It’s time to celebrate one of the greatest morning pick-me-ups known to man, the delicious cappuccino. Yes, there’s an entire day dedicated to the pleasures of drinking this beautifully blending beverage. So to celebrate National Cappuccino Day, here’s the history of how a little espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam became one of the most popular espresso beverages worldwide.
Rumor has it that the cappuccino first got its name from Catholic Church friars known as the Capuchin Monks in 17th century Italy who would often cover their heads with brown hooded frocks. Historians pieced together that the brown hood of the Capuchin Monks inspired the name of the Cappuccino, because the beverage is topped with a “brown cap” of foam. No one knows for sure how true this legend actually is, but we do know that in the early 1800s, an early version of the cappuccino, also called a “kapuziner” at the time, started to appear in Viennese coffee houses. However, these were only coffees with cream and sugar, and weren’t a reflection of what we know to be cappuccinos today. It wasn’t until Luigi Bezzera, creator of world-renowned espresso machine manufacturer Bezzera, patented the first espresso machine in 1901 that he set the stage for creating cappuccinos and other espresso beverages as we know them today.
“Cappuccini,” as it’s called in Italy, became a staple in Italy in the 1930s, and is still a popular beverage to have with breakfast or after dinner with a sweet dessert today. Cappuccinos were often served in Italian coffee bars and served “Viennese style” with whipped cream and spices or chocolate shavings to top off the beverage. People would often enjoy a cappuccino with friends, family, or simply with a book to pass time. Today a cappuccino, like any popular beverage, is enjoyed differently around the world. In the United States, it’s usually to jumpstart your day or, if you’re entertaining for guests, you might whip up several cappuccinos on your espresso machine and add a flavored syrup to the beverage.
If you’re a fan of cappuccinos, I definitely recommend checking out the Bezzera Hobby 01. As the name suggests, it's from Bezzera — the company which set the stage to make the cappuccino what it is today — and the Hobby 01 really delivers on that legacy. It boasts incredible steam power and aerates milk foam that sits perfectly on top of espresso.
However, one thing that many coffee and espresso lovers can’t seem to agree on is what the difference is between a cappuccino and a latte. They both have espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, but the most important way to distinguish between the two is the proportions of each ingredient when making the beverage. As a former barista, when I first learned how to make cappuccinos and lattes, my training manager always told me that when you’re making a cappuccino, if the cup has more weight to it, you didn’t make a cappuccino, you made a latte. A latte has more steamed milk, while a cappuccino has more foam. So when I made cappuccinos for customers, I’d do a quick weight test to make sure that the cup was light, and had just the right amount of foam.
If reading this is making you crave a tasty cappuccino, you’ll ‘Fall’ in love with all of our delicious recipes, that are perfect to brew for this season!