Coffee Machines: Making Cappuccino at Home

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As that glorious first sip of coffee tips into your mouth, you feel instantly invigorated. You thank the barista (individual who made you your coffee) and walk out the door. Now, imagine, being able to make your coffee, including cappuccinos and lattes and mochas and other specialty coffee drinks, right at home. This isn’t an impossibility. Read on for everything you need to know about making yourself a perfect cappuccino in your kitchen.

What Is a Cappuccino, exactly?

A cappuccino is made from a cup of espresso and equal parts milk and froth. It should be rich and creamy.

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

Before you do anything else, you need to have the coffee beans that will make the best coffee (and cappuccino) for you. Coffee beans work for cappuccino, but the best cappuccino comes from espresso beans. Just like with coffee, you can get them at your local grocery store or at a local coffee shop. When choosing an espresso bean, there are plenty of options, including:

*Fresh, whole beans
*Pre-ground coffee
*Freeze dried beans

Most of the time, you will want a rich, dark blend to create the perfect cappuccino.

Finding the Right Equipment

Now that you have the beans, you need to have the right equipment to make the best cappuccino possible. Please note: there are lots of different espresso machines and they usually cost between $75 and $200. Before purchasing, find out about the licensing equipment on a machine.

The best ones are the ones that are semi-automatic, since these will have you do part of it yourself, making for a better cup. For instance, look for something that will brew the espresso, but that you need to manually use the lever to froth the milk. This also has the advantage that you might be able to replace one part if it goes bad, instead of having to replace the whole thing.

Which Milk Should You Use?

In all honesty, it doesn’t matter which type of milk you use – they all have their advantages. Skim milk obviously has less fat. Whole milk or homogenized milk will have the most froth. 2% and 1% are somewhere in the middle. The best thing you can do is play around with it and learn what you prefer. You may be surprised.

Making the Cappuccino

When you have everything you need and are ready to make the cappuccino, start by grinding your beans. Make sure it’s ground well. You don’t want it to be super thin, because then it won’t hold the cream. You also don’t want it be too thick or it won’t have the right flavor. It may take a couple of tries to get this right.

Push the ground espresso into the coffee press and begin to brew it.

While it’s brewing, begin steaming your milk. Choose your cold milk of choice and put it in a stainless steel container. The important part is to steam until you have enough foam to make the drink correctly.

Press the button on your machine to get you the right amount of coffee. It should fill about a third of your cup. Then, slowly, pour the hot milk into the cup to fill it another third making sure not to add in any foam. Finally, fill the remainder of your cup with foam.

Enjoy your cappuccino. Yum!!

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