If you need an affordable, warm, and frothy drink, odds are you’ll head to your favorite coffee shop.

However, if you enjoy making your own cappuccinos at home or just want to save a little money and cut down on the crowds, you can use a few tricks to make barista-quality beverages in your own kitchen.

This article will cover how to make a cappuccino at home and guide you through each step. Let’s get into it!

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. Usually, the proportions are one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam. It’s often decorated with cocoa powder.

How to make a cappuccino.

The milk used can be either whole milk or skim milk. There are variations of the cappuccino as well, such as adding flavoring syrups, but more on this later on.

Cappuccinos can be served either hot or cold depending on the weather and which you prefer more.

In this article, I’ll go over every step to making the perfect hot cappuccino at home. If you’d instead make an iced cappuccino, I recommend checking out this recipe.

What ingredients are in a cappuccino?

The best part about making a cappuccino at home is that you need just two ingredients:

  • Whole milk
  • Espresso coffee
Ingredients needed to make a cappuccino at home.

To make the perfect cappuccino at home, you can use any milk you prefer. I like whole milk for its full flavor and slight sweetness, but you can also use lower-fat milk.

Any milk alternative will also work incredibly well in terms of flavor. It’s a great way to switch things up if you like drinking a cappuccino regularly.

You can add a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon on top of the milk foam of your cappuccino, or you can sweeten your coffee with coffee syrup.

A few of my favorite homemade coffee syrups are:

A French vanilla cappuccino, for example, is a great way to start the day and will keep things interesting.

Homemade French vanilla cappuccino.
French vanilla cappuccino

I’ll talk more about the different coffee roasts you can use and if you can use brewed coffee instead of espresso below:

How to make a cappuccino at home

You can easily make this delicious beverage at home with just a few simple ingredients and tools.

This is just a quick overview of the steps required to make a cappuccino at home. You can check out the recipe card for the complete recipe.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making the perfect cappuccino:

  1. Start by brewing your espresso shot.
  2. Meanwhile, steam your milk and make sure there’s a nice layer of foam.
  3. Add the espresso to a cup of choice.
  4. Slowly pour the steamed milk into the glass.
  5. Top with milk foam.
  6. Sprinkle with some cocoa powder or cinnamon, if desired, and enjoy!

Those are the easy steps required to make the perfect cappuccino at home.

Below, you’ll find some more information about which coffee beans are best used and if you can use regular coffee for this recipe as well:

What is the best coffee to use in a cappuccino?

The best coffee to use in a cappuccino is espresso coffee. Espresso has a more intense flavor than regular coffee and is perfect for making creamy cappuccinos.

Because espresso is made with a higher coffee to water ratio, it has a robust flavor that pairs well with the milk, and it has a stronger taste than regular brewed coffee.

Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of very hot water (not boiling) through finely-ground coffee beans using an espresso machine.

This produces a very strong, concentrated coffee that is the most important part of any cappuccino.

Brewing espresso shots.

However, these machines can be quite expensive. A Moka pot or AeroPress are excellent alternatives to this.

These coffee brewers produce espresso-like coffee that is strong in flavor and perfectly pairs with the milk.

If you want to find out if one of these coffee brewers fits your needs, you can check out the pros and cons of the AeroPress and the Moka pot by clicking on their names.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can also use brewed coffee for a cappuccino. More on this below:

Can you make cappuccino with regular coffee?

If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use regular coffee to make a cappuccino, but the resulting drink won’t be as flavorful or creamy.

I suggest brewing coffee with the French press for the most robust flavored cappuccino. Pour over coffee can also be used, resulting in a sweeter flavor, as the coffee isn’t that strong in itself.

"Adding the plunger to the French press beaker."

A higher coffee to water ratio will help to make a stronger coffee basis. You can also double brew your coffee to increase its strength.

Overall, you can use brewed coffee to make a cappuccino, but the result will look the same as a Café au Lait.

Try using dark roast coffee beans or an espresso blend when making your own cappuccinos at home for the best results. More on this below:

Which coffee roasts work best in a cappuccino?

There’s no definitive answer to this question since everyone has their own preferences when it comes to coffee.

However, good-quality espresso beans are usually best for cappuccinos since they have a more robust flavor that can stand up to the milk and foam.

With that said, experimentation is key, so feel free to try out different types of coffee roasts until you find your perfect cappuccino recipe!

I like to use either a medium or dark roast for my cappuccinos. A light roast doesn’t have the strength to cut through the milk, so a darker roast is the way to go.

Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.
Medium roast on the left. Dark roast on the right

If you are simply looking for a good coffee to use in a cappuccino, then any dark roast coffee will work well.

A dark roast has more body and darkness, which will help balance out the sweetness of the milk and sugar in a cappuccino.

Some examples of good dark roast coffees include French roasts, Italian roasts, or extra dark roasts.

Extra dark roasted coffee beans.
Extra dark roast

Tip: If you’re looking for some great coffee beans that work well with milk recipes like this one, you can check out my recommendations here.

How do you froth milk at home?

There are a few ways to froth milk at home. You can use a handheld milk frother, pour the milk into a mason jar and shake it until it’s frothy, or use a French press.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the handheld milk frother is very easy to use but doesn’t produce as much foam as the mason jar or French press methods.

The mason jar method is a little more labor-intensive but results in more foam. And the French press method takes a little longer but produces the most foam.

Frothing milk with a jar of choice.

All methods require the milk to be heated beforehand and then frothing it until a nice layer of foam forms.

There are even more ways you can froth milk at home. You can check out this article where I show you six different ways to froth milk at home!

Now that you have a general idea of how to make a cappuccino and the different steps involved, let’s make a cappuccino:

How to Make a Cappuccino

Homemade cappuccino.

This delicious cappuccino is the perfect start to the day and can be made in just five minutes!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 espresso shot
  • 2 oz (60 ml) of whole milk
  • Optional: a dusting of cocoa powder or ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Start by brewing your espresso shot. Use the coffee brewer you like the most.
  2. Froth the milk using one of the techniques mentioned in the article. Make sure there's a nice layer of milk foam on top.
  3. Pour the freshly brewed espresso coffee into a nice glass.
  4. Add the steamed milk into the glass and top with the milk foam.
  5. You can aim for one-third of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam for the perfect cappuccino at home.
  6. Finish it with a dusting of cocoa powder or a sweetener you like the most and enjoy!

Notes

If you like a more robust cappuccino, you can consider adding an additional espresso shot to it.

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 1.84gSaturated Fat: 1.05gUnsaturated Fat: 0.46gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 2.56gSugar: 2.98gProtein: 1.83g

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you to understand how to make a cappuccino and the different ways you can sweeten it at home, according to your own taste.

Remember, experimentation is key- so feel free to try out all of the methods mentioned and find the one that works best for you.

Whether you like your coffee sweet or not, these tips should help you create a delicious and customized drink that will satisfy your cravings.

Do you like these easy-to-make coffee recipes? Check out the recipes listed below for more coffees you can try at home!

More coffee recipes

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Author

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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