How do you steam your cappuccinos? First off, what is the standard for a cappuccino? I've always heard it broken down into 1/3s, but lately I've heard some say that they are normally drier and others that the are very wet. What is the standard where you are?

 

Secondly, what steaming technique do you use to achieve a lot of foam for a dry capp, while minimizing milk waste?

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For capps I keep the steam wand tip near the surface and use more steam to draw in air more aggressively. As the milk expands I drop the pitcher to maintain the texture I want. I'm a fan of aerated microfoam that really doesn't appear to have a separation of milk/foam, just thick, silky microfoam that pours smoothly, then will slowly separate once it sits a few mins.

 

Some may prefer the steamed milk/thick froth on top to achieve that 1/3rd approach, just not my thing. It comes down to technique and what the customer likes.

For lattes I expand the milk by 20 to 25%; for cappuccinos I expand it by 100%. We use glass mugs so after a few minutes the separation becomes obvious.

This is required reading for a cappuccino discussion. Hope your Italian is good.

 

6oz microfoam double for me, please. Accept no substitute.

 

These days, I only do free-pour capps - no scooping. I will incorporate as much air as I can without blowing the texture - cold milk, cold pitcher, stretch until body temp, whip and refine until 150F. I also try to start with only enough milk to end up with an empty (or near empty) pitcher after pouring - so everything goes into the drink. Swirl to refine and pour whilst the foam is still a shiny and homogeneous microfoam.

 

The "Rule of Thirds" only makes sense when dealing in doubles. Things kinda fall apart when you start thinking about single-shot drinks... a 3oz cappuccino is an oxymoron.

 

YMMV.

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