Tastes vary, so everyone has their own idea of what the ideal cappuccino should taste like. In my opinion, the micro-foam on top of a classic cappuccino plays a huge role in just how good it tastes.
For me, texture contributes to my overall sensory experience, and, for this reason, I think that the perfect cappuccino has foam that is thick and silky-smooth.
The foam is free of a visible grain, and its exceptional smoothness is the ultimate complement to the sweet quality of well-made espresso. Since I believe that micro-foam is key, I teach aspiring baristas how to texture milk to perfection.
I want them to move toward the production of micro-foam that resembles white paint in a can. The foam should be dense, it should have a nice gloss, and there should be no bubbles.
Do you love sea foam?
We all perceive great taste differently. We’re born with palates that are unique, and experience also shapes our opinions about what tastes wonderful and what doesn’t. Some cappuccino fans are into “sea foam,” which is a froth that has plenty of bubbles and rests upon the espresso beneath.
This is more a Starbucks vibe for cappuccino. It’s one of the cornerstones of 2nd wave coffee. Thinking about the “sea foam” trend takes me back to my childhood years, when I lived in Seattle and explored its waterfront market (Pike Place Market) during the 1980s.
Is your taste European?
The European sensibility for “perfect” cappuccino is a bit different. It’s all about how much milk is diluted in espresso, rather than being texture-focused. In Europe, the approach is more basic. For example, people generally don’t get cappuccinos to go. They enjoy them in cafés, while sitting or standing. Most “perfect” cappuccinos in Europe are served in porcelain cups, which highlight the beauty of milk foam and espresso.
As well, you won’t find a lot of add-ons (syrups and sprinkled spices) or size deviations. Everyone gets the same size and flavor.
Be sure to try different versions
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Taste is a product of upbringing, culture, palate, and experience. What’s fabulous about cappuccino is that there is a perfect version for everyone. While you may not be able to travel the world in order to find your perfect match, you may always experiment at home. Make your own or explore local coffeehouses, looking for a cappuccino that really rocks your world.
This article was written by Neave from Coffeeholic. Neave provides advice covering Espresso machines, Coffee grinders, and other interesting caffeine facts. Coffeeholic helps you enjoy your next espresso!