Coffee Talk: How to Craft the Perfect Cappuccino


Today, this Milanese coffee creation is sought out more frequently than a good ol’ American cup of joe. But making the perfect cappuccino is trickier than you think. For it to be considered top-notch by any coffee-loving connoisseur, the added milk must be steamed to the correct temperature (between 130° and 150° Fahrenheit); the water pressure, or “the pull,” should be engaged for an exact amount of time; the cups must be filled just so… You see our point.

On board our Celebrity Cruises’ ships, the Italian espresso company Lavazza helps us maintain a world-class level of coffee drinks by training our staff (and retraining them every six months). They also inspect our espresso machines as if they were powerful sports cars, ensuring that our pressure pumps are perfectly calibrated, and our grinds are adjusted for the changing heat and humidity as our ships travel the world.

For those looking to recreate the Celebrity cappuccino experience at home, here are some of our tips for consistently preparing the perfect cappuccino.

  1. Chill the metal milk pitcher, then add the desired amount of cold milk.
  2. Froth the milk before you begin the pull. The milk should be frothed to between 130-150°F. When you begin to froth, always keep the tip of the stem wand just below the milk’s surface, riding up with the milk as it rises higher in the pitcher. After reaching 100°F, plunge the tip deeper into the milk.
  3. As the steam builds, tilt the pitcher so the milk begins to swirl. You are looking for a creamy consistency, with a texture of fine, dense bubbles. Upon reaching the perfect temperature, set the milk aside.
  4. Pull the espresso shot. It should take 25-30 seconds and—if done correctly—you will see a fine, thin caramel/hazel colored stream resting on top of the espresso shot, this I known as the “crema.”
  5. Now, pick up the milk pitcher and “work” the film (gently moving the pitcher in a circular motion) while you’re waiting for the pull to finish. You’ll see a creamy, glossy foam develop as the heated milk reacts with the whirling air.
  6. Pour the milk into the espresso to create a slight dome. The milk will drop out of the foam, giving the perfect balance of milk and espresso in the cup.

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