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A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk froth. The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habits.[1]



A cappuccino is a coffee drink topped with foamed milk. It is made in a steam-producing espresso machine. Espresso is poured into the bottom third of the cup, and is followed by a similar amount of hot milk. The top third of the drink consists of firm milk froth prepared a minute or two earlier; this foam is often sculpted to an artistic peaked mound. Shaved chocolate, raw sugar, cinnamon or other spices are often sprinkled onto the top of the finished drink. The cappuccino is then consumed with a teaspoon.

In a traditional cappuccino, as served in Europe and artisan coffee houses in the United States, the total of espresso and milk/froth make up between approximately 150–180 mL (5–6 imp fl oz; 5–6 USfl oz). Commercial coffee chains in the US more often serve the cappuccino as a 360 mL (13 imp fl oz; 12 US fl oz) drink or larger.


Legend has it that when a vast Ottoman Turk army was marching on Vienna in 1683, Marco_d'Aviano was sent by the Pope to unite the outnumbered Christian troops. After a prayer meeting led by d'Aviano, they were spurred to victory. As the Turks fled, legend has it, they left behind sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and milk. The drink was called cappuccino after the Capuchin order of monks, to which d'Aviano belonged. Needless to say, there is no mention of cappuccino in any of d'Aviano's biographies or any other contemporary historical source. Indeed, the story did not appear until the late 1980s, indicating that it was probably made up as a joke.

Espresso machines of the type used to make cappuccino were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century when Luigi Bezzera of Milan filed the first patent in 1901.[2] Cappuccino was developed in Italy by the early 1900s, and grew in popularity as the large espresso machines in cafés and restaurants were improved during and after World War II, specifically with the introduction of the modern, high-pressure espresso machine by Italian company Gaggia in 1948. The beverage had developed into its current form by the 1950s.

In Italy the cappuccino is seen as a morning drink and is rarely drunk after 11am. In the United Kingdom, espresso coffee initially gained popularity in the form of the cappuccino, due to the British custom of drinking coffee with milk, the desire for a longer drink so the café may serve as a destination, and the exotic texture of the beverage.[3]

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