So the other day I had a talk with my boss about the difference between a latte and a cappuccino. She has beeen in business for 15 years & I have worked in the shop for about 4 years as head barista. within the last year I have become very passionate about coffee, attending trade shows and schools. We had a very different opinion on how these two beverages were constructed.

Boss says: a latte is steamed milk first then espresso over top. As for a cappuccino the espresso first then a bit more of a foamy style milk on top.

I say: the esspresso should go first no matter whats the drink is and the milk should be textured the same everytime it is steamed. The latte in my mind would just consistent of more milk then a capp.

My question to you bxers is does she just have coffee knowledge of 15 years ago when she was orginally trained by her roaster? And do you think pouring esspresso over top of milk would effect the flavor of the drink? finally what would be a good way to come to a mutual agreement?

I appreciate any and all incite!

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You'll probably get loads of different BXers view of what's right and what's not and if you should follow your own standards or your boss', but no matterwhat, this is a good read, don't miss the comments. 

 

http://www.jimseven.com/2010/12/26/the-cappuccino/

In my opinion, you are correct that espresso should go first no matter the beverage.  She is making a "latte macchiato," if it was to have any official name.  The reasons for preparing the beverage your way are to have better presentation (i.e.- latte art) and also, you save time in your beverage preparation by mixing the milk and the espresso without having to use a spoon, something that would be required if you were just pouring the espresso into the milk.

 

I do not agree that milk should be textured the same whether it is a cappuccino or a latte.  Cappuccinos should have a denser, thicker foam and more of it.  Also, a cappuccino should only be 5(ish) to 6(ish) ounces.

 

James Hoffman just did a nice write up on his opinion of the cappuccino and barista magazine has had some good articles about milk in general in the past couple issues.  I think it's just as important to read the comments as it is to read the article.  James' article can be found here.

 

-bry

I also agree the espresso should be first and the milk should definitely be textured differently. When customers ask me the difference between a cappuccino and a latte I tell them "air" as that IS the difference when texturing for each. I then go on to explain how I build each type of drink and the difference in taste/texture.

 

 

Ha!  Can you tell I typed mine as you were typing yours? :)

 

-bry

Oscar Nyman said:

You'll probably get loads of different BXers view of what's right and what's not and if you should follow your own standards or your boss', but no matterwhat, this is a good read, don't miss the comments. 

 

http://www.jimseven.com/2010/12/26/the-cappuccino/

Thanks for the info guys! and that article was quite interesting I read it twice, once for each post hahaha!
:-)
my "incite" is to find a new job

Im curious here bry, if you think cappuccino foam should be dence and think then how does your latte froth differ?  As for the question, espresso in the bottom. And I always try to make to the richest creamiest foam i can everytime i froth milk, and a cap would have equal parts milk and froth.
Bryan Wray said:

In my opinion, you are correct that espresso should go first no matter the beverage.  She is making a "latte macchiato," if it was to have any official name.  The reasons for preparing the beverage your way are to have better presentation (i.e.- latte art) and also, you save time in your beverage preparation by mixing the milk and the espresso without having to use a spoon, something that would be required if you were just pouring the espresso into the milk.

 

I do not agree that milk should be textured the same whether it is a cappuccino or a latte.  Cappuccinos should have a denser, thicker foam and more of it.  Also, a cappuccino should only be 5(ish) to 6(ish) ounces.

 

James Hoffman just did a nice write up on his opinion of the cappuccino and barista magazine has had some good articles about milk in general in the past couple issues.  I think it's just as important to read the comments as it is to read the article.  James' article can be found here.

 

-bry

i agree dustin i always try to make that perfect shiny smooth rich foam everytime i steam! and i like the porportions listed ash...and do agree that it is all a matter of preferance, style, culture, tradition, blah ba blah ba blah. and jared i do plan on looking for a more challenging and educated environment to hone my skills in the near future.

 

thanks for the thoughts

-eric

Been in Hoffman's camp long before his post. We think capps should be stretched more for a less dense milk, a texture that would eliminate possibility of a finely detailed rosetta, but would still allow for tulips and hearts. We've commented often over the years how competition capps have trended toward small lattes instead of capps. Just our opinion. Otherwise how would a cappuccino differ from a Gibraltar-style drink (other than the glass)?
Steamed milk first, espresso next = latte machiatto. The espresso flows in the middle, between the milk and steamed milk.

spot on, bryan!

 

sage

the coffee hound

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