People are creatures of habit. We wake up every day and follow a “to-do” list to begin functioning, and only after this list is complete, we don’t consider ourselves fully awake or ready to face the new day. For billions of people throughout the world, coffee is a must in this daily list.
Think about it. Every second, at this very moment, someone is waking up to a cup of coffee to begin their day, or having one after a meal to keep on working. For some of us it is so important, that we don’t feel complete if we have not sipped our regular intake of this liquid that looks so simple yet so rich in flavor, benefits and of course, feelings and emotions.
So, in order for you to make the perfect Cappuccino cup of coffee at home, here is a “To Do” list of the steps you need to follow to get that same flavor and feel you get when you ordered that Cappuccino with your dear beloved on your Honeymoon in Italy.
Table of Contents
1.) Know your Machine
Home Cappuccino Makers are small replicas of the big professional ones. All come with knobs, gauges and some models include a metal jug that will be frequently used by you. Get acquainted with your new machine and its performance as most are usually user-friendly while delivering top results. Pay special attention to maintenance and cleanliness, as the perfect Cappuccino demands a careful preparation process.
2.) Got (Whole) Milk?
Only whole milk works great for Cappuccinos because the fat in Whole Milk helps create that rich-flavored and full bodied foam top with tiny bubbles, which is the main feature of the perfect Cappuccino coffee. So, if you really want to enjoy that perfect Cappuccino coffee, you have to give Skim milk a break and buy a carton of Whole Milk. Some Baristas agree that for even better purposes, 2 to 3 day-old milk is perfect for successful Cappuccinos. Milk’s temperature is also a key factor involved, so keep it chilled until the moment you are going to prepare that Cappuccino you want so badly.
3.) Keep that shot handy
The secret for the perfect Cappuccino is on the cream. Every expert agrees on that. But before we get to this process we need the coffee where we’ll pour later when the foam is ready and since this process requires more attention it’s good to have the coffee ready beforehand. Prepare a shot of Espresso on your machine and keep it ready, as you’ll mix it later when the cream is ready in a couple of minutes.
4.) Full Steam ahead!
Espresso machines release powerful jets of steam to produce a compression process that creates the foam on top of the cup. Bring the jug to the steam release – called the Steam Wand – and hold the steam valve open for some 2 to 3 seconds keeping in mind that this process will raise both the cream and the milk volume inside the jar, so as this happens, start lowering the jug and incline it just a little until it fills and you see the swirling mix of milk and cream turning into the famous Cappuccino foam.
5.) Cream your way the top
Keep the steam open until the milk temperature is close to 65°. This is very important as you don’t want the milk’s volume to expand too much and ruin the foam, and patiently watch as the cream grows inside the jug. Usually twice the milk volume is what it takes to fill in the whole jug. Pay special attention
6.) Stirred, not shaken
By this time, your cream should be ready to burst from the metal jug, and it shouldn’t feel squishy or mushy but precisely creamy. Before you serve it on the cup, give the jug a gentle slam against a hard surface to compact the milk and make it thicker and then gently stir it just a little to further amalgamate the foam and the milk for the perfect cappuccino cream.
7.) Gran Finale
Remember that Espresso shot you brewed before you prepared the cream? Well, get your small cup of coffee, fill it to a shot measure and slowly pour the cream until you reach the top. Depending on the quality of the milk and the machine you buy, the result will be in many cases, a cream so rich and thick that you will become an expert on serving, preparing and enjoying that same Cappuccino you first had many years ago, when you first encountered this delicious version of the regular cup of this famous Italian coffee.
Well, there you have it. A Cappuccino is a craft that, as with any other craft, takes time, practice and dedication. It may take several tries but eventually you’ll get there. Just remember these steps and before you know it, you will be serving and enjoying, the best Cappuccino cup you’ll ever have.
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