Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Perfect Cappuccino

Around this time of year, I'm a sucker for Starbucks. What can I say, their Gingerbread Latte just does something magical to me that I can't explain. And sometimes, when the cold wind is whipping at your face and you've got a pile of books to read, a normal drip coffee just ain't gonna cut it.
However, since standard coffee shops will charge you nearly $5 for a decent-sized specialty drink, this habit can't be funded for long (unless your lattes are replacing your meals, which I don't recommend). 

Fortunately, there's a solution. You can make your own lattes and cappuccinos at home.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're terrified that you'll mess it up, or you don't have the right equipment. But I promise, all it takes is practice and some simple tools to build my favorite creation - the Sweet Cap.

The Sweet Cap is my indulgent and dangerously simple creation - a combination of espresso, frothed milk, and whipped cream. This gives the creator the freedom to add his or her own flavors to it as well.
To make this, all you need are two simple things. 1.) something to make espresso with.

I like to use my little moka pot for some quick on-the-stove java. Very cheap, only $18 here.

2.) You'll need something to froth milk with. You've got a couple of options here. If you want super-cheap, a hand frother does the job. If you want super-luxurious, Nespresso makes an amazing frother. However, I rely on a medium-grade version:

This Kasbahouse hand frother gets the job done for around $20. Find it here.

Once you've got these materials, or something similar, all you have to do is brew your espresso, pour it in a cappuccino cup, froth your milk, and pour it on top. Again, feel free to throw in your own flavors. Then, be sure to top with whipped cream.

If you want to play with flavors, my newfound favorite is to place a cinnamon stick in the cup and sprinkle a pinch of ground cloves over the whipped cream. It tastes like Christmas in a cup.

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