Cappuccino coffee is the favourite drink of many consumers. It is not to prepare it every time we drink coffee because it takes its process, and we have to dedicate a little more time to it than to the standard espresso, but when we can enjoy it, the sensations are unique.
For convenience, we often order a cappuccino in our favourite coffee shop. Still, unfortunately, in many countries, the culture of coffee is not as widespread as in others, and the “cappuccino coffee” they offer us is simply a regular coffee with some cream on top. For coffee purists, this isn’t very pleasant.
The other alternative is to make it yourself in the comfort of your home. To make a perfect cappuccino at home, you can take several paths (there is no single path). However, we will consider in the explanation the more traditional and classic formula: the one that uses a manual espresso machine that has an integrated milk frother, and of course, grinding the coffee bean yourself. Here we go:
Essential literature for making a perfect cappuccino at home
It is an article for both expert users and neophytes in the field, so here are some posts that we recommend you read before getting started.
- Which is the best coffee maker to make a cappuccino?
- Latte art for beginners
- Difference between Cappuccino vs Latte Macchiato
- How to froth milk correctly
- Milk jug for emulsification
What you need to make the perfect cappuccino
These are the elements and ingredients necessary for a perfect cappuccino coffee:
- An espresso machine.
- A milk frother (in case your coffee maker does not have a spray nozzle).
- A stainless steel milk carafe.
- First quality coffee beans.
- A coffee grinder.
- Whole milk, with a percentage of fat between 3.2% and 3.5%.
As we said at the beginning, you can take other ways to make your cappuccino at home (for example, using conventional coffee already ground and pre-packaged). Still, we will stick to the highest quality standards to get the best result. Remember: to make the best cappuccino; you need the best ingredients and the most exceptional care at every step.
How to make the perfect cappuccino with a manual espresso machine
Time required: 5 minutes.
We explain how to make a perfect cappuccino at home, step by step, and how the canons are enforced.
- Emulsify the milk. The milk must be whole and cold when it is emulsified. To make a single cappuccino, you’ll need 120 millilitres of milk in your jug. When you finish the emulsion, the milk must be between 66 and 68ºC. Use a thermometer inside the jug if necessary. To make this emulsion, you can use the spray nozzle of your coffee maker or the milk frother you have at home.
- Make an espresso. To make the best homemade cappuccino, the coffee must be of the highest quality. You must be clear about this: without a good espresso, you will not achieve a good cappuccino. Make your espresso with the machine you have at home, preferably an arm coffee maker. Make sure the cup is hot so that the coffee does not lose temperature when it is served.
- Stabilize the cream. During the 25-30 seconds it takes to extract your espresso, you can take advantage of this time to settle the milk and eliminate any bubbles that may have formed by tapping the carafe against the counter or table.
- Serve and mount the cappuccino in the cup. In the same cup where you have already made your espresso, pour the cream over the coffee. The exact proportion of the cappuccino should be 33% espresso, 33% hot milk, and 33% foam or cream, in that order.
- [Optional] Cappuccino decoration. At this point, you would have your perfect homemade cappuccino. Still, optionally you can decorate it with latte art (this already depends on your skill) or sprinkle it over with cinnamon or cocoa powder.
NOTE: Remember that if your coffee maker does not have a spray nozzle, then you must use a separate milk frother and make the emulsion yourself. The order of the ingredients and the process are the same.
Tips and tricks for making the perfect cappuccino at home
Finally, we finish our guide with a review of the details and tricks you must take into account to make a homemade cappuccino like the real thing:
- The milk must be whole and cold. Otherwise, the cream will not come out with the right density.
- The coffee must be espresso, not any other method.
- The cream must be consistent: avoid big bubbles.
- Always use a stainless steel milk carafe to emulsify.
- The components must be served in the cup always in the same order: first the espresso, then the hot milk, and finally the foam layer—approximately one-third of each part.
- It is not enough just to beat the milk: it must also be heated. The ideal temperature of the milk should be 68ºC when the emulsion is finished. Remember this detail if you use a manual milk frother.
- Never forget to rinse and clean the steamer of your coffee machine after each use. Organic milk residues quickly generate bacteria.