Date: Nov 14, 2007
Title: The Origin of Cappuccino
Cappuccino is an Italian coffee-based drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and milk foam. But do you know where the drink - and the word - comes from? And would you believe this hot new beverage sweeping the nation is actually a hundred years old?
Cappuccino takes its name from the order of Franciscan Minor friars, named "cappuccini" from their hooded frock ("cappuccio" means hood in Italian).
The drink has always been known by this Italian name. The Espresso coffee machine used to make cappuccino was invented in Italy, with the first patent being filed by Luigi Bezzera in 1901.
The beverage was used in Italy by the early 1900s, and grew in popularity as the large espresso machines in cafés and restaurants were improved during and after World War Two. By the 1950s, the Italian cappuccino had found its form.
Typically regarded as myth, some believe that a 17th century Capuchin monk, Marco d'Aviano, invented Cappuccino after the Battle of Vienna in 1683, and that it was named after him. No one knows if this is true or not.
Cappuccino was a taste largely confined to Europe, Australia, South Africa, South America and the more cosmopolitan regions of North America, until the mid-1990s when cappuccino was made much more widely available to North Americans, as upscale coffee bars sprang up.
In Italy, cappuccino is generally consumed early in the day as part of the breakfast, with a croissant, better known to Italians as cornetto, or a pastry. Generally, Italians do not drink cappuccino with meals other than breakfast. That's obviously not the case in most other countries. I personally enjoy a good Cappuccino when the mood strikes me, and that can be in the morning, the middle of the day, or even in the evening if I know I'm going to be awake for a while.