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    Different ways to prepare an Italian coffee

    Home / News / Different ways to prepare an Italian coffee

    Italy is famous for its coffee culture, a tradition that is reflected in the variety and quality of drinks offered in bars and cafés. Among the most popular and beloved are caffè macchiato, cappuccino, and latte macchiato. Although they are all coffee-based drinks, they have unique characteristics that distinguish them from one another. Let us try to clarify them once and for all.

    Two ingredients, many coffee preparations

    Cappuccino, caffè macchiato and latte macchiato have only one thing in common: the ingredients with which they are prepared. When it comes to the other elements of preparation, however, everything changes a little. The main differences concern the percentage of coffee and milk used in the preparation, but also the presence or absence of milk cream, the container in which they are served, the serving temperature and the presence of any decorations. Not to mention that there are slightly different interpretations of these drinks in many regions of Italy. In short, there are a vast variety of things to know. Obviously, to prepare them exceptionally well, one cannot do without a quality espresso, such as De Roccis – the indispensable ally for an impeccable coffee drink. Their products are one of the best coffee options for bars, restaurants and any kind of business based on this beverage.

    But how are these drinks prepared? Let us start right away with the best known and probably the most consumed.

    Cappuccino: the king of the Italian breakfast

    In the Italian tradition, cappuccino is the perfect drink for breakfast at the bar with a delicious croissant. Outside Italy, however, it is considered a mouth-watering dessert to be enjoyed at any time of day. The preparation of cappuccino coffee requires a certain skill in handling the milk, which must be whipped to perfection to obtain a soft and voluminous foam, free of macroscopic air bubbles on the surface, consistent and velvety.

    For the Italian Espresso National Institute (INEI), a ‘quality Italian cappuccino that respects tradition’ is composed of 25 ml of espresso coffee and 100 ml of fresh pasteurised cow’s milk whipped with steam[1]. As for the container, there are no doubts: the classic ceramic cappuccino cup. Variants of this preparation are the light cappuccino and the dark cappuccino, which have a lower and higher percentage of coffee respectively, and the version with a sprinkling of cocoa or cinnamon powder – an extra touch appreciated by many. Lately, the so-called ‘Latte Art’ is also very much in vogue, i.e. the new fashion of making decorated cappuccinos using the colour of milk and coffee.

    Although the ‘home’ version of the cappuccino is the one without whipped milk, commonly called ‘caffelatte’, the recipe for a perfect cappuccino at home is quite easy and fun. There are two main methods: using a coffee machine with a steamer or an electric milk frother. You just have to create a thick milk foam and pour it over the espresso, taking care to keep the cup tilted to control the flow.

    Recipe for a latte macchiato

    A latte macchiato is very different from a cappuccino, and not only in presentation. A thick tumbler or similar glass is generally used to serve it, so that the three layers of which this preparation is composed can be appreciated in all their splendour: the lower, predominantly milk part, the middle part, progressively mixed with coffee, and finally the creamy milk part. As the name suggests, this is a drink that reverses the proportions, being milk-based with just a ‘stain’ of coffee, no more than 20 ml.

    Recipe for a caffè macchiato

    The Italian macchiato is a simple but tasty drink, ideal for those who love the intense flavour of espresso but want a touch of smoothness from the milk. ‘Macchiato’ in Italian means ‘stained’, and indeed this drink consists of an espresso with a small amount of frothed milk. Macchiato coffee is often served in an espresso cup, and the milk foam should not overpower the coffee, but rather complement it, creating a perfect balance between the intensity of the espresso and the creaminess of the milk. Again, there are countless variations: cold macchiato, hot macchiato, with or without milk cream or, with the arrival of summer, the extremely popular iced coffee macchiato.

    A coffee for all tastes

    In conclusion, whether you love strong coffee or a sweeter, creamier drink, the art of Italian coffee offers something for everyone. Next time you find yourself in a café, experiment with these different preparations to find out which one suits your palate best.

    [1] Source: Cappuccino Italiano Certificato (inei.coffee)

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