lunes, 7 de abril de 2014

The Cappuccino and its history

A Cappuccino
Today we'll talk about one of the best known drink in the World, the Cappuccino. We can find it everywhere we go, more or less well done...but how was it created?

A capuchine monk drinking a
The Cappuccino as we know it today was born in 1901, by Luigi Bezzera, the inventor of the Espresso Machine. But lots of legends want this drink to have been invented a lot earlier, and not in Italy, but in another country: Austria. The legend says the creator of the Cappuccino was Marco d'Aviano, a capuchine monk in mission in Austria to save Europe from the 1683 invasion of the Turks. The Turks, when they renounced to Vienna, left behind many sacks of coffee powder, a drink they particularly loved.

The monk, when he tried to savour the balck drink, found it too bitter, decider to put some milk in it, obtaining a dink whose colour is similar to his capuchine dress. The drink therefore started to be called "the capuchine's drink", and then Cappuccino. Then, after century, technology permitted the creation of the creamy deliciousness we all know as Cappuccino.
Ingredients and process:

The cappuccino is obtained with an espresso coffee base (1/3 of the cup), milk (another 1/3) and the typical milk foam to top the cup. Usually you can find it with a spinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder. It is usually served in a china pot in order to keep the liquid hot. The sugar has to be added according our tastes. For example, I like it with sugar cane.

Everyone knows the coffee shop, the caffeteria and the bar version of the Cappuccino, that they obtain through an espresso machine, but we can have our own excellent version in our homes! First step, just made a coffee with a moka coffee pot!
How we make it? Today lots of kitchen robots help us with our cooking tasks, for example in the creation of the milk foam, but the easiest way is to obtain (for example through internet) a a milk frother, or a Montalatte as is know in Italy.

The milk frother, or montalatte
It is very easy to work with it, you just should fill the frother with the milk and put it to heat, then, when the milk is hot, shake it well for some seconds and there you have it your milk foam. Do not warm the milk too much, because, if your milk is hotter than 70°C the foam will dissolve fastly. If you don't have a thermometer, just don't let the milk to reach the boiling point.

the milk frother opened

Another trick to create a perfect foam is to hit a little bit the bottom of the pot, so to addense our milk foam.
Now choose your favourite cup, put your moka coffee pot on the heat and wait for the coffee to get ready. Put the coffe in the cup and then add the milk and the milk foam. You can decide how to decorate your own cappuccino with the now very popular so called Latte Art.

A cappuccino decorated with Latte Art

Let us tell you some curiosity about Cappuccino. In Italy is considered the cornerstone of the Colazione all'Italiana, or italian breakfast, done with a Cornetto (an italian version of the croissant, made with less butter than the transalpine ones) and a Cappuccino. Yes, in Italy we almost never drink Cappuccino after 10 a.m. in the morning! In Us or elsewhere you can drink cappuccino everytime you want, and that's because in the other cultures, breakfast is not sweet-based, like for instance in Italy or France, but made with salted dishes, and therefore the Cappuccino becomes somewhat a substitution of coffee. There's nothing strange in enjoying a Cappuccino at 5 p.m. in London or New York, but if you ask for it in Florence or Rome, the waiter may just look at you arkwardly. In the case, just laugh and add to the waiter: "sorry man, I'm just foreigner!" ha ha!
In other bars or caffetterias you can also find a Cappuccino made with heavy cream. But in this case is not a proper Cappuccino. You would obtain something that in Austria is called melange and in Italy is known as caffè viennese.

That's all for today, we hope you'll try to do your own cappuccino at your house, and that it will become a domestic rite for your breakfasts!

caffeine greetings!


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