The mind boggling varieties of coffee can confuse, overwhelm and even de-motivate one from trying a new brew. Surprisingly these coffees, contrary to their popular names, are very simple. Most of them simply differ slightly in ingredients and their quantities. Let’s explore some of the various and popular coffee types that end with ‘cino’, pronounced as chino.
Cino drinks have a modest yet interesting background. Some carry very interesting origins and stories behind them. These coffees are largely created through adding certain new ingredients to the basic espresso.
Cappuccino originated in Italy and in time came to possess Italian-American affiliations. It’s made up of a third of espresso, a third of steamed milk and a third of frothed milk. Whoever invented this coffee probably thought about it scientifically because the great thing about cappuccino is its insulation. The upper layer of froth traps the heat inside, whilst the porcelain cup it’s usually served in helps to prevent heat from escaping at the sides.
A popular legend states that the name was inspired by the Capuchin order of monks. The tale goes that European soldiers fighting for a monk who belonged to this order discovered a batch of coffee in their exploits. The taste was too bitter so the soldiers added honey and milk to it, tagging their creation after their leader’s order.
Frappuccino is actually a trademark of Starbucks. The coffee was first developed by ‘The Coffee Connection’: a café later purchased by Starbucks. Luckily for Starbucks they inherited the name along with the franchise. The root of the name is most likely from the Greek for milkshake, ‘frappe’.
Frappuccino is simply flavored iced coffee, usually served as a thick shake topped with whipped cream. Many variations of Frappuccino exist (including many that don’t actually include coffee anymore) with flavors like peppermint, vanilla, strawberry, toffee nut, green tea and caramel among the most popular.
Mochaccino is firmly rooted in the ancient lands of Alessandria, Italy. The coffee is made from espresso or ristretto, cocoa powder and frothed milk. Many Italians would add thick chocolate syrup instead of cocoa.
Sometimes the cup is dusted with cocoa powder before the coffee is poured into it. Hence mochaccino is very similar to espresso (cocoa powder at the bottom with layers of espresso and steamed milk on top).
Bambinoccino is simply sweetened or unsweetened cocoa dust sprinkled over the froth of an espresso. The flavour of cocoa and espresso fuse together and tease your palette. Its lingering taste, though bitter, will have you addicted at the very first sip.
Coffees have very specific tastes so the smallest variations in ingredients and quantities can create an entirely different drink. Be bold when tasting different types of coffee; find your preferences but experiment with different ingredients and quantities to see what tastes better to you personally.
Who knows – a discovery you stumble across might end up becoming another well-known coffee ‘cino’, loved by baristas and coffee drinkers all around the globe!
Richard Woods is a coffee connoisseur and writer for KLIX, the drinks division of Mars Inc.