What Is National Cappuccino Day?
Did you know that November 8th is National Cappuccino Day? Every year on November 8th, millions of coffee fiends (including myself) in the US celebrate by enjoying a cup of rich espresso and steamed milk with a smooth layer of foam on top. Cappuccinos are my favorite coffee drink of all time. As a coffee enthusiast, I drink a cappuccino almost every morning before I started my day.
What Is a Cappuccino?
Cappuccinos are the holy grail of Italian coffee! It is an espresso-based drink. Unlike lattes, cappuccinos contain 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 frothed milk. They have a rich and bold taste, as any espresso would, but the flavor is toned down slightly by the steamed milk. I was introduced to this drink while I was a student in Italy. One of the first phrases I learned in Italian was "Vorrei un cappuccino per favore" (I would like a cup of cappuccino, please). This is how I ordered coffee while I was at the cafe.
In the meantime, if you are in Italy, please keep in mind that if you order a cappuccino after 10 or 11 a.m., you're gonna get some funny looks, as Italians believe that drinking too much milk unsettles your stomach, especially after a meal. In Italy, cappuccinos are traditionally consumed in the morning, not after meals.
History of the Cappuccino
In 1945, Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine which helped the drink become a popular beverage in Europe. From that time, espresso machine demand and sales increased rapidly throughout Italy and other European countries. The espresso machine has now become an essential piece of equipment for cappuccino-making at the coffee shop and home. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, cappuccinos' popularity expanded in the United States during the boom in the American coffee industry.
There are a few versions of where the word "cappuccino" originates.
- We all know that cappuccino is an Italian word. It is derived from cappuccio in Italian, meaning hood, or something that covers the head. This popular coffee beverage got its name not from the hood, however, but from the color of the hooded robes that the order of friars wore.
- Another variant of history tells us that the year in which the first café was opened in the Austrian capital of Vienna, an Italian friar arrived at the court of Emperor Leopold I wearing a typical light brown cap. For the Austrians, it was impossible not to associate the color of the dress with the drink of Italian origin, and hence, the beverage became known as a cappuccino.
A third version states that the term cappuccino derives from the effect of the white of the milk mixing with the brown of the coffee. This is said to be reminiscent of the bald head of a friar surrounded by his ring of hair. Voila! You have found your favorite version of the origin of the word cappuccino!
How to Observe the Cappuccino Day
Although there is no organization or person who has stepped up to claim its creation, November 8th is National Cappuccino Day in the US. So, if you are a coffee enthusiast like me, how will you celebrate this day? I think I have a few ideas for you:
- If you own an espresso machine at home, make a cappuccino at home before heading to your workplace.
- If you don't own a machine, go to your favorite coffee shop and order a cappuccino.
- Take a picture of a cappuccino you made or ordered and post it on social media with the hashtag #cappuccinoday.
- Take advantage of discounts and sales at your favorite cafés, stores, or websites.
- Enjoy a nice hot cappuccino with a delicious pastry such as a buttery croissant.
- Check your local coffee shops and see if they are offering a free cup of this javalicious beverage in celebration of the holiday.
- Drink cappuccinos with other coffee enthusiasts you know.
Did you know coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water?
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