10 Best Coffee Beans for Cappuccino [Is Your Frother At The Ready?]

Having recently travelled a lot for work, I know how expensive frequent trips to coffee shops can be.

My need to feed a daily cappuccino habit, soon burnt a large hole in my wallet.

And, I am not alone.

Far from it.

The alternative is to make your cappuccinos at home instead.

One of the key questions that you will need answered is what are the best beans for cappuccino?

And for those of you in a hurry, just buy these

For everyone else, hold on tight as I explore all the elements that go into making a perfect cup of cappuccino.

What is Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is an espresso based coffee.

It consists of a double espresso and a similar volume of hot milk.

Cappuccinos are made using espresso machines and the milk is prepared via a steam wand.

Did you know?

That as part of the world barista championship, contestants must make four cappuccinos…

Difference Cappuccino and Latte

It can be very hard to get your head around the subtle differences between some of the most popular espresso based drinks.

And it tends to “boil down” the amount of milk and its texture.

So let’s take a look at the difference between a cappuccino, latte and flat white.

A cappuccino has two ingredients and three textures and they are all equal- ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, ⅓ foamed milk.

A latte has the same two ingredients, three textures but they are unequal- ⅙ espresso, 4/6 steam milk, ⅙ foamed milk.

Finally a flat white has the same two ingredients and two textures- ⅓ espresso, ⅔ frothed milk.

Cappuccino Variations

Cappuccinos come in slight variations as well.

Remember a traditional cappuccino is a three layered drink and the layers are equal.

Chiaro

A cappuccino chiaro is also called a wet or a light cappuccino.

In this variation, there is more steamed milk than frothed milk (light, wet)

Scuro

On the other hand, a cappuccino scuro, which is also called a dark or dry cappuccino has gets more frothed milk than steamed milk.

Freddo

A cappuccino freddo is a traditional cappuccino served over ice.

History of Cappuccino

Cappuccino is named after an order of monks, who were called Capuchin.

The order of monks were named after the color of their robes, which were light brown.

The drink was created by the monks to celebrate a famous victory in the seventeenth century.

Finding traditional arabic coffee too strong, they diluted it with cream giving the drink a similar color to their robes.

The drink also has some Austrian roots, where a similar coffee drink was called “Kapuziner” in the 18th century.

Cappuccinos were unheard of outside of Italy until the 1930s.

How popular is it?

I have found it quite difficult to get any up to date and specific data about cappuccino but I did find this in a survey from 2015.

12% of American women drink cappuccinos whereas a whopping 22% drink lattes.

How to Make Cappuccino

In this quick video, you are shown the 4 steps needed to make a cappuccino

Remember, cappuccino is normally a 5 or 6 oz drink.

It contains three ingredients of equal amounts;

  • a shot of espresso(2 oz)
  • milk (2 oz)
  • foam (2 oz)

Step 1: grind your beans
Step 2: make your espresso
Step 3: steam your milk
Step 4: Add the milk to the espresso.

Best Grind

The best grind for your cappuccino is an espresso grind because every cappuccino starts with a great espresso.

Espresso need a fine grind of bean because the hot water is forced through the coffee grinds at a high speed.

As a result, the coffee and water do not spend very long together and so because the grinds are fine, they dissolve quicker releasing all of their lovely flavors.

The grind size is a far more important factor in creating a cup of good cappuccino than either the type of roast that you opt for or whether you drink a blend or single origin coffee.

Light, Medium or Dark?

Traditionally, dark roasts are the recommended roast level for your espresso.

This is because many people expect an espresso to have a strong almost bitter flavor that is most readily associated with darker roasts.

A safe bet for a beginner would be to opt for medium to dark roast- such as a French or Italian roast.

But over time don’t forget to experiment and try different roasts.

Different roasts have very different flavors.

Light Roasts

Lighter roasts contain far more flavors from the coffee beans themselves than over types of roasts because they haven’t been roasted for as long.

Too many people a light roast lacks balance, it tastes too acidic.

