Lattes and Cappuccinos

LUKE: Do they let kids drink coffee before school?

RORY: Why, do you think it might lead to harder stuff? Lattes, cappuccinos . . .

Latte [pictured]: Caffè latte, shortened to latte in English. Coffee style from Italy made with espresso and steamed milk; the Italian word literally means “coffee and milk”. Part of European cuisine since the 17th century, the word caffè e latte was first used in English by American writer William Dean Howells in 1867, after a visit to Italy. The “latte” as an American-style coffee drink is said to have been “invented” in Berkeley in the 1950s and popularised in Seattle in the 1980s.

Cappuccino: Previously mentioned as a favourite of Rory and Lorelai. Espresso-based coffee drink prepared with steamed milk foam; typically smaller than a latte with a thicker layer of foam. The name comes from the Capuchin friars of the Catholic church – their habits are the colour of cappuccinos. The drink appears to be Viennese in origin, dating to the 18th century, and spreading through Europe from the port city of Trieste. It doesn’t seem to have been taken up in Italy until the 1930s, but it was through Italian-American neighbourhoods that it was spread in the US. It only seems to have become popularised there in the 1990s.

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