What is espresso and cappuccino?

Espresso is a small demitasse cup of strong coffee produced on a machine designed just for that purpose. Coffee is placed into an espresso machine and hot water is forced through the coffee at very high pressure extracting all the flavor possible. This is the reason that the coffee must be dumped out after every cup made. The Italian word espresso translated is express. Each cup of espresso is made individually and then quickly served to the customer, hence the name.

Cappuccino starts out with one espresso brewed in a larger cup, then milk, which is steamed into a thick froth, is poured on top of the espresso. Chocolate is sprinkled on top to give it a finishing touch.

Where did the term Cappuccino come from:

The history of the word cappuccino exemplifies how words can develop new senses because of resemblances that the original coiners of the terms might not have dreamed possible. The Capuchin order of friars, established after 1525, played an important role in bringing Catholicism back to Reformation Europe. Its Italian name came from the long, pointed cowl, or cappuccino, derived from cappuccio, "hood," that was worn as part of the order's habit. The French version of cappuccino was capuchin (now capucin), from which came English Capuchin. The name of this pious order was later used as the name (first recorded in English in 1785) for a type of monkey with a tuft of black, cow like hair. In Italian cappuccino went on to develop another sense, "espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream," so called because the color of the coffee resembled the color of the habit of a Capuchin friar. The first use of cappuccino in English is recorded in 1948 in a work about San Francisco.


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