Have you ever wondered how each and every one of the many different coffee beverages got their names & identities from? Let me explain further, here are some examples on some of the most famous coffee beverages consumed all around the world: Espresso: The word ‘espresso’ means ‘express’, it is the most popular coffee brewing method & it also happens to be the most sellable coffee beverage around the globe. An espresso is brewed by applying high pressure and hot water onto the coffee to extract all the potential aromatics compounds and solubles that are both tasty and yummy. Caffè Latte: The term ‘latte’ is derived from the Italian word ‘caffè latte’, which means ‘milk coffee’. In fact, if you walk into any restaurant or café in Italy and ask for a latte, you’ll be given a glass of milk. In Italy, you have to ask specifically for a caffè latte. In France and northern Europe, you’d ask for a café au lait. Café Macchiato: A café macchiato is a beverage made up of a shot of espresso with a spot or dash of either milk foam or textured milk.
Long Black: A long black is a style of coffee, most commonly consumed in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. It is now becoming more welcomed in the UK, predominantly in London. A long black is made by pouring a double-shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water. A long black is similar to an americano, which is made by adding hot water to the espresso shot. In contrast, long blacks retain the crema of the espresso and is less voluminous, therefore has a stronger flavour at the first sip. The order in which a long black is made is important -- reversing the steps will destroy the crema from the espresso shot and becomes an americano instead. A short black is an Australasian synonym for a basic espresso.
These are some of the most famous caffeine beverages that are being retailed across the globe by famous café’s or coffee chain giants, BUT WAIT!!!!! There is ONE more beverage which happens to be my favourite milk caffeine beverage and also has a long history in the coffee drinking culture. Cappuccino The term ‘cappuccino’ actually originates from Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habit (the colour of Capuchin robe). In the 1700s, cappuccino first popped out as ‘Kapuziner’ which describes a coffee with cream and sugar at a Viennese coffee house. The colour of this drink is similar to the brown colour robe worn by the Capuchin (Kapuzin) in Vienna. In Italian, the word ‘Capuchin’ means a cowl or hood that represent the name given to the Capuchin monks for their hooded robe. In the 1930s, the first recorded cappuccino was found and it was served in ‘Viennese’ style with whipped cream topping with cinnamon or chocolate. Cappuccino of today which is served with steamed milk was found later on. In the 1950s, when espresso machines started to become more commonly used, people began to have their cappuccino with espressos instead of the standard coffee. From then on, the term ‘cappuccino’ was known worldwide.
Ahemmmmmmm so we managed to get rid of the boring part of the history, which is the origin of the term cappuccino; now to the exciting part – A standard cappuccino consists of espresso, steamed textured milk and well- frothed creamy-foamed milk with a ratio of one third (1/3) respectively. The foam can be anywhere around the thickness of 1-2cm from top of the cup lid.
However, there are still some parts in the world such as Vienna, Austria and Europe where they serve cappuccino like the Viennese Kapuziners by topping it with whipped cream, cinnamon or chocolate powder.
Although every culture and country practices different brewing guides and uses different vessel to present a tasty cuppa of cappuccino, the basic concept of this caffeine beverage remains consistent across the globe and that is, cappuccino has / consist of the most amount of textured milk foam amongst all the milk caffeine beverages, with café latte being the middle ground and the flat white being the contrast as it has the least amount of textured milk foam.
Do check out an article piece written in Bahasa by my colleague on the topic – What is A Flat White / Apakah Itu Flat White https://www.ghostbirdcoffee.com/post/apakah-flat- white At Ghostbird Coffee Roaster, I like to brew my cuppa of cappuccino in a 7.5oz or 221ml ceramic cup, with a 1:1 coffee ground to liquid espresso brew ratio and a brew time of 28 – 35 seconds of espresso extraction, and of course a well roasted Gemini Espresso Blend that consist of coffee beans from the region of Brazil and Colombia. Just imagine, looking at the sunrise while listening to my favourite music jams, getting the coffee grinder dialled – in and most importantly, the lovely sound of perfectly frothed steamed milk moving in a vortex motion resulting in a perfect harmony of the blending of milk and its bubbles that was created through the motion of milk stretching.
The vortex motion or I like to call em ‘Tornado’ is crucial in creating a well frothed textured milk which provides a creamy smooth mouthfeel and body that makes the cappuccino unique and different to other caffeine milk beverages. Which, in my humble opinion, drinking a well frothed textured foam cappuccino is the best experience one could have early in the morning.
Here are some basic guidelines I would like to share to brew a tasty cappuccino:
1. Always use fresh and well rested espresso coffee beans to work with.
2. Use coffee beans that are of a slightly developed roast profile, in which it will provide a more chocolaty and medium body texture.
3. Keep your coffee distribution and coffee tamping techniques consistent.
4. I would recommend using fresh milk or full cream body for a burst of vanilla sweetness on the palate, for those whom are lactose intolerant, oat milk or almond milk are great alternatives.
5. ALWAYS PURGE YOUR STEAM WAND!!!!!!!!
6. Do your milk stretching earlier and fast, pay more attention at the vortex motion instead.
7. Temperature of 63oC – 68oC is the best as the milk tastes its sweetest at these temperatures.
8. Pour em pretty Heart Latte Arts and you are off to a great experience!