What’s in a name?

24 Apr

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

The cappuccino is the one of the most popular drinks in coffee shops all over the UK, but how much do we really know about where this tasty coffee based beverage comes from? What exactly is a cappuccino and what brought this delicious drink to our coffee tables today?

The cappuccino originated in Italy in the early 1900s, and had developed into the drink we know today by the 1950s.  As one of Italy’s most popular coffee exports, the cappuccino is a strong contender for the world’s coffee favourite.  Constructed with precision and care, a shot of dark, rich espresso is given a helping of hot milk and topped off with beautifully crafted steamed milk foam.  It can be served with a dusting of chocolate or left a blank canvas, but either way it is certainly a delicious-tasting, delicious-sounding beverage.

But the history of the cappuccino dates further back than just a century ago. The naming of the cappuccino comes from the Capuchin, or ‘cappuccini’ in Italian, monks in Italy in the early 16th century.  Legend has it that the cappuccino was named as such because the milk added to the coffee created a shade of brown that resembled the robes of the Capuchin monks.  So we have thanks to give to the monks in Italy for the name of such a delicious drink!

In the UK, this popular Italian import is seen throughout the day; a morning pick me up, an afternoon treat with friends or an after dinner alternative to a dessert.  In Italy, however, the idea of the post-breakfast cappuccino is considered a sin!  The cappuccino -either alone or with a delicious pastry accompaniment- is seen to be the ideal breakfast, and drinking milk after the morning is something most Italians would never contemplate!  Don’t let that put you off reaching for the coffee cup though –  we feel everyone should enjoy coffee anytime, anywhere and for any reason.

Whether you like yours wet (a cappuccino chairo) or dry (a cappuccino scuro) there’s no question that the cappuccino is here to stay in cafés and on coffee tables all over the world.

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