My Cuppa Comfort: Cappuccino

It’s my weekly day off and for some reason I’m feeling ravenous. So instead of raiding the refrigerator and loading on extra calories, I’ve decided it would be safer to binge…by writing.

Few things can compare to coffee made at home, like good ol’ south Indian filter-kaapi. Second to that is homemade cappuccino, which in Italian literally means a small cup. It was my friend Anjali Kamath taught me how it was done 10 years ago. We were lazing at her old Hayes road home in Bangalore on a rainy evening when she asked me if I cared for some coffee.

Comfort Cuppa

It was all fine as long as she measured coffee and sugar for 2 people into a mug and added a teaspoon of hot water.

Before..

But she then reached for a spoon and began stirring. 20 minutes later, as I morosely wondered if I’d ever see that cup of coffee I was offered, Anjali leapt off the couch and pronounced herself ‘Done’! Now for some who was used to instant coffee being served well, instantly, this felt like a cruel joke. But when I leaned in for a closer look at what lay at the bottom of the cup, what Anjali had been slaving over for a good part of half an hour, the coffee-sugar-water mix which had now metamorphosed stared back at me. Its new avataar was beige, creamy and smooth.

...and After

While a saucepan filled with one cup milk and one cup water came to a boil, Anjali divided this creamy coffee blend into 2 mugs. When milk was poured into each cup, the whole decoction turned into foam and rose to the top.

Voila! Looks like regular coffee but tastes far, far better

The aroma was so beautiful that I greedily inhaled a deep whiff of it before taking a swig. It truly was a sip of heaven. And whenever I can, this is how I’ve been making my coffee ever since.

Purists will tell you this technically isn’t cappuccino as there are no espresso machines involved, there are no baristas labouriously steaming the milk to infuse it with milkfoam. The process may be completely differently, but the finished product tastes just the same. Because something happens when the hot milk hits the beige, creamy coffee blend, giving it that velvety texture that defines cappuccino.

Fancy shmancy coffee shops usually take it a step further by treating the foam layer as a canvas.  I found some pictures of cappuccino art online, it’s amazing what people can come up with beyond hearts and leaves.

What Simba in The Lion King would call the Wild Side

Aw, Phooey!

You can top up your cup of cappuccino with chocolate shavings if you like. But I prefer to keep it simple. Or maybe add a dash of cinnamon powder if I’m feeling adventurous. If you’re feeling rich, you can serve your guests a cup of cappuccino with a cinnamon stick to stir.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ankita
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 00:25:03

    and the next time m at ur place, i am going to make it with u in ur kitchen:)

    Reply

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