Panther Coffee's Tips on Making Mom a Classic Cappuccino for Mother's Day (No Fancy Equipment Required)

Categories: Home Cooking
All photos by Emily Codik
The perfect gift for mom, a homemade cappuccino
Bring out your inner barista this Mother's Day, and skip those dull gifts of flowers, cards and balloons. They will all end up in the trash anyway.

Instead, offer mom a gift loaded with caffeine, topped with frothed milk and served in a dainty cup. This Sunday, make a classic cappuccino for Mother's Day.

We sought out the advice of Leticia Pollock, who owns Panther Coffee alongside husband, Joel, for insights on the very best homemade cappuccino. Leticia, a proud mom herself, spills some serious coffee know-how, and offers a step by step guide on making a homemade specialty drink, without any fancy equipment or a $500 espresso machine. All you'll need is $70 in basic tools, and Leticia's great advice.

To start preparing this early morning gift for mom, you'll need good, fresh coffee. Leticia recommends buying coffee every week or two, and only purchasing the amount you will realistically consume in that time period.

Store coffee in a cupboard at room temperature. Do not put your coffee in the refrigerator. Ever. Freezer? Forget about it. Even though you might think you're doing coffee a favor, refrigerators have high moisture levels which can impact coffee's freshness.

Then there's also the issue of unpleasant aromas mixing with your coffee. Coffee is so porous that it will surely absorb what's in your fridge. Got leftover paella or ceviche in the icebox? No one wants coffee with a side of paella in the morning. That's a prank, not a gift.

Next, invest in a coffee grinder. Pre-ground coffee lacks the strong aroma that gives freshly ground coffee that extra boost of flavor. Leticia prefers a burr grinder, versus a blade grinder, because burrs grind more evenly. Blades, on the other hand, leave you with uneven particles that extract coffee unevenly. So, invest in a burr grinder, it'll set you back about $30, but it'll change the way you feel about coffee from home forever. Seriously.

Then grind up the portion of coffee that you'll be making each morning.

Now, to make the best brew at home (without a fancy espresso machine), Leticia recommends using a moka pot. Known as a greca in many parts of Latin America, this nifty tool will give you the closest consistency and flavor of espresso, without the huge investment required of a pricey machine. She suggests buying a Bialetti Moka, which can set you back about $20 or $25.

Buy a milk frother. Something as simple as an Aerolatte To Go can do the trick, and it'll only be about $20.

After investing the total of $70 in equipment (grinder, moka pot and frother), you now are armed with the tools to make the very best homemade cappuccino. Sound pricey? Add up all the times you've gone to a mediocre coffee shop and paid $5 for a lackluster cappuccino... Get my point? Alright. Let's continue.

Now, to make the coffee...

Location Info

Panther Coffee

2390 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

This place serves the best coffee in town, period...Baristas just need to lose the attitude..


I would have to recommend the aeropress, it is also simple and very cheap, though good coffee and a good grinder are required.

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