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Home » Bone Dry Cappuccino: What is It and How Do You Make One?

What is a Bone Dry Cappuccino? (difference with other capp types + quick brew guide)

Did you know that cappuccino dates back to the 1700s? From the late-Renaissance Viennese coffee shops to today, this creamy espresso-based delight has become one of the most popular takes on coffee beverages. Over the years, cappuccino evolved and matured, and now there are several kinds of cup to choose from.

Even though the varieties are not set in stone, wet and dry cappuccino are the staples. Then you have bone dry and super wet. It is safe to assume that these are specials, designed to fit the palate of a connoisseur. But what is a bone dry cappuccino and how does it compare to other types of this popular drink?

What Is a Dry Cappuccino?

Before you delve deep into the fine nuances that make bone dry special, you should get acquainted with dry cappuccino. To make things clear, the prefixes wet and dry refer to the amount of steamed milk that’s used in the cappuccino.

The dry variant starts with a single serving of espresso and just a tiny amount of milk on top followed by a generous layer of milk foam.

Some recipes may include two shots of espresso, but your cappuccino will still be dry as long as it has the right amount of milk.

However, there is a chance you stumble upon a dry cappuccino that tastes a lot like a late. To prevent that, you can always tell the waiter/barista to make it on the dry side. It should then be close to perfect, even with extra creamy foam on top.

On average, adult Americans drink 2.06 cups of coffee a day (1), and cappuccino is among the top five most popular varieties.

Dry vs. Bone Dry – What’s the Difference?

Telling the difference between a cappuccino and a latte is difficulty enough. So how the hell do you decipher a cappuccino from a dry cappuccino?

Its all about milk; it’s not hard to guess that the bone dry variety doesn’t have any. That said, you still get a layer of foamy frothed milk, but there is no steamed milk atop the espresso base. You can read more about what frothed milk is and what it looks like here. To make the distinction clear, here is a quick overview of the preparation technique.

Like its wetter cousin, bone dry cappuccino starts with a single dose of espresso (there are no mentions of two shots being used for bone dry). Milk foam is frothed on top – and that’s it. Yes, bone dry cappuccino is just espresso with some foam on top. Some coffee shops also include extra-dry in their menu.

In general, extra-dry is somewhere between a dry and bone dry cappuccino – it has a small splash of milk between the espresso and foam. With this in mind, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that it leans more towards the dry than the bone dry side

The very first step… We want to make sure that our cup is nice and hot. Get that little water off the machine (into the cup).

How About Wet Cappuccino?

Now, you already know that wet cappuccino contains a generous amount of milk. Then again, variations like wet, classic, and super wet cappuccinos are designed to provide an optimal balance of espresso, milk, and foam. And the distinction lies in the portions – more milk, less foam, and so on.

To start off with an oldie but goodie, classic cappuccino features equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.

If you go for wet, the cup contains far more milk than foam, and it may also have two espresso shots.

As for the super wet, it is on the opposite side of the spectrum compared to the bone dry. This means that a cup of super wet shouldn’t contain any foam at all and have a generous amount of steamed milk. The extra milk makes this cappuccino similar, if not the same, as a late or a flat white. (2)

To get the right foam for the bone dry, about 32oz of milk is needed per every 16-oz cappuccino.

Homemade Bone Dry – Brewing Tips and Tricks

In a perfect world, half the job is done by a great espresso machine. But don’t worry – you don’t need a super-expensive machine to make a delicious bone dry in your own home. Any decent espresso machine will do.

a person showing the froth of a bone dry cappuccino

To help you, here is a quick recipe:

  1. Start by pouring some hot water into the cup to warm it up. While the cup warms, heat up the milk and froth it to get a fluffy light foam. A temperature of 150°F should be just right for the milk. (3)
  2. Put the foam aside to rest and make one espresso shot. Pour the espresso into the warmed cup and gently fill it up with foam.

Final Thoughts

For many, a cup of cappuccino is their morning drink of choice. In fact, Italians prefer cappuccino with their breakfast and straight espresso throughout the day. A fresh cup of bone dry in the morning is bound to give you the caffeine punch you need to start off a productive day.

Not sure if this drink is the one you need right now? There are various types of coffee drinks you can make (or order) to satisfy your cravings!


Cappuccino is stronger than a latte. Remember, a typical latte has a lot of milk which makes it lighter, whereas a cappuccino might not have any steamed milk at all. Of course, the no-milk variant applies solely to bone dry cappuccino.

Aside from adding extra texture, the foam on top of a cappuccino serves as a protective coat. To be exact, it provides insulation for the lower layers, allowing your coffee to stay warm for much longer. And last but certainly not least, it is a perfect canvas for artful decorations.

The recipe includes one shot of espresso, 1oz of steamed milk, and 1oz of foamed milk. Of course, if you want to make a bone dry, just remove the 1oz of steamed milk and it should be perfect. Or if you want a cold version, here’s an easy-to-follow iced cappuccino recipe.

  1. Conway, J. (2018, October 22). Total coffee per capita consumption in the United States from 2011 to 2018 (in cups per day). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/456360/total-us-coffee-per-capita-consumption/
  2. Coffee Statistics. (2017). Retrieved June 30, 2019, from https://www.e-importz.com/coffee-statistics.php
  3. Jayson, C. (2015, July 21). The Science of Steamed Milk: Understanding Your Latte Art. Retrieved June 30, 2019, from https://www.scienceandfood.org/the-science-of-steamed-milk-understanding-your-latte-art/
Jovana D
I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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