They say when the caffeine kicks in, the overwhelming urge to conquer the world takes you over. Well, not literally, but you know what we mean. The next time you sip on either of the BIG THREE – Espresso, Americano and Cappuccino – you’ll know that there’s more to them than just being one of the better addictions that has induced many a great idea.
Espresso was a result of the need for improved coffee brews. For many coffee-addicts, espresso is coffee – the purest distillation of coffee beans. The science behind it, as perceived by the Italian inventor Angelo Moriondo in the 19th century when coffee-making boomed, is quite simple – when highly-pressurized water is forced over ground coffee, what culminates is: dark, robust and the literal essence of coffee beans.
Americano is the result of American soldiers’ coy disapproval of the Italian taste-buds. American soldiers in Italy during the WWII felt that the Italian espresso was too strong and bitter for their liking. The easiest option at times of dire need for caffeine was to dilute the espresso with water, and, voila, Café Americano was born.
Cappuccinos first appeared in Viennese coffee houses as ‘kapuziner’, named after the brown robes with hoods that the friars or Kapuzins or Capuchins wore. The word ‘capuchin’ literally means hood in Italian. In 1805, kapuziners were described as ‘coffee with cream and sugar’, and by 1850 the description included spices. Even to this day, cappuccino in certain parts of world are still served Vienna-style – with whipped cream and spices.
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