Handmade Cappuccino

Makes 1 Large Mug
This is how I have my coffee every morning. While I've used excellent home espresso machines, nothing is better to me than this homemade method. All it requires is a stovetop espresso pot, which is available at most housewares stores for under twenty dollars. I've also tried dozens of coffees and find Illy brand espresso, fine grind, to be the tastiest for this method. I haven't figured out why, but some milk foams better than others and it doesn't depend on fat content so don't give up if you don't get good foam, just try a different brand.


  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup espresso ground coffee (preferably Illy espresso coffee, fine grind)
  • 8 ounces milk
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. Pour the water into the bottom chamber of the stovetop espresso pot. Fill the filter basket that fits over the water with the coffee, tamping down gently. Place on the stovetop burner over medium-low heat. Watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as the intense boiling has stopped, about 2 minutes. It is complete when all the water has boiled through the filter into the top part of the pot.
  2. Meanwhile place the milk in a 16-ounce coffee mug. Heat in the microwave until hot but not starting to bubble on the sides. (Alternatively, you may heat the milk on the stovetop in a small pan, then transfer to a mug.)
  3. Hold the handle of a small 4-inch whisk between the palms of both hands. Put the whisk in the hot milk and twirl rapidly back and forth until foam appears on the top, about 20 seconds. Pour the coffee into the mug. Sweeten if desired and serve immediately.
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