Food

How Make A Bone Dry Cappuccino If You're All About The Foam

Yes, cappuccinos can be "wet" or "dry."

Two cups of cappuccino with latte art on wooden background and newspaper. Cup of cappuccino with new...
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Have you come to pray at the altar of foam? I hope so because we're talking about how to make a bone dry cappuccino and spoiler: there's a lotta foam.

Like wine, humor, or your mouth when inebriated, cappuccinos can be made dry. A 2016 blog post from Starbucks explaining the difference between wet, dry, and regular cappuccinos has a helpful graphic showing the visual difference between the three. As the graphic shows, your standard cappuccino has equal-ish layers of espresso, milk, and foam. A wet cappuccino is closer to a latte with more milk and less foam than a standard cappuccino. And a dry cappuccino? The key is — say it with me — in the foam.

So, what exactly is a bone dry cappuccino? It's a shot of espresso topped solely with milk foam. That's it. There's no milk, just espresso and foam.

Now, if you're wondering, "Why is a bone dry cappuccino?" I don't have answers for you. Some of us like our coffee with sugar and cream. Others prefer it black. And others still defy the logic and reason and dare to ask for a drink that resembles a bubble bath. Is it genius? Is it blasphemy? Is it something you're going to consider ordering? Yes to all three?

You don't have to dig much to find that the bone dry cappuccino is one of those drinks baristas kind of hate to make. If you order a bone dry cappuccino, you'll likely get stares or, at the very least, confused looks. Major coffee chains like Starbucks don't have them on the menu and they don't appear to be super common either in the U.S. or around the world.

For those who aren't deterred by discomfort and want to order a bone dry cappuccino, make sure you don't ask for a milk substitute. As one barista on Twitter noted, bone dry cappuccinos can't be made with non-dairy milk. Not easily, at least, as non-dairy milk doesn't foam as easily as regular milk. Though, if you want to experiment at home, apparently oat milk and coconut milk make for the best non-dairy froth.

If, against all odds, this had only made you crave a bone dry cappuccino even more, here's how you can make it at home:

  • First, you'll need a milk frother to make The Foam. For a helpful guide, check out this video on how to steam milk.
  • Next, you'll prepare your espresso. This will be easier if you have an espresso machine, though there are some pretty good instant espressos that'll do the trick, too.
  • Then, once your foam is at your preferred foaminess, pour it atop your espresso.
  • Finally, revel in your choices.

A bone dry cappuccino is best paired with another controversial food like a handful of cilantro or a cinnamon-raisin bagel with lox.