If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’ve heard of a latte. Everyone loves the super customizable, milky espresso drink. But have you heard of its slightly more sophisticated cousin, the cappuccino?
Like a latte, a cappuccino starts with an espresso shot, a concentrated coffee shot created by forcing highly pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans. This results in a 1.5-ounce shot of coffee and a caramel-colored foam on top called crema.
Lattes and cappuccinos are made using the same espresso roast coffee, steamed milk, and milk foam, but the ratios are different for each drink – creating a different experience.
A cappuccino usually starts with two espresso shots. Next is a layer of steamed milk, followed by a thick and airy layer of foam. A cappuccino has milk foam and less steamed milk than a latte.
It might seem daunting to make a cappuccino in your kitchen instead of the fancy coffee shop down the street, but it might be easier than you think. Today, we’re here to tell you how to make a cappuccino with the same Keurig sitting on your kitchen counter.
Does Keurig make a cappuccino?
Keurig got its fame in the coffee industry for being a single-serve coffee machine anyone can use. With a Keurig, you’ll have a fresh cup of coffee at the touch of a button. But sometimes, you want something more special than a regular cup of drip coffee.
So, can you make a fancier drink, like a cappuccino, with your Keurig?
Kind of. As I said before, Keurig is famous for being easy to use, but the brewing technology is not strong enough that you can simply press a button and brew a cappuccino. If you want to make a cappuccino with your Keurig, there are a few extra steps.
But first, you’ll need to gather your items.
Items Needed to Brew a Cappuccino
- A Keurig (preferably a brewer with a “shot” button)
- A dark-roast Keurig K-Cup coffee pod
- Milk Frother
- Your favorite mug
How to make a cappuccino with a regular Keurig.
First, you need an espresso shot.
The Keurig isn’t an espresso machine, and without espresso, you can’t make an authentic cappuccino. Espresso shots are brewed under intense pressure, and Keurig doesn’t have the power to produce this. Instead, you’ll have to brew something similar to an espresso shot.
If your Keurig has a “shot” button, you’ll be able to brew a concentrated shot of coffee similar to an espresso shot. This concentrated shot is slightly larger than an espresso shot, by 0.5 ounces, and it will not produce a crema.
If your Keurig doesn’t have a “shot” button, you can still make something similar to espresso, but it will be slightly more watered down. When it’s time to choose your brew size, pick the smallest size available. For most machines without the “shot” button, this will produce a 4-ounce cup of coffee.
It’s essential to make sure you’re picking a Keurig K-Cup with dark roasted beans. Some K-Cups will also say they contain espresso beans or extra caffeine, which will help you mimic an espresso shot’s taste and caffeine content.
After you have your coffee shot, it’s time to froth your milk. Keurigs from the K-Cafe line come with a built-in milk steamer, but they are also sold separately on the Keurig website. To prepare your milk, fill the frother to the line marked CAPP, replace the lid, and press start.
Pour your hot milk over your coffee shots, and you have yourself a homemade cappuccino.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which K-Cups do I use to make a cappuccino?
Since the Keurig is not an espresso machine, the K-Cup you choose is important. An espresso shot is made with dark roasted coffee beans, so choosing a K-Cup made from similar beans is essential. If you’re looking for a coffee shot with a similar caffeine content as an espresso shot, make sure you choose a K-Cup with extra caffeine.
Keurig also makes K-Cups with espresso beans. These K-Cups will probably be your best option for making a concentrated shot of coffee, but if you cannot choose one of these, any dark-roasted coffee cup will do.
Does Keurig make cappuccino K-Cups?
Keurig technically does make cappuccino K-Cups, but these will not brew a cappuccino in a Keurig machine. These K-Cups mimic a cappuccino’s flavor but will only brew a typical cup of drip coffee.
If you want to make yourself a real cappuccino, you’ll have to follow the steps listed above.
Does the milk I choose for my cappuccino matter?
Your milk of choice will produce different results depending on a few factors. Keurig recommends using whole milk in their milk frother because it produces the richest-tasting foam, but 2% milk comes in a close second because it froths easily.
The only difference is that 2% milk produces a creamier foam than whole milk. Fat-free and skim milk also froth easily, but they produce foam with airy bubbles. That isn’t ideal for a cappuccino because the milk foam doesn’t hold its structure as well.
You can also use a nut milk to make your cappuccino vegan, but it loses its bubbles quickly. If you choose nut milk, you’ll run into the same problems you would if you were to use fat-free or skim milk.
Finally, there’s lactose-free milk. This is not recommended for any espresso drink requiring milk frothing because it is unreliable. This milk will not produce the foam needed for a good cappuccino.
If you want to level up your coffee game, a cappuccino might be next on your list. This drink has become a favorite of coffee drinkers everywhere because it gives you the best parts of a latte without overwhelming your beverage with milk and keeping that classic coffee taste.