Cappuccino: The Italian Coffee Delight

Cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee concoctions that originated in Italy. It’s essentially a cup of a double shot of espresso with steamed milk.
The cappuccino drink is thought to have origininated in Vienna, however, their version of the cappuccino or locally known to the Viennese as Kapuziner is a mix of brewed coffee mixed with spices and topped with whipped cream. Regardless of the origin, cappuccino is on the menu of every coffee shop as one of the most popular coffee drink.

Origins of the cappuccino

The name cappuccino came from an odd origin. Back in the time when the beverage was really popular, the color of the cappuccino was strikingly familiar to the color of the Capuchin friarswho, at the time, held a high position or recognition in the society. The name cappuccino literally reads as small Capuchin. The name also came from a derived Italian word ‘cappuccio’ which means hood.

Although the name is attributed to the Capuchin friars, the beverage itself originated in Austria from a beverage known as the Kapuziner. The Kapuziner is defined back then as coffee with cream and sugar and later also even defined as coffee with cream, spices, and sugar. The drink, itself, did originate in Vienna and as it spread out, it was known as Cafe Viennois.

The Cappuccino Evolution

Over time, cappuccino has evolved into a completely different drink from its Viennese origin although has its strikingly similar comparison to the drink. Though it originated from Vienna, the Italians were the ones who made the beverage popular thus taking the name cappuccino. And as time passed by, the whipped cream was replaced with steamed milk.

As the drink gained popularity, it later then evolved into a different concoction when it made its way to American soil. Cappuccino then had an extra layer added to it which is the foam as a literal take on
the ‘cap’ or ‘hood’ of the drink. In Italy, however, it only uses a shot of espresso and steamed frothed milk. Now, a cappuccino is known as a drink that comprises of 1/3 of espresso, 1/3 of steamed milk, 1/3
of milk foam.

The Kapuziner in Austria remains unchanged until today and it is still widely found in the Austrian menu of beverages.

Italian Cappuccino

Since it is widely recognized as an Italian drink, the cappuccino is quite popular. It is also a drink that is often given to children because it has more parts milk than espresso. However, cappuccinos or cappuccini, in Italian plural form, are morning beverages that aren’t supposed to be taken after 11 am. It’s either drunk with breakfast or taken as a mid-morning coffee time.

Cappuccino Variations

  • Double cappuccino is made with a double shot of espresso and poured over with steamed frothed milk.
  • Iced Cappuccino or the cappuccino freddo is a cold version of the typical cappuccino. It uses cold frothed milk widely popular in the Mediterranean, however, in different parts of the world, the cappuccino is ice-blended and oftentimes added with whipped cream and flavor shots.
  • Gelato da bere is a variant of cappuccino that uses a thick blend of gelato instead of frothed milk. It is really popular in Milan and has a creamier and more textured feel and taste as compared to a cappuccino.
  • Wet Cappuccino or cappuccini Chiaro is a cappuccino with more steamed milk and less froth or foam.
  • Dry Cappuccino or cappuccini scurro has more foam than steamed milk in the concoction. This cappuccino variant has a stronger taste of coffee as compared to the original cappuccino since it has lesser milk to dilute the espresso.