Myth: cappuccino’s silky magic is beyond the grasp of home baristas. It’s just too delicate of a dance, best left to the cafe.
Truth: great cappuccino is a delight available to discerning coffee lovers, right in their own kitchens. It takes some practice with water, steam and foam, along with the right equipment on your countertop. You’ll want an espresso machine with a built-in steaming wand. And of course, illy coffee on hand as your foundation.
A cappuccino is an approximately 150 ml (5 oz) beverage, starting with equal parts espresso and milk, each 30 ml (1 oz). The foaming action creates the additional volume.
For a cappuccino at its best:
The best foam:
Foam’s consistency depends on the milk’s fat content.
For the most velvety, rich cappuccino, use whole milk. You can substitute low-fat milk, at the sacrifice of some smoothness.
Foam produced from skim milk is light and meringue-like, quick to dissolve.
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