We all know how to walk into a coffee shop and ask the barista for our favorite caffeinated beverage, cappuccino, latte and so on and so forth.
But where do these names come from? are they all traditional Italian names and if so, what do they mean?
Fear not, we think we may be able to help. Lets look at the differences between a latte and a cappuccino.
Lets start with Latte or cafe latte if you prefer. The direct translation for latte from Italian is, milk. So if you walked into a traditional Italian espresso bar in Italy. Asked for a latte, you would receive a lovely cup of warm milk. That is where the Caffe part comes in handy, Caffe Latte equals Coffee and milk. Traditionally served to children to quell their curiosity and let them have a taste of mama and papa's coffee without too much of a caffeine kick. So there we have it, A latte is just coffee and milk. so long as you're in Britain when you ask for it. but hang on? don't some places serve latte's in glasses? and some in cups?
Well this is where it gets slightly more tricky. A Latte in a glass would be known as a Latte Machiatto and is traditionally prepared by layering up the coffee milk and foam to make a beautiful taste experience. Machiatto means "marked" so in this case, milk marked with espresso. A latte in a cup is the exact same ingredients prepared in a different way. Instead of layering the coffee milk and foam, you simply combine them all together in the cup, with a flourish of latte art to finish. So there's a little more to it than one would first assume, and we've barely even scratched the surface..
Moving on we have the Cappuccino, which origins can be traced back to 18th century Vienna where is was known as "kapuznier" and was a combination of coffee, milk, cinnamon and various other spices. The cappuccino we know today came around in 1930's Italy and is traditionally made using espresso and foamed milk, occasionally topped with chocolate or cinnamon. When looking at a traditional cappuccino you should be able to see a golden ring of crema (coffee) surrounding lovely smooth bubble free foamed milk.
Written by Michael Jaeger
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