The term Cafe Latte was created in certain regions of Italy where American tourists frequented. The American travelers struggled with the bitter and richer flavors of espresso so warm milk was added to make a more palatable and sweeter drink. It should be noted that if you travel to Italy and ask for a ‘Latte’, you will be handed a glass of warm milk.
American GIs were stationed in Italy after the World War, Although there was enough coffee for the soldiers, it was not what they were used too. The only options at the time were cappuccinos and espressos. The Espressos were too bitter and cappuccinos to heavy compared to what the soldiers would drink back home. This was a problem for the Americans, so the local baristas came up with a solution to add hot water with the espressos, to water them down and then add milk and sugar as desired. This was referred to as a Café Americano which is now shortened to an ‘Americano’. This is now a coffee that is recognized all over the world.
Espressos were created with the need for speed. In the 1800s coffee was a huge part of European culture and baristas needed a way of creating individual drinks faster. Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy, was the inventor of the espresso machine. He used to steam and pressure to quickly brew a cup of coffee. In the 1880s he patented his design and it was never released commercially. Later, in 1906 two Italians developed Moriondos idea further and shared their invention at World’s Fair in Milan. They called the beverage the machine created ‘Caffe Espresso’. It wasn’t until world war 2 that inventors began developing to pressure, adding leavers created what we now know as ‘Crema’. Finally, it was the invention of a motorised pump by Carlo Ernesto Valente that gave the espresso machine the 9-bar pressure we use today.
Macchiato means ‘marked or ‘stained’, this refers to the typical spot on the top of the drink, caused by a barista pouring espresso directly into a small amount of steam milk. Like with most of the coffee we see on the menu, it’s an Italian idea. As cappuccinos are not regularly consumed by the Italians after midday, a macchiato allowed them to enjoy a slightly sweeter drink in the afternoon.
The cappuccino first appeared in a Viennese coffee house. In 1805 it was described as coffee with milk and cream, in some places they would add spices too. The name came about as the drink would look the same color as the Capuchin monks’ robes. In Italian, cappuccino, means ‘hood’. Although the name originated from Vienna, it was invented in Italy, where it took on its common name ‘Cappuccino’. In Italy however, you will rarely be served a cappuccino after lunch as it is considered a morning drink.