You can be overwhelmed by citrus and floral flavors.

Medium Roasts

At their best, medium roasts balance the flavors between the coffee beans and the roasting process.

The roasting process begins to add a real sweetness to their natural flavours.

Dark Roast

With dark roasts floral and fruit flavors disappear as chocolate, nutty and caramel flavors dominate.

The flavors of the coffee beans have been replaced by the flavors of the roasting process.

Single vs Blend

Packs of single origin beans will tend to have a much more individual and distinctive flavor than a pack of blended beans.

In fact, if you are serious about really finding out what coffees you like then experimenting with a few single origins is a great place to start.

It will help your understanding of individual flavors more than just flitting from blend to blend.

Common Mistakes When Making Cappuccinos

The most common mistakes that people make when they are making their cappuccinos are related to steaming the milk and making the espresso.

The most common mistakes made in preparing the milk that include:

#1. Not purging the steam wand

Before you dip your wand into your milk, you need to let off a couple of blasts of steam.

Not only with this clean the end of your wand but it will also heat it up up so that when you place it in your milk it is ready to go.

#2. Not immersing the wand enough

Many inexperienced users are too hesitant and tentative and they don’t push the wand down into the milk enough.

#3. Not moving the milk pitcher

Another common mistake of cappuccino newbies is that they do not move the milk pitcher around and just hold it in one place.

As a result not all of the milk has been steamed.

#4. Making the milk too hot

Frothing and steaming milk is a skill that takes practice.

Sometimes in trying to make sure that the milk has been prepared properly, we overdo it and start to boil the milk.

Boiled milk will go flat and spoil all of your hard work.

And what about mistakes that are made when making espressos?

Common mistakes when making espressos, include;

#5. Using stale grinds

You coffee grounds need to be fresh because coffee will quickly go stale.

Stale grinds will taste “flat” and lack any sort of flavour.

#6. Grind too coarse

Espresso are made quickly. Water is pushed through the coffee grinds at high speed. If your grind size is too large, not enough of the coffee would have dissolved.

Your espresso will taste and look a bit watery.

#7. Grinds not tamped

Your grinds need to be tamped (or pressed down) in the portafilter. If you don’t tamp your grounds, then your coffee will also taste watery.

Health Benefits

Different Types of Cappuccinno

Cappuccino vs Flat White

Cappuccino vs Latte

Different Ways Make Cappuccino

Advantages of Cappucino

[1] Lavazza Super Crema

Details

  • Grind Coarse
  • Weight 2.2 lb | 35 oz.
  • Roast Medium
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

This is a very popular coffee from one of Italy’s finest.

This is a great coffee that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

With notes of honey, almonds, and dried fruit, this is a coffee with a great flavor. 

Specifically created for espressos these coarse grinds are guaranteed to give a wonderfully crema.

This smooth blend combines sweet Brazilian coffee beans with beans from Central and South America.

[2] Koffee Kult (Dark Roast)

Details

  • Grind Bean
  • Weight 32 oz.
  • Roast Dark
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

Koffee Kult organically source and fair trade these Colombia, Guatemala and Sumatra coffee beans.

These beans are roasted and packed immediately.

This is a strong and bold but incredibly smooth coffee.

With its resealable pack, these coffee beans will stay fresh and every cup will have the same freshness.

[3] Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger

Details

  • Grind Bean
  • Weight 2.2 lb 35 oz.
  • Roast Medium
  • Organic Yes
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

Isn’t it interesting how many bags of premium coffee blends use plain black packaging?

Its almost as if they don’t want anything to detract from the quality of the product.

Roasted at altitude in Canada, true to its name, this coffee will leave a strong impression.

These are organically and fair traded beans from Africa, Indonesia and Central and South America.

This medium roast has aromas of blackcurrant, milk chocolate and brown sugar and flavors of wild berry syrup with a cocoa finish.

[4] Deathwish Ground Coffee

Details

  • Grind Medium
  • Weight 1 lb | 16 oz.
  • Roast Dark
  • Organic Yes
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No!
  • Find Out More

Features

And here is a pack with skull and crossbones!

