DIY Barista
April 15, 2020 11:28 AM   Subscribe

I was recently given a 250g bag of President's Choice Espresso Forte. I don't like espresso, but I do love cappuccino. Is there any way I could use the espresso to make cappuccino at home without special equipment? I have a basic coffeemaker as well as the usual kitchen appliances/equipment: a stove, microwave, hand mixer, etc.
posted by orange swan to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could make a very strong batch of cold brew, and then steam your milk and add your (Warmed) cold brew to the flavour you like for cappuccino. It won't be a perfect flavour match or anything, but it will be drinkable!

I do this at work quite a bit, it's a little more "cafe misto" than cappuccino, but it's still nice!
posted by euphoria066 at 11:48 AM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

How much more are you willing to buy? You can make a close approximation by making espresso in a moka pot, and you can buy a cheap little battery-powered foamer to use on warmed milk. It...will not be the greatest cappuccino you've ever tasted, but I think you'll certainly get close enough.

(To be fair, cappuccinos are extremely hard to make perfectly; they're kind of the platonic ideal of milk-and-coffee drinks, so even getting close gets you quite a good beverage that won't be too far from 90% of the cappuccinos you've had in your life.)

In lieu of further equipment, euphoria066 probably has it close enough -- you want very strong, but flavorful coffee and warm milk with at least some air introduced to the process.
posted by kalimac at 12:09 PM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Basically, put 2% or whole milk in a jar, put the lid on tightly, shake it for a minute, then microwave a minute until the milk is warm.

I hope the jar lid is removed before the microwave part.
posted by jon1270 at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

You could make a very strong batch of cold brew, and then steam your milk and add your (Warmed) cold brew to the flavour you like for cappuccino. It won't be a perfect flavour match or anything, but it will be drinkable!

This plus the battery-powered foamer mentioned by @kalimac is my standard method ever since the coffee shop downstairs closed (long before the age of Covid). Probably heresy to a latte/cappuccino aficionado, but it is close enough for me.
posted by Preserver at 5:05 PM on April 15, 2020

Nthing aquiring a moka pot...I got one that works great (they're dead simple) at the grocery store for $15.
posted by sexyrobot at 2:29 AM on April 16, 2020

If you can get hold of an Aeropress and a battery-powered milk foamer, there are instructions here for making a cappuccino.

Side note: if you can't find a way of making a satisfactory cappuccino, then if the coffee isn't ground so fine it'll clog the filter, it's worth a go at just using it to make whatever your regular style of coffee is. This is how I discovered that I actually prefer filter and cafetiere coffee made from espresso beans (although it always amuses or confuses coffee purveyors to be handed a bag labelled ESPRESSO with the request that they grind it for a filter!).
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:28 AM on April 16, 2020

NB if you're worried that you wouldn't have any further use for anything you buy for this experiment, you might like to know that a battery-powered milk foamer is also the best possible tool for mixing chocolate chips into hot milk for delicious hot chocolate.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:41 AM on April 16, 2020

There is a little wire tool you can use to foam hot milk. It is generally available for around $10, give or take.

** Just realized this is basically a duplication of kalimac's suggestion.
posted by unstrungharp at 8:12 AM on April 16, 2020

For the OP: I have the frother unstrungharp linked. I have had mine for many years, but not used it. It actually was old enough that when I dug it out it wasn’t working- there was corrosion on the battery terminals.

So I took it apart, cleaned all the metal bits, and it worked again! This morning I tried to make a cappuccino, and, well, my frother technique must be lacking. So, I can confirm the frother is robust and consumer fixable, but “just use this frother” wasn’t sufficient advice, for me. If you hold the wire loop entirely below the surface, it seems to just mix the milk. If you hold it just on/above the surface, it sprays milk everywhere. If you hold it just on/under the surface, it makes a thin layer of large bubbles (Maybe 4-5 mm), but after a short time it is destroying as many bubbles as it produces, which is less than useful. I did not find a good technique so we ended up more with “cafe au lair and some large bubbles” instead of “cappuccino”.

So, uh, for everyone else: I have a frother. I have no idea what to do with it. Halp?
posted by nat at 11:18 AM on April 18, 2020

Response by poster: Okay, as per your advice, I used a little of my tax return money to splurge on an adorable red 3-cup moka pot. According to my googling, the classic proportions of a cappuccino are 25 ml (8 oz) espresso to 125 ml (4.2 oz) milk. But I can't seem to find any guidance on the proper amount of grounds to put in the pot. What's the ratio of grounds per 25 ml espresso?
posted by orange swan at 10:24 AM on May 20, 2020

Response by poster: Correction to the above: That should have been "25 ml (0.8 oz)".

Ah, I believe I've figured it out myself. To make 25 ml of espresso for a cappuccino, I should put 25 ml of water and 3/4 tsp of espresso in the pot. Then I'll need to shake up and heat 125 ml of milk as devrim describes above, and pour the milk on top of the espresso.

Now I need to try this recipe out!
posted by orange swan at 12:07 PM on May 20, 2020

Hoping your recipe works! If not, the little frother we have seems to work best (quite well, actually) when the ring is held horizontal, that is parallel, to the milk surface, and a few millimeters below the surface. Happy cappuccino-ing!
posted by nat at 5:22 PM on June 24, 2020

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