Cappuccino is a common but interesting coffee beverage. If you’re not interested in your traditional cup of hot coffee like you usually have, a cappuccino is a great beverage to try.
These beverages are made with espresso rather than your regular cup of drip coffee. But spending your money on cappuccinos at local coffee shops can get expensive and frankly time-consuming.
If you’re not ready to kick your cappuccino habit but can’t rationalize paying the several dollars it costs each time, you may be able to make this delicious espresso beverage at home.
You Can Make a Cappuccino in an Espresso Machine
If you want to try your hand at creating cappuccinos at home, you can! You’ll need a few things, but an espresso machine with a built-in steam want is the best tool to do so. When it comes to making cappuccinos, using an espresso machine is the easier and most efficient way to make one from the comfort of your own home.
What is a Cappuccino?
A cappuccino was originally made popular during World War I and World War II. This espresso drink has a bottom layer of espresso. Some people use one shot where some people prefer two. In the United States, it’s common to have two shots of espresso in one cappuccino.
On top of the two espresso shots, a layer of steamed milk is added. Then you’ll add a thick layer of foam to the drink. This is what gives a cappuccino that velvety texture.
Cappuccinos are made from espresso, but the espresso used to make these beverages is much stronger than a traditional cup of espresso. In fact, it’s still much stronger than the espresso used to make your beloved lattes.
How to Make a Cappuccino in an Espresso Machine
Before we get started learning how to make the perfect cappuccino with an espresso machine, you should know the basics regarding the size of the coffee beverage.
A traditional cup of coffee is about eight ounces. A cappuccino is less than that with about five ounces of beverage per serving. Most of the beverage consists of fresh milk and foam at the top that creates more volume.
The first step in making the perfect cappuccino is to brew espresso. Most espresso machines make single and double shots with the press of a button. You’ll need to start off by adding finely ground coffee beans to your espresso machine to make espresso for your cappuccino.
If your espresso machine grinds coffee beans for you, then half the work is done for you. Since many espresso machines don’t, you’ll need to use a coffee grinder to grind the coffee beans yourself.
Luckily, a coffee grinder is very inexpensive and can be used for more than just grinding coffee beans. You’ll need to brew espresso. When your espresso has finished brewing, you’ll set it aside while you craft the steamed and frothed milk. You’ll want to make sure you use a cup large enough to hold the espresso. The best cup to use is a cappuccino cup if you have one.
Most espresso machines come equipped with a steaming pitcher and/or steaming wand to create a cappuccino. To begin making your homemade cappuccino, you’ll want to start pouring cold milk into the steaming pitcher supplied by your espresso machine. You’ll fill this about a third of the way full.
Once you’ve poured the milk into the steaming pitcher, you’ll want to release steam from the steaming wand. You’ll do this for about two second to remove any residual water that may be in the steaming wand.
You’ll then dip the steaming wand into your milk that’s in the steaming pitcher and begin frothing. When the foam begins to rise, the volume of the milk increases. You’ll need to lower the pitcher while keeping the tip of the steaming wand submerged. Tilting the pitcher and keeping it submerged creates a vortex.
You’ll want to continue steaming the milk until it reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to check this is by using a thermometer. Even if the temperature has been reached, you’ll want to ensure that the volume of the milk doubles.
The next step is to gently tap the base of your steam pitcher on the counter. You’ll need to do this gently but firmly to compress the milk foam properly.
Once you’ve created the foamed, it’s time to combine all the ingredients. You’ll pour the foamy milk directly into the cup, before the espresso. You’ll want to aim to pour the milk in the center and continue to pour in a circular motion out towards the rim.
You’ll then add in your espresso on top of the steamed milk you poured into the cup. Lastly, you’ll operate the steam wand once again to remove any remaining milk residue.
Alternatives to Making a Cappuccino in an Espresso Machine
If you don’t own an espresso machine, there are other ways you can make a cappuccino at home.
Make a Cappuccino with a French Press
When making espresso at home, it’s best to use an espresso machine. But if you don’t have one or can’t rationalize purchasing one, a French press is much more affordable and can still make a decent cappuccino.
You’ll need more than just a French press to make this because you’ll need a way to steam milk and froth it. Luckily, you can use a simple Mason jar if you don’t want to invest in a frothing pitcher or wand.
Use Regular Coffee
When you’re making a traditional cappuccino, you need to use espresso. But, if you’re looking to make something similar without purchasing an espresso machine, you can use regular coffee. You’ll follow the same steps as you would when making a cappuccino with espresso but with regular drip coffee. If you plan on making a cappuccino with regular coffee, you may want to try making the coffee with a more robust coffee bean so that it tastes stronger like espresso.