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Caffeine lovers have a variety of drinks from which to get their fix. Many sodas have caffeine as do tea and coffee. However, espresso and cappuccino are variations of coffee.

Espresso is a more concentrated form of coffee. It is made from the same beans as coffee, but those beans are ground to a finer consistency. A darker roast may also be used to create espresso since it makes for a more intense flavor.

What makes espresso so unique is the special technique in which it is brewed. That’s why an espresso machine is necessary. While you can make espresso on a stovetop, it’s not recommended. Generally, you’ll end up with an inferior brew. It won’t taste as good and it will be noticeable.

The reason why an espresso machine is preferred is because the water must be maintained at a specific temperature, which is difficult to do on a stove. You don’t want to boil the water. You want it about 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit. The coffee grounds should be compressed into a “puck” and the water should be forced under high pressure through that puck in order to get the right flavor for espresso. The whole process should not take more than half a minute.

You also don’t want to put milk in your espresso. If you did, it would cease to be espresso. Though you can add sugar, if you want.

Cappuccino is made by adding milk to your espresso. You want 50% espresso and 50% frothed milk. The milk is frothed through a special process that makes it into a foam that you then pour over the top of the espresso. If you pour the espresso into the foam, then you have a latte macchiato. For a regular latte, you’d use twice as muck milk and you would steam it rather than froth it.

So there’s the difference between espresso and cappuccino. Which will you have?

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