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National Cappuccino Day

Cappuccino, a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed and frothed milk, is celebrated today with National Cappuccino Day. About one-third of cappuccino is espresso, with the other two-thirds being milk. Cappuccino is usually served in a steam-heated porcelain cup and is sometimes sprinkled with cinnamon or cocoa powder. Coffee shops, both local and national, as well as companies that sell coffee and coffee-making equipment, often organize deals and specials in honor of National Cappuccino Day.

Cappuccino takes its name from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, who wore reddish-brown hooded frocks—similar in the color of cappuccino—and were nicknamed "cappuccini," because cappuccio means "hood" in Italian. A rumor claims that Marco d'Aviano, a Capuchin friar, invented cappuccino in 1683 following the Battle of Vienna, but this is just a myth, and cappuccino and its name did not come about for a few more centuries. (There's another rumor from the same battle about the invention of the croissant.)

A drink called cappuccino that was made with coffee and milk dates to the late nineteenth century in Italy. But the cappuccino we know today came after espresso since espresso is needed to make it. Espresso dates to around the turn of the twentieth century, and modern cappuccino likely originated soon after in Italy and the Italian areas in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It spread around Italy following World War I, and then around the world. When espresso machines became more widely available following World War II, cappuccino followed.

In Italy, Cappuccino is primarily a breakfast drink today, often enjoyed with a croissant or a breakfast pastry. It is usually not drunk after 11 a.m., while elsewhere it may be drank at any time of the day. It became common in urban areas of the United States in the 1970s and '80s, and became widespread in the country in the mid-1990s, rising with the emergence of coffee shops.

How to Observe National Cappuccino Day

Celebrate by enjoying some cappuccino! Make yourself some or enjoy some at a coffee shop. Buy yourself a cappuccino machine if you don't have one. Look for deals and specials in honor of the day from coffee shops and coffee companies!

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