Coffee has come such a long way since the days of instant granules, and the cappuccino you enjoyed on your last vacation to Italy is much more achievable at home. You can purchase a fancy cappuccino machine for several hundred dollars if you’d like, however, it isn’t necessary. You can make a great-tasting cappuccino with a few inexpensive items. Let’s take a look.
Step 1: Take Your Coffee Percolator
A coffee percolator, or stove top brewer as it’s sometimes called, is essential if you want Italian-style coffee. Available in one-cup to 10-cup sizes, it's usually made from hard aluminum or stainless steel and is suitable for use on any stovetop.
To use, unscrew the top and bottom. Fill the bottom with water to just below the valve. Add freshly ground espresso beans to the filter. Replace the top and place the percolator over medium heat. As the water comes to a boil the steam pressure forces the water through the filter and into the top. Remove from the heat when the gurgling noise stops and the top is full. Don't let the coffee boil or it may taste burnt.
Step 2: Heat the Milk and Pre-heat each CupHeat the milk while the coffee is brewing. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The fastest way, of course, is in a microwave on Medium 45-60 seconds for every 1/4 cup. However, for best results, you’ll want to warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk is nearly boiling. If you have a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat when the needle reaches 149 degrees. Pre-heat each cup with hot water from the kettle. Next, pour freshly brewed coffee into a coffee cup and top with hot milk. Reserve one-quarter cup of hot milk per cup you plan to make so that you can make froth.
Step 3: Make Your Milk thick and frothy :)
For this step, you'll need a milk frother. Available from home ware stores, these range from plungers to hand-held manual or battery-operated 1-cup frothers (around $10). To make froth with a manual 1-cup milk frother, pour the reserved hot milk into a warmed cup. Place the frother in the cup and pump up and down for 15-20 seconds or until milk is thick and frothy. Spoon froth over the cappuccinos and dust with chocolate to serve.
Some Bonus Tips:
After use, rinse your stovetop coffee brewer with hot water and use a non-abrasive scourer to remove any coffee residue.
You can also brew some really strong coffee to use instead of espresso, if you don't have a machine. Warm your milk and then pour into a small jar. Shake the jar for about one minute. Pour the milk into your waiting mug of hot coffee. Spoon out the foam and top with cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, etc. You're good to go!!