…and what about cappuccino?

61FwVBpOCcL._SL1226_I have had a lot of conversations, via email and in person, about espresso since I wrote this post. And I realized I left a big question unanswered: What about making cappuccino, or any other coffee drink that takes frothed milk?

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I rely on another low-tech number, what we refer to as the “schiuma” (say skyoo-ma) in my house. Schiuma just means foam in Italian, but it’s also what everyone in Italy calls these little heatproof pitchers with the frothing top. You can get super-cute ones in Italy, made by Alessi and its imitators, but you can get inexpensive, totally functional ones here in the States too.

Here’s how it works: pour about halfway full with milk, and heat on the stovetop slightly (try not to forget about it and get that gross milk-skin from overheating). Then, take it off the heat,  put the top on, and pump the plunger up and down—fast, not slow, like you’re making French-press coffee. Finally, voila, you have warm and frothed milk, which you can top your cheap homemade espresso with. (N.B. Don’t bother using skim milk. You need 2% or whole to get a really nice foam.)


4 thoughts on “…and what about cappuccino?

  1. You can get even lower-tech schiumas. Years ago I moved into a new flat here in Dublin.. my new landlord was intrigued and happy to have an ‘exotic’ Italian-American in the house. As a moving-in present (!) he brought me a mini schiuma when we met to sign the lease. It was battery-operated, around the size and shape of an electronic thermometer – and it had a mini whisk at the end. You stovetop-heat milk, immerse the mini whisk, turn it on – and blammo.

  2. I suppose I’ll have to go and get one: I like to have all the low-tech essentials around the house in case somebody shows up and wants a latte or, shudder, a mocha…

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