Looking for a cappuccino recipe? Try expert barista Celeste Wong's step-by-step guide, then check out her guides to how to make a flat white and how to make a macchiato.

Celeste says, 'The cappuccino is an espresso-based drink that actually originated in Austria and was later developed in Italy and made with steamed milk. Usually a cappuccino is made with a single espresso; however, many artisan cafes use a 60ml double espresso, which I personally prefer myself. For a time, cappuccinos were seen as a bit “naff” – made poorly with bad espresso and steamed milk foam that had gone cold and was dumped on top. However, a good cappuccino is one of the best coffees I’ve ever experienced. A delicious espresso with perfectly steamed milk on top that represents the old school motto: a third, a third, a third (of espresso, hot milk and warm, creamy foamed milk).'

Make your espresso for this coffee using Celeste’s pick of the best compostable and reusable coffee pods. We’ve also tried and tested the best coffee machines, including the best bean-to-cup machines, coffee pod machines and espresso machines.

Learn about Italian coffee culture with our expert barista Celeste Wong's guide, including traditional rituals, how to order it and the perfect recipe for at-home brewing.

Cappuccino recipe


  • 60ml espresso
  • 150-200ml steamed foamed milk
  • for sprinkling cinnamon or cocoa powder, (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Pour the espresso into a 250ml heatproof mug.

  • STEP 2

    Next, make the steamed milk. If you are using an espresso machine steam wand, hold the wand just under the surface, making sure you don’t let any cold air in. It shouldn’t make any hissing noises or be spitting milk drops anywhere. Try to use steam jets to spin the milk around in a whirlpool-like motion, pulling the jug downwards slowly as the milk heats. This is called “stretching” the milk and helps with foam production. It should be foamy and creamy when ready.

    If you have a separate steamer attachment on your bean-to-cup machine, steam the milk separately in a silver jug for pouring. You can use an electric milk frother (heat the milk in the microwave or on the hob first, making sure it doesn't boil). Or, pour the warm milk into a French press, then carefully plunge the filter up and down to push air through the milk to create foam.

  • STEP 3

    Pour the foamy milk over the espresso gently from a low height. With a cappuccino, you don’t need to mix the coffee and milk as you would for a latte or flat white – you want the foam to be smooth and creamy. Try to float it on top – the milk should dissipate underneath the foam, allowing the more solid milk foam to settle on top with a strong hit of espresso at the bottom of the cup. Sprinkle with cinnamon or cocoa powder, if you like.


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