Do you know how to drink a cappuccino like an Italian and what a good one looks like? Probably the best way to greet a new day is with an excellent cup of cappuccino in your hand so keep on reading to find out more about one of Italy’s most diffused exports.
Local Aromas Foodie Sisters, Valeria and Benedetta, went to a great coffee shop in Rome to drink and explain what a good cappuccino should look like.
What is cappuccino?
A real Italian cappuccino is made with espresso coffee topped with foamed milk to create a creamy texture with a caffeine hit. Although claimed as an Italian invention, some sources state that the cappuccino actually originated in Vienna where the ‘Kapuziner’ coffee was served in the 1700s. The name relates to the Italian word for the Capuchin order of hooded monks whose brown robes were identified with the addition of milk to black coffee which obtains a similar color. In Italy, the first mention of the term ‘cappuccino’ relating to coffee dates back to the 1930s when it began to be prepared in the north of the country.
Nowadays, cappuccino is one of the best known and drunk types of coffee but the Italians truly know how to prepare it well. Made from a good shot of espresso topped with hot, frothy milk, it combines to make a creamy delicious beverage which in Italy will usually be served hot but not boiling to ensure that it can be enjoyed straight away. There are many coffee bars with expert baristas who may even design images or writing in the foam to add a little art – latte art – and beauty to your morning coffee fix.
When to drink cappuccino
Although back home you may find cappuccino consumed at every hour of the day, in Italy there are strict rules about when it should be ordered. The general consensus is that it should only be drunk before noon. The Italians are very particular about digestion and warm milk is thought to mess up the digestive process after a large meal. For that reason, cappuccino is considered very much a breakfast drink, to be sipped with your morning cornetto or breakfast pastry or at the most as a mid-morning pick-me-up. Once lunch has landed in the stomach, you would be considered foolish to add a cappuccino on top so do not be surprised if ordering a cappuccino after a meal in Italy is met with looks of derision, confusion or even an outright refusal. They are just looking out for your digestive well-being!