How to Make a Cappuccino with an Espresso Machine: a detailed guide

Owning an espresso machine unlocks an endless choice of coffee-based drinks for you to enjoy. One of the most popular of these drinks is the cappuccino, made famous for its foamy appearance and its rich, creamy flavor. Despite its sophisticated appearance, making cappuccino is easy.

In this article, we will teach you how to make a cappuccino with an espresso machine so that you can enjoy the flavorful beverage.

I want to tell you one thing that before start, you have to know the use of Espresso Machine correctly. If you know, that's fine, and it will be easier then others for you to make cappuccino, but if you don't know, then it will be hard for you to make cappuccino. So I recommend you to read this first How to use An Espresso Machine: Complete Guide

What You'll Need To Make A Cappuccino With An Espresso Machine

Before anything else, you have to prepare all the necessary tools and ingredients first. Here is an easy checklist to make the gathering easier for you:

  • An espresso machine
  • Milk mug
  • Thermometer
  • Weighing scale
  • Coffee grinder
  • Portafilter
  • Tamper
  • Shot glass
  • Your favorite coffee mug
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Cold milk, preferably one with 2 percent fat content.

Step 1

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Fill the mug with hot water and set it aside while you make your espresso. Experts agree that keeping the mug temperature hot is excellent at preserving the heat of your drink without heating the milk too much. 

Bear in mind that when milk is overheated, it may lose its rich and sweet flavor. That's why experts opt to heat the mug instead of allowing the milk to retain its flavor.

Step 2

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With the mug of hot water set aside, we can now take a shot of espresso. Before anything else, make sure that your espresso machine is connected to a water source, or that the water container is filled with clean water. Then, preheat your espresso machine to ensure that you won't have to wait for minutes to get your perfect shot. 

Now, get your portafilter and fill it with ground coffee beans. Make sure to measure its weight in the weighing scale. Ideally, you would get the perfect shot of espresso for a cappuccino with around 18 to 21 grams of ground coffee. As to the type of coffee beans to use, this all depends on your taste.

Step 3

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Once you get the right measurement for the ground coffee, even the powder out using your forefinger to spread them out and create a flat surface, then, set your portafilter on the counter-top or any flat surface, and use the tamper to make the powder more compact. 

For tamping, experts advise to level your arms to a 90-degree angle and exert about 30 pounds of force while pressing slowly. Once your tamped grounds look even and fully compressed, you can now lock it onto the group head to start brewing. 

Now, empty the mug you previously filled with hot water and set it under the spout of your espresso machine to catch your freshly-brewed espresso shot. 

As a tip, the ideal temperature to brew a tasty shot of espresso is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit with a brewing time of around 20 to 30 seconds to give you that full and rich flavor. It can give you either a sour or a bitter taste if you brew it at a different temperature or at different brewing times. But if that's the flavor you want, then you can do so by all means.

Step 4

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Now that you're done brewing your coffee, you can now proceed with heating your milk. Pour ice-cold milk into your milk mug until it's filled to about one-third or halfway, depending on how big your mug is.

Then, position your milk mug under the steam rod of your espresso machine and turn it to about 15 degrees. Ensure that the rod isn't too submerged in your milk - being submerged for about half an inch would do. 

With your milk mug in position, you can now heat your milk for around 5 seconds. That's enough time to combine the right amount of air to heat your milk and build up enough foam. 

As a tip, the ideal temperature for heating your milk is within a range of 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Going for a temperature beyond this range can leave your milk tasting burnt or bitter. 

Another tip is to make sure that your steam rod is clean before submerging it into your milk. Wipe the rod with a clean cloth and allow it to release heat for about two seconds. Just makes sure that nothing will contaminate your milk. Once you are done heating your milk, similarly wipe it off with a clean cloth and let it heat out for another two seconds.

Step 5

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With your steamed milk ready, you can now pour it slowly into your coffee mug. You can also scoop in the remaining foam on top of the mug once it's filled with the mixture of steamed milk and espresso 

And that's it - now you know how to make a cappuccino with an espresso machine. You can now sit back, relax, and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of cappuccino. 

Watch Video Tutorial

Useful Notes and Tips For: How To Make A Cappuccino With An Espresso Machine

The instructions outlined in this article are for brewing the perfect cup of traditional cappuccino. I understand that some of you prefer a wet cappuccino or dry cappuccino.

The first one refers to cappuccino with more steam milk than foam milk, while the latter has more foam milk than steam milk. Adjust the heating time to achieve the type of cappuccino you want. 

Additionally, while milk with fat content is preferred, you can also use non-fat milk or soy milk if that's what you prefer. Experts agree that non-fat milk is the easiest to foam, so beginners will find it easier to work with. Also, make sure that your milk is ice-cold when you heat it.  

And finally, the ideal milk mug or jug is made of stainless steel material and comes with a spout. That allows you to easily determine the temperature of your milk while the spout allows for easier pouring.

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2 thoughts on “How to Make a Cappuccino with an Espresso Machine: a detailed guide”

  1. Pingback: 3 Unexpected Ways: How To Make Espresso Without A Machine

  2. It is a capsule-based espresso machine with ease of use and user convenience at the heart of its design. With the best Nespresso machine, you can be confident of getting great tasting espressos in seconds, consistent brewing and the perfect crema at the top of each cup.

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