a 150 – 180 ml cup with a handle.
Cappuccino traditionally has a layer of textured milk micro foam
exceeding 1 cm in thickness; micro foam is frothed/steamed milk
in which the bubbles are so small and so numerous that they are not
seen, but it makes the milk lighter and thicker. As a result, the
micro foam will remain partly on top of the mug when the espresso is
poured in correctly as well as mix well with the rest of the
Barista Championships have been arranged annually since
2000, and during the course of the competition, the competing barista
must produce—for four sensory judges—among other drinks four
cappuccinos, defined in WBC Rules and Regulations as [...] a coffee
and milk beverage that should produce a harmonious balance of rich,
sweet milk and espresso [....] The cappuccino is prepared with one (1)
single shot of espresso, textured milk and foam. A minimum of 1
centimeter of foam depth [....] A cappuccino is a beverage between
150 ml and 180 ml in total volume [....]
A cup of Cappuccino
'Cappuccino' comes from Latin Caputium, later borrowed in
German/Austrian and modified into 'kapuziner'. It is the diminutive
form of cappuccio in Italian, meaning 'hood' or something that covers
the head, thus 'cappuccino' reads 'small capuchin'. It is believed the
capuchin friar, Marco d'Aviano, was the inspiration for this
The coffee beverage has its name not from the hood but from the colour
of the hooded robes worn by monks and nuns of the Capuchin order. This
colour is quite distinctive and 'capuchin' was a common description of
the colour of red-brown in 17th century Europe. The Capuchin monks
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.
The word 'Cappuccino' in its Italian form is not known in Italian
writings until the 20th century, but the German language 'Kapuziner'
is mentioned as a coffee beverage in the 18th century in Austria, and
is described as 'coffee with sugar, egg yolks and cream' in dictionary
entries from 1800 onwards. "Kapuziner" was by the
First World War
First World War a
common coffee drink in cafés in the parts of northern Italy which at
that time still belonged to Austria.
The use of fresh milk in coffee in cafés and restaurants is a newer
phenomenon (from the 20th century) when refrigeration became common.
The use of full cream is known much further back in time (but not in
the use as whipped cream [chantilly] ), as this was a product more
easily stored and frequently used also in cooking and baking. Thus, a
'Kapuziner' was prepared with a very small amount of cream to get the
'capuchin' colour. Today, 'Kapuziner' is still served in viennese
traditional cafés: still black coffee with only a few drops of cream
(in some establishments developed into a capå of whipped cream).
History and evolution
Cappuccino with heart decoration
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 adding sugar. The
British seem to have started filtering and steeping coffee already in
the second part of the 18th 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.
Adding milk to coffee is mentioned by Europeans already in the
1700s, and sometimes advised.
'Cappuccino' originated as the coffee beverage "Kapuziner" in the
Viennese coffee houses in the 1700s at the same time as the
counterpart coffee beverage named "Franziskaner": 'Kapuziner' shows up
on coffee house menus all over the
Habsburg Monarchy around this time,
and is in 1805 described in a Wörterbuch (dictionary) as 'coffee with
cream and sugar' (although it does not say how it is composed).
'Kapuziner' is mentioned again in writings in the 1850s, described as
'coffee with cream, spices and sugar'. Around the same time, the
coffee beverage 'Melange' is mentioned in writings, explained as a
blend of coffee and milk, presumably similar to the modern day 'Caffè
Latte'. Other coffees containing cream surfaced in Vienna, and outside
Austria these are referred to as 'Viennese Coffee' or 'Café
Viennois', coffee with whipped cream. Predecessors of Irish Coffee,
sweetened coffee with different alcohols, topped with whipped cream
also spread out from Vienna.
The 'Kapuziner' took its name from the colour of coffee with a few
drops of cream, nicknamed so because the capuchin monks in
elsewhere wore vestments with this colour. Another popular coffee
was Franziskaner, with more cream, referring to the somewhat 'lighter'
brown colour of the robes of monks of the
Cappuccino as we write it today (in Italian) is first mentioned in
northern Italy in the 1930s, and photographs from that time shows the
drink to resemble a 'viennese' —a coffee topped with whipped cream
sprinkled with cinnamon or chocolate. The Italian cappuccino evolved
and developed in the following decades: The steamed milk atop is a
later addition, and in the US a slight misunderstanding has led to
this 'cap' of milk foam being named 'monk's head' -although it
originally had nothing to do with the name of the beverage.
Though coffee was brewed differently all over
Europe after the Second
World War, in Italy, the real espresso machines became widespread only
during the 1950s, and 'cappuccino' was redefined, now made from
espresso and frothed milk (though far from the quality of micro foam
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 even in 2014.
The 'Kapuziner' remained 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 in the years after the First World
By the end of the Second World War, the Italians launched the 'age of
crema' as the new coffee machines could create a higher pressure,
leading to a finer grind and the now classic 'crema'.
The first small cups appear in the 1950s, and the machines could by
now also heat milk. The modern 'cappuccino' was born.[citation
needed] In Vienna, the espresso bars were introduced in the 1950s,
leading to both the 'kapuziner' and the by now new-born Italian
'cappuccino' being served as two different beverages alongside each
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
Cappuccino with cream in coffee shop.
As cappuccino is defined today, in addition to a double 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 a single espresso, on which the
barista pours the hot foamed milk, resulting in a 2 cm
(3⁄4 in) thick milk foam on top. Variations could be made
adding another shot of espresso resulting in a double cappuccino.
