The Cappuccino Explained – YouTube

  • Cappuccinos have a fascinating history linked to 16th-century monks.
  • The name ‘cappuccino’ actually originates from Vienna, not Italy.
  • The drink has evolved significantly with the advent of espresso machines.
  • Modern cappuccinos focus on strong coffee flavor and foam.
  • The addition of chocolate to cappuccinos is a matter of personal preference.

Cappuccinos haven’t always been trendy, but they’ve remained one of the most beloved coffee recipes around. There’s a lot of confusion about the origins of its name. Surprisingly, it’s tied to the Capuchin monks, an order of Franciscan monks founded in 1525 by Matteo Da Bascio. These monks adopted an austere lifestyle, which led them to don a distinctive hooded habit. While some believe that the foam on a cappuccino mimics this hood, that’s just a myth. Another myth is that the drink resembles a monk’s tonsured head, but Capuchin monks don’t even shave their heads.

The real origin of the name takes us to the 19th-century coffee houses of Vienna. Known as ‘kapuziner’ in Vienna, the drink combined coffee with milk or cream, matching the color of the Capuchin monks’ robes. Interestingly, this predates the invention of espresso machines, which later became essential for making the foamed milk we associate with cappuccinos today.

Cappuccinos found their way to Italy, where they evolved with the invention of high-pressure espresso machines. Traditionally, a cappuccino is described as one-third espresso, one-third milk, and one-third foam. However, this tidy rule isn’t very accurate. In Italy, a cappuccino was typically served as a single shot in a five or six-ounce cup, filled with foamy milk but without strict rules on the foam’s quantity.

Modern coffee culture has seen the cappuccino become stronger, often featuring two shots of espresso and less foam, mainly due to the rise of latte art, which requires less foamy milk. Therefore, a cappuccino today is more of a concept than a rigid recipe.

Adding chocolate to a cappuccino? Well, that’s been a topic of debate too. Some say it’s an old practice meant to cover the hole left by pouring coffee into foamed milk. Ultimately, it’s all about personal preference. If you enjoy it, why not?

In essence, a great cappuccino offers a strong coffee flavor paired with a thick layer of foam. Ideally, this foam should have bubbles so tiny that they’re nearly invisible. The joy of a cappuccino lies in its taste, aroma, and even the sound of it.

The cappuccino has a rich history and has evolved into a versatile favorite for coffee lovers worldwide.