A cappuccino is probably one of the most popular and widely drank hot beverages in the world. The gorgeous frothy, creaminess with the light hit of coffee makes it a popular choice with caffeine lovers all around the world.
You can step into practically any cafe, coffee shop, and restaurant in every country around the globe and ask for a cappuccino. However, have you ever thought about the first cappuccino?
I mean, someone invented this deliciousness (and for that, we will be forever in their debt!).
In this article, we aim to tell you all about where the first cappuccino was brewed, and who was the divine being that did it.
We are also going to give you a little bit of information about what a cappuccino exists of, exactly.
We all drink them but do we really know what goes into them? Does this sound like your cup of tea coffee? Coffee lovers and history buffs alike will adore this.
So, grab your cappuccinos (or any other hot coffee-related beverages) and buckle up for a history lesson.
What exactly is a cappuccino?
Cappuccino is a delicious coffee drink that is typically made with freshly brewed hot espresso. Traditionally, the espresso is combined with steamed milk and mixed in to create a creamy coffee deliciousness.
After the espresso and steamed milk have been combined it is then topped off with milk foam. This is milk that has been steamed and frothed to give a super light consistency (think: clouds, candy floss, soft blankets, heaven).
The ratio is one-third of each in equal amounts which results in a creamy frothy piece of heaven in a cup.
Nowadays we can add all sorts to our cappuccinos. It is common to find them dusted with cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and any other spice you may like.
You can also add in flavored syrups and sugar before the milk fam is added to switch up the taste. It can be made with a variety of milk such as plant-based or nut milk.
If you want a really luxurious cappuccino you can even make it with cream, although it was traditionally made with some simple cow’s milk!
Talking of tradition, head on down to the next section to read all about the history of the cappuccino.
The first ‘cappuccino’
Something very closely resembling a cappuccino was thought to be brewed way back in the 1700s. Back then it was called something else entirely – kapuziner.
The kapuziner is thought to be the forerunner of our cappuccino. It first became known in Vienna and consisted of brewed coffee laden with cream which is piled onto the top of the drink.
It also contained milk. The name kapuziner is found written down in 1805 and is described as a coffee with cream and sugar.
However, it is also found written down a little later in 1850 and the description is that of coffee with cream, sugar, and spices.
The drinks looked the same, whether with or without spices, and the color resembled the robes worn by Capuchin monks and friars who resided in Vienna.
These were also known as Kapuzin monks. This is where the name is thought to have derived from. It was called kapuziner until the 1900s where we began to see a closer relative of the cappuccino we know today.
The importance of the espresso machine
The espresso machine, as we know it today, was the catalyst that formed a cappuccino.
Whilst there had been many versions of the espresso-type machine, and certainly many patents from a number of inventors, the espresso machine is typically attributed to one Luigi Bezerra.
It was first demonstrated by Angelo Moriondo at the Turnin General Exposition in 1884.
However, mechanic Bezerra made some very important changes to it and patented it himself in 1901, the espresso machine started to become very popular.
The history of the espresso machine does not stop there, though. In 1905, Desiderio Pavoni, founder of La Pavoni bought the patent and started commercially manufacturing espresso machines.
They soon became extremely popular.
This espresso machine was then developed in 1933 by Francesco Illy who replaced the pressurized water of the old espresso machines with steam, forming the espresso machines that we use today.
Cappuccino: The evolution
Cappuccinos have come a long way since the kapuziner drinks of Vienna.
Thanks to the invention of the espresso machine, coffee drinks have gone from strength to strength, gaining in popularity all around the globe.
In the 1930s, the name ‘cappuccino’ was first used. Cappuccini, as they were known in Italy, could only usually be consumed in specialized cafes within Italy.
This was because, at the time, espresso machines were very bulky and could only be operated by baristas. Because of this, only certain places had them and they were relatively difficult to come by.
At this time, cappuccinos tended to be served Viennese style. By this, we mean that they were often pictured as espresso loaded with cream and then sprinkled with spices or cocoa powder dusting.
The cappuccino as we know it today started to evolve after World War Two. As you can imagine, the War halted a lot of coffee shops and the coffee business in general.
When it was over, baristas were free to experiment more. The affluence that was seen post-War meant that more people could afford espresso machines.
The Age of Crema soon ensued, which was the name given to the obsession with the layer of milky foam on coffees.
This soon became an integral part of the cappuccino, and so the cappuccino as we know it today was born.
As you can imagine, this spread like wildfire across England and some other European countries. Before long it had reached all parts of the globe.
Flash forward to the 1990s and commercial coffee houses were on the rise in Britain and, of course, America. The cappuccino has remained one of the most popular coffee choices, and it can be customized to suit almost every taste.
As you can see, the history of cappuccino is a vibrant one.
To answer the initial question, the first form of cappuccino was brewed in Vienna, but the cappuccino as we know it today derives from Italy.
We hope this article has bean (get it?) interesting and informed you of the origins of your favorite form of a caffeine fix!