How to make a cappuccino without the expensive equipment

July 13, 2022

I love a good cappuccino. But I have no interest in buying expensive espresso-making equipment, taking up counter space with it OR taking it in and out of a cabinet.

Lucky for me, a girlfriend taught me the trick to making a very reasonable facsimile of a cappuccino with just hot water, instant coffee, milk and a little hand frother. Here’s how:

  1. Buy a hand frother. I use an Epare but you can find different brands all over the place, including Amazon, for $15 and up. MUCH less expensive than an espresso machine. And it’s really all you need for a good cappuccino.
  2. Buy some good instant coffee. I use the Starbucks packets but you can use any strong instant coffee.
  3. Warm 1/3 cup of the milk of your choice. I’ve only used cow’s milk but almond milk will also froth up. I pour it into a glass measuring cup and warm it n the microwave. Be careful not to boil it!
  4. Boil up a half cup of water.
  5. Put instant coffee in a large mug. I use 1.5 packets of Italian Roast Starbucks instant coffee packets but you can use less. And I use a 16 oz mug so there is plenty of room for milky foam. I like my cappuccino foamy!
  6. Add any sweetener. Then pour the half cup boiling water into the coffee/sweetener mix and stir.
  7. Take your heated 1/3 cup of milk and use the hand frother to get it nice and foamy. I found that moving the frother almost to the top of the milk gets more air in more quickly.
  8. Pour and spoon the milky foam into the coffee and voila! A delicious cappuccino.
  9. Oh yes, you can sprinkle ground chocolate or cinnamon on top if you like. Or even a bit of raw sugar.

If you like cappuccino, this is the easiest way to get your fix. Try it and let me know what you think!

And thank you to my friend, Susan, for the recipe!

14 comments on “How to make a cappuccino without the expensive equipment
  1. Susan Cooper says:

    Awesome, making this for sure!

  2. Susan says:

    The best inexpensive cappuccino and tastes so yummy. Love this hack and glad you love it as well my friend!

  3. Alana says:

    Very interesting. I can’t drink coffee (even decaf) any more, alas, so I use an instant grain substitute called Cafix. I think this would work just fine with your instructions. Have an immersion blender already (no frother) which won’t do as well as a frother, but…why not experiment?

  4. Diane says:

    Awesome, Carol! You did two things with this post–gave me the recipe for my son and finally explained just was a Cappucino is! 😉

  5. Trying this, guess the foamy is the hardest part to make but if taste delicious, then it worth it.

  6. Laurie Stone says:

    Love cappuccino! Will have to try this.

  7. What a cool hack! I will definitely try it.

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