Delicious and Easy Cappuccino and Espresso Recipes

As coffee-based beverages become more and more popular, more Americans are looking for new ways to enjoy high-end coffee bar style cappuccino and espresso drinks at home by

Expresso Machine

DeLongi Expresso Maker

learning to do-it-yourself. For the consumer’s quest for the ultimate coffee concoction, there are many affordable products on the market to help assist the home brewing enthusiast with that. Regardless of which product you choose, there are endless recipes and combinations of ingredients to literally spice up your daily infusion.

First you need choose the basis of your beverage: coffee or espresso. Coffee can be drip-brewed, percolated, instant or cold-pressed. Any of these methods are very inexpensive. An espresso-based beverage is more likely to satisfy the sophisticated palette of the coffee connoisseur. To do this at home however, requires more of an investment in the brewing equipment. Real espresso machines cost upwards of $1,000. An affordable and popular alternative are the single-serving type of machines such as the Tassimo, where you invest in the machine and purchase pre-portioned packages of espresso varieties to brew a serving at a time.

Still confused about the difference between coffee and espresso? Espresso is a method, first originated in Italy, of extracting flavor from the heart of the coffee bean. The technique employs a pump-driven machine to force hot water through the ground coffee beans at high pressure in a short time frame — usually between 20 and 35 seconds. The amount of water used is only about ¾ of an ounce, and the resulting taste is described as smooth, thick, rich or sweet. So the obvious differences between coffee and espresso are 1) the amount of water used and 2) brewing or pressing time. Coffee is generally brewed for 4 to 6 minutes depending on the method and individual preferences.

Cappuccino is espresso mixed with equal parts of steamed and frothed milk. If you don’t purchase an espresso machine with milk-steaming capabilities, you will have to steam and froth your milk the old-fashioned way — on a stove. The frothing process involves skimming and stirring the hot milk. To layer the milk and espresso, allow the freshly frothed milk a moment to rest and separate (foam on top and milk on the bottom). Pour the steamed milk into your cup first, then pour in the espresso, and top it with the frothed milk using a spoon.

The creative possibilities go on from there. One of the most popular twists on the cappuccino is adding a sprinkle of powdered cocoa or cinnamon. Other combinations take their inspiration from favorite foods such as traditional desserts or candy bars.

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