Crappucino - what you need to know

a rant by Kevin Clow

Do you drink cappuccino? If you answered “yes”, here’s my next question: are you sure? If you answered “huh?”, read on. If you are used to choosing your flavors from English Toffee, French Vanilla and Irish Cream, then you probably aren’t drinking cappuccino. If the beverage you drink comes out of a simple machine with the push of a button, you definitely aren’t drinking cappuccino. I don’t know much about the law, so I can’t explain how these companies get away with calling this stuff cappuccino. After all, Kraft isn’t allowed to call Tang™ “orange juice”. Orange juice is juice squeezed from an orange (duh). Tang™ is orange-flavored crystals. There may be natural flavors present, but it’s not juice. Cappuccino is fresh-ground espresso blended with steamed milk, flavor(s) optional. The stuff from those machines is a pre-flavored powder mixed with hot water (a “frother” creates the foam, giving the illusion of steamed milk). Real cappuccino has about the same caffeine content of a medium coffee. The instant stuff does have some caffeine, but mostly gets its “kick” from sugar. And here’s the worst news of all: while real cappuccino can be flavored with a variety of high-quality, professional flavor syrups, the prime ingredients in most varieties of the instant are sugar and coconut oil (#1 rule of sweets: sugar and oil make things taste good). Next time you want to go out for a cappuccino, think about what I’ve told you here. And if you want to make sure your favorite coffee place has the real thing, ask for latté (say LAH-tay). If they can’t make a latté, they don’t have an espresso machine. If they don’t have an espresso machine, they don’t have cappuccino.

note for those living in Prince Edward Island (dashit homebase):
Most better restaurants have espresso machines. For a “quick fix”, try Beanz or grabba jabba in Charlottetown, or the Book Stop in Summerside.

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