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
Cappuccino was traditionally a taste largely appreciated in Europe,
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. Though they did prefer to
Espresso after dinner. However, in recent
years Europeans have started to drink cappuccino throughout the entire
day. Especially in
Australia and 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 modern-day Italy, cappuccino is consumed only up to 11
a.m., and Italians consider it very strange to ask for a cappuccino
after that hour. If the beverage is requested in the evening, although
not common, it should only be consumed after dessert, as the final
part of the meal.
Espresso is usually ordered after a meal due to the
belief that the lack of milk aids in digestion. 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).
Traditional and latte art
Cappuccino coffee with latte art rosetta.
Although size is what varies most among different cappuccinos, there
are two main ways of preparing cappuccino: one is the traditional or
classical way with a cap of milk foam; the other is the "
way. The former follows the traditional idea of the cappuccino being
prepared by ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk and ⅓ milk foam. The
latter follows the same recipe, but is served more often in smaller
cups, and the textured milk is gently poured in and finished with a
pattern in the surface crèma. The illustrations in this article show
the preparation methods.
In Canada, Tim Hortons's coffee chain sells iced coffee cappuccino
under the brand name Iced Capps. The coffee drink mix comes to the Tim
Hortons stores as a thick black syrup which is mixed at three parts
water to one part syrup in a slurpee machine. The frozen coffee drink
is then blended with cream at the time of service (or blended with
milk, or chocolate milk upon customer request). The Ice Capp can also
be prepared as a Supreme, which includes a flavour shot, whipped
topping, and either caramel or chocolate syrup. The chain also carries
iced coffee on its Canadian menu as well as their U.S. menu.
Cyprus and Greece, the iced cappuccino is widespread, known locally
as Freddo Cappuccino, as opposed to
Cappuccino Freddo. Despite its
Italian name, the drink both tastes and is prepared differently to its
Italian counterpart, and is not common in Italy or outside Greece. The
Cappuccino is topped with a cold milk-based foam known as
aphrogala (Greek: αφρόγαλα), which is created using cold milk
and an electric frother. These frothers are commonplace in Greek
coffeeshops due to their usage during the preparation of Frappé
coffee. The foam is then added to espresso poured over ice.[citation
needed]  Outside
Greece and Cyprus, Capuccino Freddo can be mostly
found on coffee shops and delis catering towards the Greek expat
community. More recently,
Starbucks has added
Cappuccino Freddo to
branch menus in Europe. 
Main article: Iced coffee
Cappuccino Freddo is the cold version of a cappuccino, and the drink
usually has a small amount of cold frothed milk atop it. This drink is
widely available in Cyprus, Greece, and 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
Other milk and espresso drinks similar to the cappuccino include:
Caffè macchiato (sometimes called espresso macchiato) is a
significantly shorter drink, which consists of espresso with only a
small amount of milk.
Cortado is a Spanish hybrid; a slightly shorter drink, which consists
of espresso mixed with milk in a 1:1 to 1:2 ratio, and is not topped
with foam. Cafè
Cortado has traditionally been served in a small
glass on a saucer, and its character comes more from the Spanish
preference of coffee beans and roast plus condensed milk replacing
fresh dairy milk. Modern coffee shops have started using fresh milk.
Flat White is a hybrid which is popular in
Australia and New Zealand.
It is in-between a cappuccino and a caffè latte ('flat' indicating
little or no foam), typically prepared with a double shot of espresso
and a little latte art atop. A flat white is prepared with a milder
espresso and no robusta.
Latte (short for "caffè latte") is a larger drink, with the same
amount of espresso, but with more milk and a varying amount of foam,
served in a large cup or tall glass.
A steamer or babyccino is a drink of frothed milk without coffee
(hence no caffeine), which is available in some coffeehouses. In North
America it often has flavoured syrup added, while in Commonwealth
North America it is primarily marketed to
children as a coffee-free cappuccino, as the name indicates, and
is sometimes topped with marshmallows, a chocolate flake, or
List of coffee drinks
^ a b "
Latte - What's The Difference?".
^ "Cappuccino – Definition of cappuccino by Merriam-Webster".
^ "Cappuccino". etymonline.com
World Barista Championship
World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations – Version
2012.10.13" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
^ Pope beatifies 'father of cappuccino', BBC News (April 27, 2003)
^ a b c Ellis, Markman (2004). The Coffee-House: A Cultural History.
London: Orion Publishing Group (Weidenfeld & Nicholson).
p. 122. ISBN 9780297843191. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
^ "How to Make a Cappuccino". Top
Espresso Gear. Retrieved 15
^ Ins Kaffeehaus! : Geschichte einer Wiener Institution by
Gerhard H Oberzill, Jugend & Volk Verlagen 1983, page 77 – 85
Espresso Timeline timelineindex.com
^ "Most Everyone Loves a Good Cappuccino, but Where Did It Come
From?". The Spruce. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
^ Morris, Jonathan (2007). "The
Cappuccino Conquests. The
Transnational History of Italian Coffee".
^ "The history of cappuccino - Frati Lucca's Cappuccino". Frati
Lucca's Cappuccino. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
Coffee Culture". ITALY Magazine.
Pacific Northwest –
Coffee Culture Central Gourmet Coffee
Zone – Daily Blog. Blog.gourmet-coffee-zone.com (2008-03-07).
Retrieved on 2012-06-02.
^ "What Is
Latte Art Guide. 2013-04-28. Retrieved
^ "BARISTAS OF AMERICA: Please Stop Screwing Up My Cappuccino".
Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
^ Tsolakidou, Stella. "Summer
Coffee in Greece: Frappe Vs. Freddo
Variations GreekReporter.com". Retrieved 2017-05-08.
Starbucks has launched two new cold coffees in the UK".
Cosmopolitan. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
^ Cafes milk profits from young latte set - Sydney Morning Herald,
November 6, 2005
Look up cappuccino in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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