Cappuccino is the perfect morning breakfast drink for most coffee fans and is fulfilling. If you prefer the texture of the foamed milk but want a bit more coffee without the steamed milk, you can try the bone-dry cappuccino.
Let us learn the cappuccino terminology and the subtle differences between them, along with the recipe to prepare the bone-dry cappuccino.
What is a Bone Dry Cappuccino?
A classic cappuccino (traditional cappuccino) is made with Espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam in equal parts outside of Italy, i.e., the ratio of these three main components of cappuccino is 1:1:1. Hence in six ounces of classical or standard cappuccino, the volumes of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk is two ounces each.
In Italy, the steamed milk and milk foam are added in equal quantities after a single or double shot of espresso to make up the balance volume of the coffee drink.
Usually, the cappuccino is consumed with a single espresso shot in Italy. This makes the ratio of the three components to be 1:2:2. Hence, a five-ounce cappuccino served at coffee shops will be made up of espresso (one ounce), Steamed milk (two ounces), and thick foam layer (two ounces).
As you would have guessed, the amount or proportions of steamed milk and foamed milk can vary from the above-mentioned ratios, giving rise to a wet and dry cappuccino. A cappuccino with a lower quantity of milk will have a dry taste with a more grainy and powdery feel closer to drinking a straight espresso. Hence the terms dry and wet are used.
A wet cappuccino will be made with more steamed milk and less cappuccino foam, while the dry version will have more foam and less steamed milk.
A bone-dry cappuccino does not have any steamed milk at all. It has only milk foam forming a foam pillow of sorts over the espresso shots.
Dry Vs. Bone Dry – What’s The Difference?
A dry cappuccino is usually made with just a single shot of espresso. It usually carries half the amount of milk you will find in a classical cappuccino. In most cases, the reduction in the quantity of steamed milk is compensated by adding milk froth, keeping the overall volume more or less similar.
Hence, instead of equal parts of steamed and foamed milk, you have 25% steamed and 75% foamed milk. The total volume of milk, however, remains the same.
Most coffee shops baristas may, however, prepare them with double shots instead of a single shot.
Bone-dry cappuccinos are always preferred with one shot of espresso and contain just coffee and milk foam, as stated earlier.
Lowering the quantities of steamed milk brings out the strong and rich espresso flavors with a corresponding reduction in the creamy feel and the dairy flavor of the steamed milk.
The reduction in the steamed milk is compensated by adding the frothed milk in these coffee beverages, resulting in a more foamy feel. This additional layer of milk foam helps to keep the espresso hot for a longer period of time and acts as a perfect canvas to try your latte art skills.
How About Wet Cappuccino?
Extending a similar logic, a wet cappuccino contains more steamed milk and a lower volume of milk froth than the regular cappuccino. The overall usage of milk is the same, but the divide changes to 75% steamed milk and 25% foamed milk instead of a regular 50-50% each.
The resulting drink is still very tasty but has a creamier and sweeter taste profile with more dairy flavors. The fat-soluble flavor components of the coffee get dissolved in the milk and are evenly distributed throughout the drink. They contribute heavily to the after-taste persistence. Less foam in wet cappuccino results in fewer bubbles and more smooth but less velvety texture.
The origin of cappuccino and other milk-based espresso drinks was to balance out the strong and bitter notes characteristic of dark straight espresso. However, if you prefer your espresso made from the lighter roasts of coffee beans, adding more milk with mute the flavors and defeat the purpose.
Super Wet Cappuccino
Super wet cappuccinos contain no foam at all and just steamed milk. They are closer to the Flat White coffee drinks that carry just a thin layer or skin of minimally aerated milk at the top.
Some compare the super wet cappuccino drinks to a latte due to the amount of steamed milk. But, a latte has a layer of moderately aerated milk foam at the top up to a depth of close to 1/4 inches, which goes against the definition of the super wet cappuccinos.
Homemade Delicious Bone Dry Cappuccino Recipe
If you like your cappuccino stronger and want to test the boundaries of cappuccino types, the bone-dry cappuccino provides you with the perfect opportunity to test your skills.
The actual chemistry associated with the formation of milk foam is very complex, just like the coffee itself, and dictated by the fats contents and proteins present in the milk.
If you want more foam, then skimmed milk is a better choice as it contains more proteins than whole or low-fat milk and foams better. The fat content, on the other hand, is critical to the stability of the foam.
We discussed the selection, handling, aeration, and pouring aspects of the steamed and foamed milk in detail in our article on Caffe Lattes. The process of froth milk remains the same. But a lot of care is needed as taking a lot of time to create the extra amount of foam as the milk also heats up in the process.
Quality foam is produced up to the milk temperatures of 100°F. The quality of the foam reduces above this temperature. Never go beyond the temperatures of 150 to 160°F, as proteins denature above these temperatures.
Ingredients & Equipment
- Finely ground coffee beans, 8 to 11 g (0.25 to 0.37 oz) to prepare espresso.
- Single espresso Shot, 0.8 to 1 fl. oz (25 to 30 ml).
- Pasteurized 2% skimmed milk – 120 ml or four fl oz.
- A teaspoon of sugar, or to taste.
- Espresso machine. You can prepare the espresso with any decent espresso machine.
- Steam wand of the espresso machine or handheld milk frother.
- Digital measure.
How to Make a Bone Dry Cappuccino?
The steps involved in preparing the bone-dry cappuccino are listed below:
- Collect all the ingredients and tools listed above in one place.
- Prepare a single shot of espresso using your espresso machine.
- Us the steam wand of your espresso machine or a hand-held milk frother to prepare the milk foam. Place the pitcher such that wand is at an angle of 10 to 30 degrees from the vertical and just below the milk surface near the center. You may require higher steam pressure.
- Immediately start the stretching phase and complete it before the temperature exceeds 100°F. Take care that no visible bubbles are formed and that there is a consistent sucking noise.
- Let the foamed milk stay for some time. Traditional cappuccino requires pouring of the milk within 30 seconds to prevent separation of the foam from the rest of the milk and immediately serving to have an amazing coffee. In the case of a bone-dry cappuccino, we deliberately allow the foam to rest and separate from the milk so it can be poured easily over the brewing coffee.
- Pour the foam over the espresso in the warm cup.
As you would have gathered, you can create different variations of the standard cappuccino, like dry, bone dry, wet, super wet, etc., by playing around with the quantities of steamed and foamed milk. Did you try out these variations? Please share your experience with our readers in the comments section below.