Cappuccino: God’s Secret to a Better Day, Any Day

Cappuccino: God’s Secret to a Better Day, Any Day

Many casual coffee drinkers don’t know what a ‘traditional’ cappuccino is. The elite coffee shops that offer this heavenly drink have to explain to rookies all the time what they’re about to experience. I want you to be able to enjoy the frothy coffee bliss of a cappuccino without an explanation from a barista next time you’re in a top notch coffee shop.

There are many steps to making a good “cap.” Necessary ingredients to making this amazing drink include 3-10 day old roasted beans, great equipment (grinder, filtered water, espresso machine), and quality milk (hopefully organic). Hopefully reading this will help you realize and cherish how special a great cappuccino really is:

The first step is to grind beans, level grinds in the portafilter (cool handle thingy) , and tamper grinds (press at exactly 30lbs of pressure). The quality of the espresso shot is almost completely dependent upon this step. Amateur baristas never realize how important this is.

The second step, “pulling the shot,” is where all the flavor comes from. This requires super high quality machine with perfect pressure and filtered water. When if flows through the grounds, it should take exactly 22-30 seconds, and create an amazing “crema” (the rich dark foam on the top). Great baristas will test dozens of shots throughout the day to continually perfect the taste.

The third step, steaming the milk, is likely the most difficult. Milk crystallizes at 140, but starts to burn at 160, and the positioning of wand in the pitcher can change milk from ‘warm’ to ‘marang’ – and anywhere in between! This step alone separates award winning coffee freaks & ‘i work here part time – for money’ baristas.

The fourth and last step is preparation. Latte art isn’t just about showing off. It’s a sign that the barista knows what they are doing.

Good cappuccino’s are easily worth $3-$6. And as you can imagine, it’s a minuscule trade for the experience. Espresso – so rich and bold; milk -containing sugars that don’t come out until heated correctly; hmm… Good cappuccinos don’t ever need sugar. But amazing cappuccinos, like the one I had just this morning? They make music sound better, clouds open up, and the sun shine brighter.

Weekly featured coffee
Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea in Silverlake produces magical cappuccinos every minute. It’s a wonder there isn’t a permanent patch of sky gone forever from all the clouds opening up for each customer. This is not a recommendation, it is a command: go there.

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The Semi is the weekly school paper for Fuller Theological Seminary. Let me know what you think, and what topics you’d be interested in for future articles.

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