Cappuccino is a traditional Italian coffee made from espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. The Italian National Institute of Espresso Coffee (Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano) defines Cappuccino as a beverage prepared with 25 ml of espresso and 100 ml of whipped milk.
Cappuccinos are made from espresso doppio (double) and whipped milk up to 6 fl oz (approximately 177ml) in North American coffee shops. Milk content accounts for about two-thirds of the total beverage. However, half of the milk is simply hot milk, while the other half is frothed milk, mainly for garnish. So, in effect, the total content of milk is equivalent to that of coffee.
Cappuccino and Latte
Cappuccino is often confused with Latte, which is similar but has a more significant amount of milk. There are several critical differences between Cappuccino and Latte. Latte is a North American drink, while Cappuccino is a traditional Italian drink. The most important aspect of a Cappuccino is the amount of milk. The relatively small amount of milk makes the coffee stand out, and we can still enjoy the espresso taste. In drinks with a higher milk content (such as Latte), milk will “dilute” and mask the coffee taste.
Visually, the Cappuccino has a dome shape that protrudes from the cappuccino cup. This dome is made with milk foam and is an integral part of the brewing process. Traditionally, Cappuccinos are not garnished, as frothed milk cannot be poured as with Latte. Many cafes use stencils to decorate with cocoa powder. However, this is not an essential part of the traditional preparation process.