How to make the Perfect Cappuccino
It is essential that you have established how to make the perfect espresso before moving on to other drinks such as cappuccino, as this is the base of the whole drink (please also see How to make the Perfect Espresso). If your espresso is bad it doesn’t matter how well you froth or pour your milk, it will never make a good cappuccino!
The basic make-up of a cappuccino is roughly 1/3 coffee, 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 frothed/foamed milk but you may also hear people ask for a dry cappuccino (more froth) or a wet cappuccino (less froth). In Italy a cappuccino is served in a 6-7oz cup, using a single espresso as the base. Here in the UK we tend to go for larger cup sizes than this, typically 10-12oz, so it is fundamental to multiply these Italian ratios up to suit the cup size you are making. For example a 12oz cappuccino needs a double espresso as its base (about 60ml made with 12-14g of coffee), an 18oz cup would need a triple shot espresso (about 90ml made with ~18g of coffee) etc.
- Prepare the required ammount of espresso in the bottom the cup.
- Prepare the milk as described in How to Froth Milk.
- When the milk is ready to pour, start pouring from a little height roughly 10cm above the crema, into the center of the drink. This makes the milk go through the crema rather than cover it.
- Then move the jug closer to the coffee until it is practically touching the cup, keeping the pour in the centre of the drink. You will see the white of the milk starting to take over creating a circle.
- Just before the cup is full, gently flick the jug forwards. This draws a line in the circle of white making a heart or apple shape.
- Cocoa powder can be used to decorate the top of the drink although in Italy a cappuccino is often served without any topping. It is better to avoid other chocolate sprinkles as they tend to be sweet and hide the true flavour of the coffee.
It is important not to break your pour, it should be one smooth flowing maneuver. This is the simplest form of latte art, once you have mastered this you can then move onto other patterns such as leaves/ferns etc.