Cappuccino vs. Latte - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#21: Post by cannonfodder »

Psyd wrote:I've stopped using the Mermaid as a ruler. You used to be able to define the bottom end of acceptable... but since their quality had slipped off the end of the scale, and their consistency ain't, they really don't have any mark to measure from.
But the mass market still flocks to them. For many folks, that is the baseline they work from.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#22: Post by another_jim »

FWIW, in Seattle, which after all is the home of the latte, the best cafes serve 6 and 12 ounce lattes and cappas, with the cappas using equal parts foam and milk, and the lattes mostly milk. Double shots are standard in the 6 ounce, and triples in 12 ounce and larger milk drinks, although one can order extra shots.

Personally, I think the distinction is somewhat artificial. In competent milk drinks (I'm excluding the swill), I've seen the whole range from fully white soft foam caps, slowly transforming into dark crema lines in a mostly white cap (a popular pouring style in barista comps), which in turn transitions into white lines on a dark background of the classic latte. In this continuum, where does a cappa stop and a latte start? All one has to do is delay pouring the milk for a few seconds to go from more of a latte to more of a cappa.
Jim Schulman

Aida Battle: Indigo Reserve from world renowned Finca Kilimanjaro in El Salvador
Sponsored by Aida Battle
Jarno

#23: Post by Jarno »

From the southeast to Seattle, I've seen all types of foam -- the marshmellow cap as you usually get from Starbucks, to the microfoam at the finer coffee shops. I've also seen this 'sea foam' as Schomer calls it, my least favorite. Personally, I can make marshmellow and the microfoam on my la Pavoni. But I can't (fortunately) make this 'sea foam.' I wonder if it has to do with the power of my steamer?

User avatar
Psyd
Supporter ♡

#24: Post by Psyd »

cannonfodder wrote:But the mass market still flocks to them. For many folks, that is the baseline they work from.
It'll take a while before folks start to realize that Mac and Dunkin are starting to make comparable drinks for cheaper, and it'll take the SCAA (and the BGA) solving the, "What's a cappuccino" problem so they can start to differentiate the 'real' coffee house from the fast-food equivalent. Standardization, certification, and strict enforcement will make the specialty coffee provider stand out from the background noise and start to put them in the forefront as something different and special.
The comfort zone that you speak of (that baseline that allows them to order the same thing they've memorized in their home store, or across town, or across the country) is one of the things that the mass market looks for. If the BGA logo or the smoking cup of the SCAA can begin to identify that comfort zone for them, with the addition of a higher quality, they'll flock there next.
BGA baristi and SCAA members will have to work together to make that happen, but I'm seeing way too much "my way" in the coffee world at the moment to believe that they'll be able to grab the brass ring before the ride stops. There aren't going to be that many more go-rounds.
Home baristi could play a small part in this by agreeing what is what, and describing things in a range or a set parameter, and continuing to get that rumour circulated until it pervades the coffee community. It'll have the additional side benefit of being able to ask for a cappuccino in any decent coffee house across the nation (and next, THE WORLD!) and get the same thing as far as the milk/espresso ratio and prep goes.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

jersievers

#25: Post by jersievers »

This thread is digressing to where to get a cappuccino.

First off "how do you like your cappuccino"

I never have gotten one the way I like it...I am a fan of the thirds.

With the availability of decent home machines under $500...any snob can be a snob at home.

Even one of the best shops in the area, it totally depends on the server what drink you get. I got a latte one day and had ordered a cappuccino. The server told me they were the same...what? I told them they were wrong, my girlfriend called me a coffee snob, I wanted another cup and asked since he didn't know what he was doing that someone else could show him. I guess even if you don't act emotional and keep a clear head, people don't like being told they don't know what they are doing. The owner came out and I explained that I would just like a real cappuccino not a latte. She is a coffee freak beyond my freakness. She apologized, to my girlfriend's disbelief and personally make my drink and told the server they couldn't make a drink until they went back through training and knew what they were talking about.

The owner said they make way more latte's and that most people don't know what a cappuccino is, they really just want a Mocha. Too many gas stations have messed up the US perception of what a cappuccino is. Too many customers let the server get away with making latte's.

User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB

#26: Post by cannonfodder »

I had a similar experience at Intelligentsia one day. I was in town so Jim and I hit Metropolis and Intelli for some espresso and other drinks. I ordered a double shot cappuccino at Intelli, the barista grabbed what had to be a 8-10oz cup and started preparing the portafilter. I politely asked 'is that cup for my drink? I wanted a cappuccino not a latte.' The Barista looked at me puzzled for a moment, I think she was surprised I knew the difference, then she said 'O, I am sorry, you wanted a traditional cappa' and grabbed a 6oz cup and made my drink.

Maybe it is just the American culture, the bigger is better mentality or possibly the mass markets palate is not accustom to the stronger tastes and needs their drink diluted down more than normal. I do not know, but when I visit a cafe I am now in the habit of asking for a traditional cappuccino and usually get a 6oz drink.

FYI, when I make them at home, they tend to me more latte like with slightly less foam and a little more milk, but still 6oz or less.
Dave Stephens

User avatar
Psyd
Supporter ♡

#27: Post by Psyd »

cannonfodder wrote:I politely asked 'is that cup for my drink?
I find myself asking that question more and more often lately.
cannonfodder wrote:Maybe it is just the American culture, the bigger is better mentality
It's the American culture of popular concept replacing actual fact. It no longer seems to matter what the facts are as long as the popular belief gets airtime. When my local NEWS program ran an ad for their "New Millenium" show in the last week of 1999, I called to suggest that they were a bit early. They're response was that since everyone had the common misconception that it was the new millenium, they'd just decided to go along with it. I asked if I could be transferred to the news desk. She said that I was speaking to the news director. I couldn't speak.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
User avatar
Jacob

#28: Post by Jacob »

cannonfodder wrote:Maybe it is just the American culture, the bigger is better mentality or ...
In Denmark we have a saying: "If the biggest were the best, they would be easy to recognize" :wink:

User avatar
Niko

#29: Post by Niko »

Even a 6oz Cappa is a little on the largish size for me. I'm used to 5oz'ers that I make at home.
Funny thing is when I was in Europe last year, every Cappuccino I had anywhere (and I do mean anywhere) was exactly the same. It kind of has to be since every place I've been at served everything in Illy Cups, not nevertheless the coffee was very consistent. It was pretty good, not what I serve at home but definitely better than most in our side of the pond.

User avatar
Psyd
Supporter ♡

#30: Post by Psyd »

Niko wrote: every Cappuccino I had anywhere was exactly the same...
...nevertheless the coffee was very consistent. It was pretty good, not what I serve at home but definitely better than most.
Now, when I can say that about my travels here in the US, I'll be a happy camper!
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175