As a barista, I'm usually the last person to judge a person's drink order. My motto? Give it a try! But time and time again, I find myself cringing when I hear the order "iced cappuccino."
Let's begin by defining cappuccino and latte. A latte is shots of espresso with steamed milk topped with silky foam. Now a cappuccino, though very similar, consists of more foam than just steamed milk. This makes it physically lighter, and makes the taste of the espresso a bit stronger.
So when you're ordering an iced latte, you want that same espresso and milk, just not steamed. Makes sense, right?
The problem begins when someone orders an iced cappuccino. The question might arise, how does one put hot foam on top of an iced drink? Very hesitantly.
The logic of ordering an iced cappuccino confuses me. Over time, I've found two main flaws with this order:
1. Putting something hot on top of something cold.
Yes, milk foam is delicious and feels silky and smooth in your mouth, but when you're drinking a cool iced drink, where does hot milk fit in? Personally, I don't think it's necessary. But that might just me.
2. The problem with waste.
To get an appropriate amount of foam for your iced cappuccino, I must steam a pitcher of milk equivalent to a little less than a tall or small size. After that, if I'm not lucky enough to have a hot latte as a next drink, we have to just throw the milk out. Yup, straight down the drain.
More often than not, people intend to order a simple iced latte when they say the phrase "iced cappuccino." That's totally fine and it's why baristas like to double check.
And if you happen to be someone that truly wants that hot foam on top of your iced latte, don't take offense to this article. This is simply an expression of my own frustrating relationship with this drink as a barista.
Regardless, enjoy your latte!