Learn how to make a French press cappuccino or latte, without any espresso maker! All you need is a French press, a milk frother, coffee grounds, and milk.
Do you adore cappuccino?
Is your coffee of choice espresso?
If so– you probably know that a full-fledged, pump espresso maker can be a little bit pricey.
Personally, I do own (and adore) not one, but TWO fancy-schmancy espresso machines. BUT sometimes I still prefer something simpler.
The dials and buttons and whatnot can seem complicated before I’ve had coffee.
If you find yourself craving a cappuccino, but you don’t own an espresso machine yet, this is for you!
OR if you DO own an espresso machine, but find it too confusing or time-consuming to use, this French press cappuccino is for you too!
Can you Make Espresso in a French Press?
That’s right, no, you cannot make authentic espresso in a French Press.
Real espresso can only be made under extreme pressure.
After all, there’s a reason the espresso machines are so pricey!
However, a few months back, I was watching an episode of Good Eats, and Alton Brown recommended French Press coffee as an alternative to real espresso.
I decided to give it a shot with a cappuccino.
After all, if it’s good enough for Alton Brown, it’s definitely worth trying! Right?
Where to Buy a French Press
To make a French press Cappuccino, you will, of course, need a French press.
You can order French press pots online, or anywhere else they sell coffee equipment. I like this Bodum Chambord French Press.
The only other equipment you need for this faux-ppuccino is a handy-dandy milk frother.
You can use a very inexpensive milk frother (like this handheld milk frother). A handheld frother will froth your milk but will not heat it.
And you definitely don’t need them to make a French press cappuccino, but if you want a pair of the tiny coffee cups in the photos, you can snag the Chambord coffee glasses here.
How to Make a French Press Cappuccino
Start by brewing a pot of French press coffee.
If you want a vanilla-flavored cappuccino, add a dash of vanilla extract added to the grounds before brewing.
Alternatively, add a pump or two of flavored coffee syrup to the brewed coffee.
Pour your coffee in a mug (or divide between multiple mugs).
If you’re using a handheld frother, heat your milk first, and then froth.
If you’re using an electric milk-frother, use it now to heat and froth your milk.
Finally, drink up!
Let me know what you think in the comments– was Alton Brown right? Is French press coffee a good espresso substitute?
Personally, I thought it was delicious!
Could I tell the difference? Maybe– just slightly. However, it was pretty close!
And, as I sipped my hot and steamy coffee drink, I decided I didn’t care if it tasted exactly the same or not, because this French Press cappuccino tastes like perfection.
French Press Cappuccino
- French Press
- Milk Frother
- 2 TB coarsely ground coffee beans
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional) Or use desired amount of flavored coffee syrup + add after brewing
- 1/2 cup milk for frothing Dairy or Non-Dairy
- Bring water to a boil, and then let it sit for 1 minute off-heat.
- Add coffee grounds to French press, add vanilla extract (if using), and then hot water. Add French press lid, but don't lower the plunger. Let sit 4 minutes. Lower plunger.
- While coffee is steeping, froth milk. If your milk frother cannot heat the milk– bring the milk to a simmer before frothing.
- Divide coffee between 2 mugs. Top coffee with frothed milk, and serve immediately.