Like french fries, which everyone thinks are French when they are Belgian, cappuccino was not invented by the Italians, but by their Austrian neighbors. And if it is undeniable that the Zaalps knew how to make this delicious drink one of their specialties, they do not hesitate to return to Caesar what Caesar belongs to. In any case, that’s what two great Italian coffee pros say on Vice’s website.
“It would seem that ‘cappuccino’, a word but also a drink, comes from Capuchin, German term for Capuchin monk », explains Gianni Tratzi, owner of the consulting company Mezzatazza, which specializes in coffee. According to the professional, cappuccino has its origins in elegant Viennese bistros, where coffee was mixed with sugar, cream and spices. “This drink is now known as Viennese coffee [café viennois, ndlr]continues Gianni Tratzi, while the term cappuccino is international and refers to a beverage made from frothed milk.
If it is almost impossible to find out exactly who invented this delicious drink, some works attribute its genesis to a Capuchin monk, as its original name suggests, which corresponds to the name Marco d’Aviano. “Apparently they once served him a very bitter coffee in Vienna, which he ‘prepared’ with sugar and cream.”explains Gianni Tratzi. “The waiter noticed these changes and the drink began to be served under this name as a tribute to Brother Marco.”
But for Manuel Terzi, the owner of Caffè Terzi in Bologna, the legend is completely different and the invention of the drink dates back to 1683, the date of the second siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire. “Polish soldier Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki crossed the enemy camp, pretended to be a Turk, and went to ask for reinforcements.”says the expert. “As a reward, he got bags of coffee abandoned by the Turks and opened the first cafe in Vienna, where he sweetened his coffee with milk and honey.”
But whatever the legend, Italians are considered great today master cappuccino. In addition, the Coffee Association specialties, an organization of professionals in the coffee industry, have enacted rules for achieving the perfect drink: a shot of espresso, two-quarters of milk and a quarter of foam. It should not exceed a thickness of 1.5 centimeters and the drink should have an ideal appearance and “Coffee wreath with a white circle in the middle”.
Manuel Terzi also explains that latte art is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. “Cappuccino must be homogeneous, unlike a flat whitefor example”decrypts italian. “The more complex the design, the more it deviates from the traditional Italian cappuccino.”