The term cappuccino as a reference to a coffee drink first came about due to the colour of certain coffees resembling the brown religious habit of Europe's Capuchin monks.
The cappuccino in its current form can be traced back to Italy in the 1930's. The advent of general refrigeration in that decade resulted in café's and coffee houses being able to store milk safely and growing experimentation with the more widely available milk resulted in the cappuccino you see today.
Despite being a seemingly innocuous combination of coffee and milk, the cappuccino offers a large, albeit subtle range of variations. It is this diversity that increases its appeal and allows your cappuccino to be perfectly matched with your mood and surroundings.
You like your cappuccino smooth and mellow? No problem. A more subtle coffee blend with hints of sweetness and a more finely frothed silky milk does the trick.
You prefer a big, full bodied and robust cappuccino that will get you up and away for the rest of the day? Again, no problem. A quality strong dark roast (double the espresso shot for a greater hit) with slightly less frothed milk and you're done.
The range of beans, blends and different types of milk available today means there is a cappuccino out there to satisfy anyone's specific cappuccino desires.
So for all the cappuccino lovers out there, where are Brisbane's best cappuccinos?
My top 5 Brisbane cappuccinos in order are as follows:
I made this claim in my previous review of Bean Café, and I stand by it: Bean offers Brisbane's best cappuccino. Bean sources its quality beans and blends from the excellent Campos Coffee. Campos Coffee's 'Superior Blend' features beans from Papua New Guinea, El Salvador and Rwanda that form a deliciously understated but full bodied flavour with hints of toffee and fruit. These flavours make this a blend well suited to the milky cappuccino. Throw in the extensive experience and magical hands of Bean's creator and head barista Gavin and you have a cappuccino experience to savour – a perfect compromise between smooth and robust.
Where: 181 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
2. Frisky Goat Espresso
The smoothest cappuccino in Brisbane - Frisky Goat's 'sweet cocoa' blend by Supreme Roasters
Probably the smoothest cappuccino I have found in Brisbane, the Frisky Goat 'Sweet Cocoa' blend from Queensland's own Supreme Roasters is a winner. The 'Sweet Cocoa' blend comprises beans from Sumatra, Zambia, Ethiopia and Columbia. This blend is a silky smooth medium-dark roast with hints of chocolate well matched with the milky cappuccino. This cappuccino will come served with a sprinkle of finely chopped real chocolate – a little something that sets it apart from many of the other cappuccinos out there. With no trace of bitterness, this coffee will titillate your taste buds before smoothly gliding down your throat. The best cappuccino in Brisbane for those seeking a silky and less robust cappuccino.
Originally founded in Sydney, Toby's Estate established itself and made its name in the inner Sydney suburb of Woolloomooloo. In a nod to its origins, the Toby's Estate signature blend bears the same name. The Woolloomooloo blend is warm and full bodied with rich earthy flavours. If you like a big, bold and beautiful coffee with strong but balanced taste, this should be your go-to cappuccino.
John Mills Himself (or simply JMH) may seem like a pretentiously named café/bar at first glance, but once you realize this is actually the original name emblazoned on the brick veneer of the café's old city building, that pretension turns to intrigue. Once you enter and sample the coffee on offer, that intrigue turns into a satisfied caffeine and cappuccino induced glow. The Uncle Joe's 'Hey Joe' blend offered by JMH features Costa Rican, Sumatran and Kenyan beans. This is a balanced and well-rounded blend with warm coffee flavours that are guaranteed to satisfy any self-respecting cappuccino drinker.
Where: Access via 55 Elizabeth Street, 40 Charlotte Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
5. Coffee Depot
The excellent value Piazza D'Oro Coffee Depot cappuccino
Coffee Depot offers the ever dependable Piazza D'Oro blends with my favourite being 'the Columbian'. This blend delivers consistent results with its faint tartness, full flavour and resonances of cocoa. This cappuccino doesn't quite reach the lofty quality highs of the previous four, but coupled with Coffee Depot's 2 for 1 happy hour specials and generous rewards card, this may well work out to be Brisbane's best value for money cappuccino.
Where: 33 Charlotte Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
If you know of any other amazing cappuccinos on offer anywhere else throughout Brisbane, please leave a comment below.