Cappuccino, espresso, latte—sure, you know what these drinks are. But do you know about the mysterious dry cappuccino? This lesser-known cousin of the cappuccino is made with just espresso and milk, with no foam. Wondering if it's worth trying? Here's everything you need to know about this unique coffee drink.
The Origins and Definition of a Cappuccino
To understand what a dry cappuccino is we must first go back to the origins of the original cappuccino, which is linked to the history of the espresso. Coffee has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first espresso machine was invented.
The word “cappuccino” is derived from the Capuchin order of friars. They would often drink coffee with a lot of milk and sugar, which inspired the original recipe for this beverage. The cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee drinks in Italy and can be found at many cafes in North America as well.
It is made up of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. It is traditionally served in a cup with a small saucer. Cappuccinos are usually topped with cinnamon powder or cocoa powder as well as whipped cream and sugar in some parts of the world.
What Is A Dry Cappuccino?
What is a dry cappuccino? Believe it or not, this is a question that has stumped many coffee aficionados. Some say it's an oxymoron, while others insist it's a real thing. So what's the story? Is a dry cappuccino simply a cappuccino without any milk? Or is there more to it than that? Let's find out!
A dry cappuccino is a drink that is made with espresso and dry milk foam. The milk foam in this coffee beverage does not have any milk or cream added to it. This type of coffee was created in the 1980s and it has become popular in many parts of the world, including Italy, France, and the United States.
The reason it’s called dry is because it mainly contains milk foam and not hot steamed milk. So, if there is a dry cappuccino there must also be a wet cappuccino, right? Yes!
What is a Wet Cappuccino?
A wet cappuccino is a coffee drink that is made by adding steamed milk to espresso, which has been poured into the cup first. It’s much like the original cappuccino we all know and love, which is basically a shot or two of espresso, topped with hot steamed milk and a dollop of foam on top.
The main difference between the original cappuccino and the wet version is that the wet cappuccino has a very thin layer of foam on top, thus making the drink much lighter and therefore also “wetter” as it contains mainly hot, steamed milk.
Wet vs. Dry Cappuccino
The difference between these two drinks might seem small but it can have a major difference in your cup so it’s best you know what you are ordering. A dry cappuccino is made with espresso and milk foam, while a wet cappuccino is made with espresso and hot milk. The original cappuccinos are traditionally topped with both steamed milk and foam.
So the dry and the wet version are variations of the original to cater to the taste of people who prefer either less foam or less hot milk and more foam. Trends like these are always set but the preferences of customers have an impact on the flavor of the final result in your cup.
For example, a wet cappuccino will taste much sweeter than a dry one as it contains a larger quantity of milk which has sweet undertones. The dry cappuccino on the other hand will allow the espresso flavors to shine through more than its wet variation. It will also be a lighter beverage to drink as it mostly contains milk foam and not steamed milk. The wet cappuccino contains more calories due to the exact same reason.
Which one should you go for?
Here is a quick breakdown on which one of the two might be best for you:
Wet Cappuccino: This drink is perfect for you if you are someone who enjoys the rich creamy texture and flavor of lattes and flat whites but would also love the bit of extra foam on top.
Dry Cappuccino: This is the perfect drink for you if you are more of a cortado or macchiato person and you only need a little bit of foam on top of your espresso just to give it a sweet hint without ruining the flavor profile of the espresso shot.
How many ounces of milk in a cappuccino?
The milk should be a maximum of 4 ounces, and usually it's about 2 ounces. This makes the ratio pretty close to 1:1 with the espresso and steamed milk. This makes for a creamy cappuccino, not too milky or spongy.
Why does that matter? This is because the overall taste of your drink should be even throughout each sip, instead of being overwhelmed with milk one moment and then hitting you with an intense amount of espresso the next. This usually results from a cup that has too much milk, or one that's been steamed past the 2 ounce mark. This is why it's important to remember that each ingredient should be right for its purpose, and not more than necessary. This makes the drink as a whole better!
Can I make a cappuccino with plant based milks?
The question of whether or not you can replace dairy milk in a cappuccino with plant based milks is one that comes up quite often. The short answer is yes, but there are a few caveats. The main reason why you can't just use any milk is that it curdles in the process of making a cappuccino.
You can try plant based milks such as oat milk and soy milk, but they won't behave in the same way as dairy.That happens because the consistency of plant based milk is different to dairy milk, so it won't create the right amount of foam. What you can do though is experiment with plant based milks until you find one that works.
What is a bone-dry cappuccino?
A bone-dry cappuccino is a type of espresso that is made with only espresso and milk foam. It can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. The term "bone-dry" comes from the lack of hot milk in this type of cappuccino. So, if you are someone who enjoys a mountain of foam on top of their espresso, you better give this drink a shot!
Some people enjoy the creaminess of a wet cappuccino while others prefer to have it on the dry side. With so many variations, there is sure to be one that will suit your tastes perfectly! If you are still unsure about what kind of coffee drinker you are, check out our blog post "What Is A Wet Cappuccino?" for more information and helpful tips on how to make your own perfect cup at home.