How to Make a Cappuccino – Brewing Guide With or Without an Espresso Machine

how to make a cappuccino

Do you wish you could make a cappuccino at home? It’s easier than you may think! Cappuccinos are a classic Italian drink that you can get at just about any coffee shop.

We’re sharing with you how to make a cappuccino from the comfort of your home quickly and easily! Don’t have an espresso machine? That’s fine, keep reading and we’ll share how to make a cappuccino with and without an espresso machine!

What Is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a 5-6 ounce Italian classic espresso drink traditionally made of a single espresso shot and hot milk with foamed milk on the top. Cappuccinos have been around since the 17th century and have been widely popular in Europe, Australia, and South America.

Cappuccinos didn’t gain popularity in North America until the mid-1990s when upscale coffee shops started to open. Typically cappuccinos come hot, but you can also get a Cappuccino Freddo, which is the cold version of a cappuccino.

How to Make a Cappuccino With an Espresso Machine

What you need:

-Espresso machine 

-Espresso beans

-Bean grinder 



Step 1. Grind Espresso Beans

If you are using whole espresso beans, you will want to finely grind about 7 grams for a single ounce shot. If you want a double shot, grind 14-18 grams of ground coffee to make your espresso shot with. 

Step 2. Make the Espresso 

Next, you will want to take your coffee grounds and brew the espresso. Fill the reservoir with water and turn on your machine and let it preheat for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then pull a blank shot of espresso with just water to help the machine heat up. 

Next take the portafilter and fill it with the espresso. You can use a scale to measure out either 7 grams for one shot or 14-18 for a double shot of espresso. 

Then you will tamp the espresso in the portafilter. Tamping packs the espresso grounds in and will ensure that the water will pass through the espresso evenly. To tamp your espresso you will need to push down forcefully with about 30 pounds of pressure to evenly create a level surface and pack the espresso in. 

Next, place a mug or espresso cup under the spout and turn on the brew head on your espresso machine so it rinses away any grounds from the last time you made espresso. Dump out whatever comes out and rinse out the cup.

Then you will insert your portafilter into the brew head and turn the machine on. You will want to stop the machine after about 30 seconds for a single shot, and about 40 seconds for a double shot. You’ll be able to eyeball if you have the desired amount and the espresso shot will start to turn blonde. 

Step 3. Prepare Your Steamed Milk 

Your machine may have a milk frother attachment. If it does not you can get a milk frother to use or use a whisk. If you are using a milk frother attached to an espresso machine you will first want to fill the small pitcher that is for frothing and steaming milk about a third full of cold milk.

Then dip the wand in half an inch into the milk and begin aerating and creating the froth, the milk will start to rise and you may hear a popping sound. Then lower the wand deeper into the milk to steam the milk. The milk should stop rising and the popping sound should stop.

This should take about 5-6 seconds (although time may vary between machines) and the result will be steamed milk with milk froth on top. 

Step 4. Pour 

Pour your steamed milk and foam into the espresso. When you are pouring the milk you want to hold the pitcher above the mug and pour into the center of your espresso and slowly increase the speed of the milk going into your cup. If you are feeling adventurous you can add a bit of steamed milk art here. 

Step 5. Enjoy!

How to Make a Cappuccino Without an Espresso Machine

What you need:

-Coffee grinder 

-Dark-roast coffee or espresso


-Milk steamer or jar 

Step 1. Grind Your Coffee 

If you are using whole beans you will want to first grind your coffee beans into a very fine grind. If you are using pre-ground coffee, feel free to skip this step. You will want about 2 tablespoons for every cup of water.

Step 2. Brew Your Coffee

Next, brew your coffee in whichever way you prefer. 

Step 3. Steam and Froth Your Milk 

Next use about a half cup of milk, it does not matter what kind. If you have a milk steamer feel free to use it for this step. If you don’t have a steamer fill a medium size mason jar about half way with your milk. Put a lid on it and shake it vigorously for about 20-30 seconds. Then remove the lid and put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds. 

Step 4. Pour 

Pour your steamed and frothed milk into your cup of espresso. When you are pouring your milk hold the jar above the mug and pour directly into the center of your espresso, increasing the speed of the milk going into your cup. 

Step 5. Enjoy! 

Cappuccino vs Latte 

Both cappuccinos and lattes are espresso drinks made with steamed and frothed milk, so you may be wondering, what is the difference? 

One difference is the size. Lattes are generally larger than cappuccinos. Also, cappuccinos have an even distribution of steamed and frothed milk. Lattes, on the other hand, usually have a lot more steamed milk and a light layer of foam on the top. 

Cappuccinos are also more layered or stacked with the ingredients while lattes typically blend the espresso and milk together. 

Wrapping Up 

Cappuccinos are delicious and relatively easy to make from home, you don’t need to go out to a coffee shop to have a fresh cappuccino in the morning! We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to make a cappuccino, both with or without an espresso machine! Cheers!


What are the ingredients of a cappuccino

Cappuccinos are made with espresso and milk. 

What is the ratio for a cappuccino?

The ratio for a cappuccino is 1:1:1 for espresso, milk, and foam. 

Which milk is best for a cappuccino?

Whole milk is recommended for cappuccinos because it’s velvety and rich but any milk will work in a cappuccino. 

Do you put sugar in a cappuccino?

You can if you prefer your cappuccino to be sweeter. You can add sugar in to your brewed espresso before adding the milk.