A delicious cappuccino is a staple in the world of coffee lovers. All you have to do is learn the two essential skills of pulling a perfect shot of espresso and foaming the milk, and you’re on your way to creating a cappuccino for yourself. But, there are a few little secrets along the way that you don’t want to miss out on!

Although a cappuccino is typically made using a high-quality espresso machine, today’s recipe is for people who don’t have access to top-quality devices. If you have a Nespresso machine or have a preferred way to brew your espresso, you’re in luck! The perfect cappuccino isn’t just about the type of espresso; it’s about nailing all the little steps in between.

With help from the coffee experts over at The Spruce Eats, here’s their recommended way to create the perfect cappuccino. Enjoy!

How to Make a Delicious Cappuccino

Pull a Double Shot of Espresso

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cappuccino ingredients
  2. Place the water into the boiler of your espresso machine.

    pour water into espresso machine
  3. Place the 2 tablespoons (2 shots) of ground coffee into the portafilter.

    ground espresso in the portafilter
  4. Tamp (press) the coffee down using a tamper. Do this 2 to 3 times to make sure the grounds are packed tightly.

    Tamp (press) the coffee down using a tamper
  5. Place the portafilter into your espresso machine’s group head and lock it in place by turning it to the right.

    The portafilter placed into the espresso machine
  6. Place a demitasse cup or the glass carafe that came with your espresso machine under the group head and pull the shot for 23 to 30 seconds, or until 2 ounces of espresso is yielded. Typically, there is a lever, switch, or button to start this process.

    espresso pouring into a coffee cup
  7. Once the shot is pulled, foam the milk.

Foam the Milk

  1. Place the milk into either a glass measuring cup or a small metal pitcher.

    pouring milk into metal pitcher
  2. Insert the steam wand into the container with the milk, just under the surface of the milk.

    Insert the steam wand into the container with the milk
  3. Engage the steam wand on your espresso machine. (You may need to read your espresso machine’s manual for this, as each espresso maker is a little different.)

    Engage the steam wand on your espresso machine
  4. Make sure to keep the tip of the wand toward the side of the container. This will create a vortex with the milk.

    steam wand in the milk container
  5. Move the container higher, lower, closer, then further so that the steam wand can incorporate the air into the milk, making the foam. The bubbles should get smaller and smaller as you do this.

    steam wand in a container of with milk
  6. Once the milk has foamed to double its size, turn the steam wand off.

    steam wand in a milk container
  7. Top the espresso with foamed milk right after foaming. When initially poured, cappuccino is only espresso and foam, but the liquid milk quickly settles out of the foam to create the (roughly) equal parts foam, steamed milk, and espresso for which cappuccino is known.

    The Perfect Cappuccino in a cup

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