Hi Tanya, thank you very much for this question. Cappuccino is one of my all-time favorites, and I find its history fascinating.
Cappuccino was invented in Italy in the early 1900s, shortly after the espresso machine was created. It's a combination of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk and is often served with chocolate powder or cinnamon on top.
Historians place the origins of cappuccino two centuries before in Vienna. And we could say the kapuziner is the ancestor of the modern cappuccino.
After the Ottoman war with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman's obsession with coffee passed to the central European metropolis. In the 1700s, and for years to come, Vienna was the place to be, and coffee shops sprouted everywhere.
The kapuziner was created, a drink that the legend links to the decisive battle of Vienna, in the late 1600s. According to the legend, Marco D'Aviano inspired a joint Christian army effort in the morning mass before combat.
Then, the battle's aftermath was devastating for the Ottomans, who left a generous bounty, including their favorite roasted coffee beans.
Viennese tried to brew black coffee first, but they found it harsh. Then, they mixed it with milk and sugar to make it more palatable. And then, the kapuziner was invented!
They named it kapuziner, or capuchin in German, because the drink's color was similar to the capuchin friars' robes. For years, the kapuziner remained a signature drink from Vienna. Coffee shops started to serve it with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cinnamon powder.
But modern cappuccino has a different and unique construction. Although recipes vary, there is some agreement about the ratios of the ingredients. Overall, the cappuccino consists of three equal proportions: espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.
Most baristas agree on using a double espresso, a similar amount of steamed milk, and a generous layer of milk foam to make a cappuccino.
The invention of the modern cappuccino is anonymous and less legendary than its predecessor, the kapuziner. Arguably, espresso bars in Italy started serving it after the espresso machine entered the market. Italians quickly adopted the drink, along with the macchiato and the caffe latte. Soon after, Italian migration and influential culture made the cappuccino a global favorite.
Now, the drink is a popular choice for coffee lovers worldwide. And it's easy to see why - with its rich flavor and creamy texture, cappuccino is the perfect pick-me-up for any time of day.
Thanks for asking!