Claiming to be be the world’s strongest coffee, these grounds have double the caffeine content of other coffee beans.

This is not a pack for the feint hearted.

A few reviews mention getting the shakes after drinking a few cups of this, which is enough to put me off.

But then again perhaps I am a coffee lightweight.

Despite their bad boy image, this dark roasted coffee is organic and fair traded.

Treating their beans like royalty, Deathwish coffee comes with a simple money back guarantee.

[5] Coffee Bean Direct

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 5 lb | 80 oz.
  • Roast Italian Roast
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

This is a large 5 lb bag of whole beans.

Perfect for those of you who work in a coffee loving office or live in a family who are high on caffeine.

These beans from the Americas and India have been Italian Roasted and they have been specifically blended for espressos.

This will provide your cup of coffee with a smoky flavor with hints of cocoa powder and molasses.

[6] Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 1.25 lbs | 20 oz.
  • Roast Dark
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

I guess a bag from Starbucks had to appear in this list somewhere didn’t it?

And this is a highly rated pack of whole beans that have been created so that you can enjoy your perfect espresso at home.

Just think about the luxury of grinding these beans in your pyjamas!

The beans have been dark roasted to give your coffee an incredibly intense and bold flavor with a hint of sweet caramel.

The flavor is sure to please whether you add milk or not.

[7] Cafe de Loja

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 2 lbs | 32 oz.
  • Roast Medium/ Dark
  • Organic Yes
  • Blend Single Origin
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

This is a very special bag of whole beans.

Grown at over six thousand feet in the Ecuadorian Highlands, this is a bag of single origin beans that are consistent prize winners in a national coffee championship.

If you are an Ecuadorian coffee nut, then treat yourself. 

A slower growth rate means that these beans have had a longer time to develop a delicious flavor.

Quite uniquely these beans have a deep and fruit flavor and thanks to the roasting process, there is no bitter after taste.

And with triple layered aluminium packaging has a 7 day freshness guarantee.

[8] Lavazza Espresso Crema e Gusto

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 1 kg | 35 oz.
  • Roast Not Specified
  • Organic Not Specified
  • Blend Yes
  • Find Out More

Features

The second bag in this comparison produced by Lavazza.

It is a real struggle to get any specifics on this bag.

It contains whole beans and it weighs 35 oz was about the best I could do.

Judging by the feedback, this is a good quality bag of coffee.

And, it is made in Italy- the home of espresso.

Even the packaging is only in Italian.

Perhaps we should just rest easy and leave it to the experts.

[9] Blackwelder Coffee

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 2 lb | 32 oz.
  • Roast Medium/ Dark
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

Another coffee with black packaging and a horse theme.

If you like an espresso with a strong caramel flavour, then give this bag of medium dark roasted beans a try.

Even with a dash of milk, the beans won’t disappoint.

The beans come from Latin America and Indonesia and they are roasted in small batches to guarantee freshness.

So fresh in fact that the roasting date can be found on the listing

[10] Cafe Don Pablo

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 2 lb | 32 oz.
  • Roast Dark
  • Organic No
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

Don Pablo coffee has a wonderful love story behind it.

About a man who when visiting his wife’s family in Colombia fell in love with a strong coffee tradition.

And so this pack contains a blend of top quality volcanic Colombian and Indonesian arabica beans.

These dark roasted beans give off beautiful smooth flavors that include dark chocolate, earthy tones and caramel.

[11] Jo Espresso

Details

  • Grind Whole Bean
  • Weight 12 oz.
  • Roast Medium/ Dark
  • Organic Yes
  • Blend Yes
  • Decaf No
  • Find Out More

Features

Using a network of small coffee growers around the world, Jo Coffee is proud to use certified organic and fair traded coffee beans.

This 12 oz. bag of medium/ dark roasted whole beans has been specially blended for your espressos.

Promising a rich crema and beautifully smooth and strong dark chocolate flavors, this coffee will soon have you ordering another packet.

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