Italy is delightfully famous for the variety of coffee drinks that it produces. Cappuccinos are loved among coffee lovers and despite the vague history, many people still appreciate the comfort that this hot, foamy, milk drink brings.
Thus, comes a happy day called National Cappuccino Day, where people from all over can order a frothy and whipped cup of coffee to enjoy on its own or to eat with whatever meal they’re having. Let’s take a look at how National Cappuccino Day came to be.
History of National Cappuccino Day
The name “Cappuccino” originally came from the Capuchin Friars, a minor order of Franciscan friars within the Catholic Church, headquartered in Rome, Italy. These friars in the 16th century were well known for their missionary work in helping the poor and were dedicated to extreme austerity, poverty, and simplicity.
Wearing a brown robe with a pointed hood, it is believed that the name stemmed from a specific person in the order, Marco d’Aviano. According to the Telegraph, when an Ottoman Turk army tried marching into Vienna in 1683, d’Aviano united the outnumbered Christian troops and made them victorious in defending Vienna.
The legend says that after the Turks fled, they left behind Ottoman coffee, and because the Christians found it to be bitter, they sweetened it with milk and honey and named it after the Order of Capuchins.
A different source says that the idea of the cappuccino drink appears to have originated in the 1700’s, in the “Kapuziner” coffee houses in Austria, which contained coffee with cream and sugar and eventually added spices. So no one really knows exactly where the name came from.
However, the cappuccino coffee drink that everyone knows of today was invented in Italy during the 1900’s after the invention of the espresso machine gained popularity. The first record of the modern cappuccino appeared in the 1930’s. Back then, espresso machines were rather bulky and complicated–certainly not something the average person would have at home in their kitchen. So as the coffee culture in Italy developed, it was centered around specialty cafes, and baristas who knew how to operate the machines.
After World War II, the espresso machine improved, and so changed the process of making cappuccinos, which now have steamed and frothed cream and thus spread its popularity around the world.
How to Celebrate National Cappuccino Day
National Cappuccino Day is certainly an enjoyable one! Celebrate with all kinds of delightful activities that center around this delicious beverage made with espresso and foamed milk. Try out these ideas:
Enjoy a Cappuccino at a Cafe
Go out to a favorite cafe and order a delicious cappuccino to enjoy. Although getting this to go at the drive-through in a paper cup is certainly an option, it’s much tastier when served in a ceramic cup. In fact, a cappuccino is actually meant to be sipped slowly over a longer period of time, preferably while sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Europe! So take some time on this National Cappuccino Day to savor and delight in this marvelous drink.
Invite a Friend for a Cappuccino
Celebrations are so much better when enjoyed with good company! Call up an old friend or family member and suggest a Cappuccino coffee date, or take this as an opportunity to make a new friend. Ask that coworker, new neighbor or yoga instructor if they want to help celebrate National Cappuccino Day by enjoying a cup, whether you go out or invite them around to your house for a coffee drink made at home.
Make a Cappuccino at Home
If you’d rather have a cup at home, get an espresso machine and make a cup yourself. Espresso machines run the gamut when it comes to cost and quality. It’s possible to get a super cheap one for less than $100, or some people want the top-of-the-line model that will run them upwards of $2000. Either way, making a cappuccino at home is a cool skill that isn’t that difficult to master with the right tools and equipment.
Learn the Secrets to Making a Great Cappuccino
Get on board with the trend and learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to making this foamy, milky, espresso-based drink. It takes a little practice, but it’s certainly a skill that will bring delight for years to come!
- Espresso quality impacts the taste. Be sure to use high quality, fairly freshly roasted espresso beans and pull either a single or double shot depending on the desired strength of the drink.
- Stainless steel tools are important. To preserve the quality and flavor of the milk, use a clean stainless steel frothing jug, spoon, and thermometer which will keep away impurities of other flavors or fragrances.
- The secret of steamed and foamed milk. While the espresso is an important foundation, the milk really makes this drink. The consistency of the foam depends on the milk fat, so higher fat yields a better drink.
- Start with cold milk. Using a steaming pitcher, steam until the milk reaches 65 C or 150 F. Raising the steaming wand in the pitcher as you go will help create a rich, foamy texture.
Learn About Famous Baristas and Cappuccinos
For those who love the process of making cappuccinos, look up famous baristas and be wowed by their ability to make beautiful creations with coffee. Cappuccinos are one of the hardest drinks to make, but their elegance and frothy taste will be sure to have you wanting a cup for yourself. Those who are lovers of taking photos of their food should take a picture of your cappuccino and share it with friends online.