Introduction: Easy Cappuccino

Is it a caffe latte? Is it a cappuccino? No, it’s a fakeaccino – easy, cheap and delicious!

Do you love cappuccino or frothy caffe latte, but have no fancy, expensive, bulky espresso machine?

Now you can enjoy a mug of this style of coffee at home, easily and cheaply, using just a coffee plunger (Cafetiere or French Press)* and a microwave. (Coffee purists, don’t protest- you can go the whole hog with your $500 machine if you like!)

I have one plunger at home and another at work, so I can have my fakeaccino whenever I like!

*My mum actually invented this method for frothing the milk- it's the best I've found and works for hot chocolate as well as coffee.

Step 1: What You Need

You will need:

Large cup or mug (I use a mug which widens at the top, this seems to work better). If you want to use a smaller cup, just adapt the quantities.

Small plunger-style coffee jug (the kind that has a glass jug that lifts out of its holder, and a fine mesh plunger). I got mine for $4.

Microwave oven

Strong coffee :

~ brewed if you prefer- (you can use your plunger, then put the coffee in a pot or cup to re-heat and wash out the plunger thoroughly). The notes in italics in these instructions refer to the brewed coffee option.

or - gasp-

~ instant coffee (I actually prefer instant, to my mother and my son’s horror)

Milk (light or full fat as you prefer; not super fresh is better for frothing, apparently)

• Sugar/sweetener if you want

• Powdered chocolate/cinnamon etc to sprinkle on top if you like

Step 2: Pre-heat Your Mug or Coffee

Boil your kettle.
If you are using instant coffee, pour boiling water into your mug and leave to stand for a minute.

If you are using pre-brewed (extra strong) coffee, pour it into your mug to about 1/3 full, then heat it in your microwave oven (you will need to judge when it is very hot, but not boiling as this is not good for your coffee).

Step 3: Heat Your Milk

Put about  3/4 "cup"  or 170ml of milk into your glass plunger jug. It should be about 2/5 full ideally.

As soon as the microwave oven is free or while your mug is pre-heating, put the glass jug of milk (just the jug, not the holder -no metal) into your microwave and zap on high until hot but not boiling (mine takes 70-80 seconds).

Note- check how long your microwave oven takes- make sure it's good and hot, but if it starts to boil, you'll end up with a skin on your milk. Be very careful with the glass jug - I've dropped a few!

Step 4: Get Your Coffee Ready

While your milk is heating,

Make instant coffee in your mug:

• Tip the “pre-heating” water out of your mug
• Add coffee powder/granules – more than usual (I use a heaped large teaspoon). I add my sweetener/sugar at this stage.
• Pour in enough boiling water to fill the mug 1/3. Stir to dissolve coffee powder etc.

-or if you are using pre-brewed coffee, you may want to put a cover (e.g. a saucer) on top to keep it hot.

Step 5: Froth Your Milk

Remove your plunger jug from the microwave and replace the plunger in the jug. Agitate it vigorously 10-20 times to froth up your milk.  

Step 6: Add Frothed Milk to Coffee

Pour your hot frothy milk carefully into your mug so it sits on top of your coffee (cappuccino style) or so it blends in (caffe latte style).

Add a little more boiling water
to top it up.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Add sprinkles to the top if you wish, serve and enjoy while it’s hot!

(Note - give your plunger & jug a quick rinse/leave to soak before you serve your coffee, so they’ll be easy to wash later).

Step 8: Notes

Notes on cleaning-

Cleaning your plunger is important (but still easier than cleaning a whole expresso machine):

Make sure the jug and plunger are clean before you use them for the milk- no coffee grounds or milk deposits.

You may need to clean the mesh of the plunger with a brush or cloth if your milk was too hot and formed a skin. Use warm water and mild detergent, and rinse well.