What Is A Kapuziner?

A Kapuziner is a coffee beverage originating in Vienna, Austria. Its roots trace back to the German term Kapuziner, associated with a coffee drink in 18th-century Austria. It was initially referred to as coffee with sugar, egg yolks, and cream in dictionaries dating from the 1800s. Eventually, around 1850, this beverage’s descriptions expanded to include spices. In modern times, a kapuziner is commonly prepared by blending a double shot of espresso with a small portion of whipped cream, and it may be optionally garnished with a light dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon.

How Did It Get Its Name?

The term Kapuziner is thought to have been influenced by the appearance of coffee with cream, resembling the brown robes worn by Capuchin monks. Some historical accounts connect the origin of this term to Marco d’Aviano, a Capuchin friar known for his close association with the Austrian emperor Leopold I during the 1680s. Interestingly, this era coincided with the emergence of the first coffee establishments in Vienna, even though the official reference to Kapuziner regarding coffee was recorded later.

A noteworthy instance is the coffee recipe for Capuzinerkaffee, introduced by Wilhelm Tissot, a German individual, in 1790. This recipe featured a distinctive preparation method where coffee was boiled, mixed with cream, sugar, and spices, boiled again, and then poured over whisked egg whites and yolks, followed by vigorous stirring.

As Vienna embraced café culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the meaning of Kapuziner evolved to signify coffee with a minor addition of milk. This transformation reflected the changing tastes of coffee enthusiasts in this vibrant city.

How Is A Kapuziner Related To A Cappuccino?

The cappuccino evolved from a Viennese coffee recipe known as a Kapuziner. This Kapuziner consisted of a double espresso served with a topping of whipped cream. It’s believed that Austrian soldiers introduced this Kapuziner recipe to Italy, as they preferred it over the local coffee. Over time, the recipe underwent modifications and adopted a more distinctly Italian character, typically featuring an espresso base with milk foam. If you order a cappuccino in Vienna today, there’s still a chance that it might be served with whipped cream, maintaining a nod to its Viennese origins.

A modern kapuziner with whipped cream on top.

What Is The Difference Between A Kapuziner And A Cappuccino?

The Kapuziner originated in Vienna, Austria. It traditionally consists of a double shot of espresso with whipped cream on top. It can also be garnished with cocoa powder or cinnamon. The Kapuziner tends to be creamier and sweeter due to the whipped cream, resulting in a rich and indulgent flavor.

The cappuccino is of Italian origin. It is typically made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. It is usually served without whipped cream. A cappuccino has a balanced flavor, with the strong espresso taste blending harmoniously with the steamed milk and milk foam. It is creamy but not as sweet as a Kapuziner.

Is A Kapuziner A Good Coffee Drink?

A Kapuziner is a good coffee drink for those who enjoy a sweet and creamy coffee experience due to the whipped cream, making it a delightful treat for those who want sweet and creamy flavors. However, coffee preferences vary widely, so its appeal may not be universal.

How To Make A Modern Day Kapuziner

A modern day Kapuziner, inspired by its historical roots, is typically a straightforward coffee drink with whipped cream. Here’s a recipe for a modern Kapuziner:


  • 1 double shot of espresso (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped cream
  • Cocoa powder or cinnamon for garnish (optional)


  1. Brew a double shot of espresso using your espresso machine. You can use strong brewed coffee as a substitute if you don’t have an espresso machine.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, prepare the whipped cream. You can use store bought whipped cream or make your own by whipping heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Sweeten the whipped cream with a touch of sugar if desired.
  3. Pour the double shot of espresso into an espresso cup or small coffee cup.
  4. Top the espresso with a generous dollop of whipped cream. You can use a spoon to gently float the whipped cream on top of the coffee.
  5. If desired, lightly dust the whipped cream with cocoa powder or cinnamon for added flavor and presentation.
  6. Serve your modern Kapuziner immediately, and enjoy!

This Kapuziner combines espresso’s rich flavor with whipped cream indulgence, creating a creamy and slightly sweet coffee experience.

How to Make the Original Kapuziner Kaffee

If you want to take a step back in time and try the original 18th century version of Kapuziner Kaffee watch this video: