cup of cappuccino

What is Cappuccino?

Cappuccino is a type of coffee that consists of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. It has become a popular drink around the world, and it is enjoyed in cafes, restaurants, and homes. While it’s often served as part of breakfast or with dessert, who says you can’t enjoy it at any time? A precursor to the beverage emerged in Vienna in the 1700s but used whipped cream instead of milk foam.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

About Cappuccino

Coffee Baseespresso
Added Waterno
Coffee : Milk Ratio1 part espresso : 1 part steamed milk : 1 part froth
Types of Milksteamed and froth
Cupwide mouth cappuccino cup
Suppliesespresso, milk
Sugar or Added Flavorscinnamon or chocolate to sprinkle on top; sugar or flavorings are optional
Notesif you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use Nespresso, L’OR, a Moka Pot, or even espresso coffee sticks
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Origin Story

Surprisingly, cappuccino didn’t catch on until the 1930s in Northern Italy. It was introduced as Viennese-style with layers of espresso and cream but quickly changed to the steamed milk version we’re more familiar with today. The name comes from an Italian term meaning “capuchin” which refers to the color of the coffee’s foam. It resembles the brown robes worn by Capuchin monks.

How To Make Cappuccino

To make a cappuccino, you’ll need espresso, hot milk, a steam wand (if available), a wide mouth cup for serving, and optional sugar, sugar syrup (like simple syrup), or another optional flavoring.

1. Prepare two ounces of espresso (see below if you need an alternative method to brew it)

2. Steam four ounces of milk, turning half of it into a light, dry froth – if you don’t have a steam wand, heat the milk first to just under boiling and use a handheld frother

3. Using a spoon, hold the froth back while you add the steamed milk at the bottom to the espresso

4. Add any optional flavorings and give it a quick (but gentle) stir

5. Dollop the foam on top and dust the top with cinnamon or chocolate

designing a cappuccino, how to make cappuccino
drinking cappuccino
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

What is a Dry Cappuccino?

The name is a slight giveaway, as a Dry Cappuccino isn’t made with any steamed milk.

Instead of the 1:1:1 ratio of a Cappuccino, the dry version uses a 1:2 ratio. The recipe is one part of espresso to two parts of milk froth.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Spillin’ the Beans Espresso Making Alternatives

Moka Pot


Cezve (or Ibrik)

Nespresso machine

Coffee sticks

Spillin' the Beans, coffee

The Best Cups

When drinking cappuccinos, it’s traditional to serve them in 6-8 oz cups for single servings. However, some people prefer larger mugs. In any case, cappuccino cups should have wide enough brims so to allow for easy sipping through the creamy foam layer. It’s all part of the experience!

Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Traditional cappuccinos are made with a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and foam

Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Recipe: How To Make Cinnamon Cappuccino

cinnamon cappuccino, how to make cinnamon cappuccino, cinnamon cappuccino recipe

Cinnamon Cappuccino

A basic cappuccino taken to the next level with the addition of cinnamon syrup
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cuisine Beverages
Servings 1 cup


  • Prepare one serving of espresso (1 oz) using an espresso machine or Nespresso
  • Pour 6 oz of milk (can use oat milk, almond milk, or other nut milk) in a small saucepan and heat until steaming
  • Add an ounce or two of the steamed milk to the espresso, stirring gently to combine
  • Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon syrup (Torani has a yummy sugar-free cinammon vanilla syrup) to the espresso
  • Using a milk frother, froth the hot milk until it's thicker and creamier
  • Finish off the cup with the milk foam and sprinkle the top with cinnamon


A traditional cappuccino is made with one part each of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. This recipe (and many of today’s cappuccinos use more milk), but adjust the ratio to your taste. If you’re going more traditional with 1:1:1, you might want to cut back on the cinnamon syrup, or it could be overwhelming.
If you don’t have cinnamon syrup, you can make homemade cinnamon simple syrup by boiling equal parts of sugar and water, adding a few cinnamon sticks, and letting the mixture cool for a few hours. Add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the cooled syrup.
Keyword Cappuccino
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Other types of coffee you’ll love

Caffè Latte

Different ways to make coffee

Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is an Italian coffee-based beverage traditionally made with equal parts of espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam.

Why is a cappuccino cup wide?

The traditional shape of the cup used for cappuccinos is wide and shallow, as this helps create an even layer of foam on top of the drink. While you can use any cup (or mug) to make a cappuccino, having an appropriately sized cup will help ensure that your beverage looks great when you’re done making it.

Is cappuccino made with espresso?

Yes, cappuccinos are typically made with a shot or two of espresso. Espresso is a type of brewed coffee that is characterized by its strong flavor and concentrated texture. It’s also much stronger than regular brewed coffee, so it’s often used to give cappuccinos their signature flavor and texture.

Are cappuccinos made with milk or cream?

Cappuccinos are usually topped with steamed milk foam rather than whipped cream or cold milk. The foam helps give the drink its signature lightness and creamy texture, as well as its distinct appearance. If you’d like some extra sweetness, adding some chocolate shavings or cocoa powder can help add some subtle sweetness to your drink without overpowering its flavor. Viennese coffee is similar to a cappuccino, but it’s made with whipped cream. Alternatively, a breve is a richer beverage made with half & half.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
  • Cinna-Claus Churro Cheer Latte

    Cinna-Claus Churro Cheer Latte

  • Jingle Spice Whiskey Cocoa Buzz

    Jingle Spice Whiskey Cocoa Buzz

  • Almond Joy Delight Coffee Shake

    Almond Joy Delight Coffee Shake

  • Festive Spice Delight French Press Christmas Coffee

    Festive Spice Delight French Press Christmas Coffee