Coffee is one of those drinks that bring friends and family together. In the morning, many families have their coffee together while catching up on news and sharing dreams. In the afternoon, many friends gather around the coffee shop and drink their espressos, sharing stories from their day. In the evening, many adults brew a fresh pot to stay awake until bedtime after a full meal.
A cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world, originating from Italy. It was named after the Capuchin monks, who wore brown clothing similar to the color of a cappuccino. This drink consists of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam. Due to the presence of steamed milk, a typical cappuccino can also be classified as a latte.
A new trend has arisen where people are ordering their cappuccinos either “wet” or “dry”, but what does that mean exactly? Coffee is a liquid, so how can it possibly be dry?
A wet cappuccino is a classic cappuccino with the three aforementioned components. The steamed milk and espresso ratios are about the same, with foam added to the top. A dry cappuccino is an espresso and foam without any steamed milk at all. This makes for a stronger, less sweet coffee drink with the ratio being one part espresso to two parts foam.
A large amount of foam actually helps temper the espresso, keeping it warmer for longer. Ordering a “bone-dry” cappuccino will have no milk at all, only foam. The flavor is more on the bitter side since there aren’t any additional flavors added to the espresso.
The best part about making a dry cappuccino at home is being able to customize it! If the bitterness of straight espresso is too much for you, you can add base flavors to the espresso, such as vanilla or cocoa. You can also add sweeteners to mask the intense bitterness of the dry cappuccino.
Toppings are also customizable! Feel free to add a sprinkle of cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, or whipped cream.
Another reason to make a dry cappuccino at home is that most baristas avoid making these beverages. This is due to the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to make such a large amount of milk foam. Since only the foam is used, most of the milk used to make foam is thrown away. Baristas need 32 ounces of milk just to make one cup of foam. If you can find a small coffee shop that specializes in dry cappuccinos, give them a try, otherwise, make them at home.
Having an at-home espresso machine really helps with this recipe. It is totally attainable to make a dry cappuccino without one, but use it if you’ve got it. This will help make more milk foam in a shorter amount of time, and make a better base espresso.
Be sure that when you make a dry cappuccino at home that the ratio of espresso always surpasses the amount of steamed milk. Otherwise, the cappuccino will be considered wet. Froth your milk and add only the foam to the top of the beverage.
Start by brewing your espresso with your espresso machine.
Froth your milk by using the milk frother attachment on your machine.
Otherwise, add 32 oz. of milk into a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. Using an immersion blender, froth the milk consistently until you yield 1 cup of milk foam. This can take up to 15 minutes, so be patient. Do not allow the milk to boil, only steam. Turn down the heat if the milk starts to bubble. Discard the liquid milk still in the pan, or use it for another purpose.
Add your espresso to a mug and top with your foam. You should have double the amount of foam to espresso.