Planning your holiday in Italy? Here’s what you need to know about cappuccino

June 19, 2017

If you’re planning your holiday in Italy, there’s definitely a thing or two that you need to know about one of the most recognizable Italian drinks: the famous cappuccino!

First of all, do you know where the word cappuccino comes from? It goes way back in time and does not refer (only) to the most popular Italian coffee export. The word “cappuccio” in Italian means “hood” and the final –ino is a diminutive. In other words, cappuccino technically means “little hood”. The name comes from the Capuchin friars and refers to the color of their robes: a warm brown, the exact same nuance you obtain adding milk in a small portion to dark, brewed coffee (the classic espresso). And, in fact, the physical appearance of a modern cappuccino with espresso cream and steamed milk is a result of a long evolution of the drink.

In historical terms, it is believed the capuchin friar, Marco d'Aviano, was the inspiration for this beverage and the name of this drink does not come from the hood itself, but rather from the color of the hooded robes worn by monks of the Capuchin order.

The second thing you absolutely need to know about the cappuccino is its real recipe: it is composed of double espresso and hot milk, with the surface topped with foamed milk, and is usually prepared with an espresso machine. The double espresso is poured into the cup and then followed by the same amount of milk – prepared by a heating and texturing procedure. The top third of the cappuccino consists of pure milk foam that can also be decorated with artistic drawings made with milk or cacao powder.

Last but not least important, there’s only one rule when it comes to Italian cappuccino: it is not a drink that should be consumed after meals or in the afternoon – and even less at night! On the contrary, this is a typical drink that should be prepared for breakfast and, if you want, it can accompanied by the “cornetto”, a classic Italian pastry whose name means “little horn”.

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