What is a Bone Dry Cappuccino? ( And How to Make One)

Bone Dry Cappuccino

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you should be familiar with cappuccinos by now as they are among the most popular coffee beverages. But, what you might not know is that all cappuccinos are not the same as there are different variations of this popular coffee.

One of these variations is the bone dry cappuccino. Although not typically served in all coffee shops, most well-established coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts will have it on their coffee menu on many of their outlets.

But, a huge chunk of coffee lovers have probably only heard of bone dry cappuccinos and neither know what to expect when they order one or even how to make it at home. 

However, we are here to save you the blushes by explaining everything you need to know about this delightful coffee and how to make it at home.

Table of Contents

What is Bone Dry Cappuccino?

Bone dry cappuccino is simply a cappuccino that has been made with lots of milk foam and with no steamed milk at all, and it provides an experience almost similar to the macchiato but with some extra foam.

Like any other cappuccino, the bone dry also starts with a shot of espresso at the bottom but instead of adding the steamed milk that would typically follow the coffee some extra milk foam is then placed at the top.

But because foaming the milk takes quite some effort and time, many cafes will not serve this type of cappuccinos without you asking for it, and it will typically also cost a little more.

There are different reasons why coffee lovers will opt to go for a bone dry cappuccino. However, many people will order it because they like the texture of milk foam, some believe that the extra foam keeps the beverage hot longer and others order it because it looks nice since the extra foam acts as a canvas that allows baristas to showcase their artistic side.

What Does It Taste Like?

Like with any other coffee type, not every coffee drinker will appreciate the bone dry cappuccino because while some will find the extra milk foam smoother and tastier some will find it a little too much.

But with a typical bone dry cappuccino, you can expect to get a beverage that is more on the bitter side since unlike steamed milk the milk foam does not dilute the espresso significantly. Hence, these cappuccinos offer a richer and bolder taste, and it will allow you to experience more of the espresso flavor note.

Lack of milk also means that unlike a typical wet cappuccino, the bone dry will not be sweetened and because the foam is mostly air, the beverage will have quite a distinct texture on your lips which is quite different from what you get with other hot coffee beverages.

How to Make Bone Dry Cappuccino

How to Make Bone Dry Cappuccino


The name makes dry bone cappuccino look quite complicated, but this could not be further from reality as this is quite a straightforward beverage to make and almost anyone can make it at home. And there is nothing much you will need besides some espresso and milk foam.

But, it is worth mentioning that foaming the milk will take some extra time and effort, and you will also need to practice a lot to master the technique for the perfect foam every time. It takes quite a lot of milk because if you need to make a 16-ounce dry bone, you will need up to 32 ounces of milk.

What You Will Need

Step-by-Step Directions

Step 1: Steam the Milk

Making espresso is a quick process with a good espresso machine, and so the first step in making your bone dry cappuccino should be to steam your milk. If your espresso machine has a steam wand, this should be easy as you will only need to add milk to a jug and steam it.

Alternatively, you can also use a pan if you do not have a steam wand, and here you will only need to heat the milk on the pan until bubbles start forming and make sure you remove it from the heat before it starts boiling.

Step 2: Foam the Milk

Next step is to foam the milk and for this step, you can either use you steam wand if you have one on the espresso machine or a handheld milk frother which is easy to get and quite affordable.

Place the steam wand or frother on the jug with the milk and start frothing. Keep frothing the milk until you get as much fluffy foam as possible, and once it is ready, you can scoop it out and place it aside to rest for a while.

Step 3: Make the Espresso

To make the espresso, you need to take out the portafilter from the machine, add some coffee grounds to the basket and tamp before putting it back on the machine. You should then fill up the water reservoir with fresh filtered water before pulling a shot.

But, remember to switch on the espresso maker in advance to give it enough time to warm up before you can make your espresso.

Step 4: Assemble your Bone Dry Cappuccino

Assembling the bone dry starts by first warming your ceramic cappuccino cup and then placing it under the group head to pull a shot of espresso into it.

With the espresso in the cup, you should then scoop the foam and gently place it over the espresso and make sure you fill-up the cup to the top until it forms a nice dome shape at the top.

Step 5: Finish with Some Art (Optional)

If you have a thing for coffee at art, the last step is to showcase your skills by giving the cappuccino a nice artistic design at the top the same way you would finish off a café latte, but this is an optional step given that it does not affect the beverage taste in any way. And you can also sprinkle the cappuccino with some powdered chocolate to give it a sweet kick.

Summary of Cappuccino Types

  • Standard/Classic Cappuccino –This type is the true cappuccino and what you are likely to be served in most cafe unless you specify you want otherwise. With this cappuccino, you will get a more balanced beverage with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.
  • Wet Cappuccino – Perhaps one of the most common types of cappuccino, and it will contain a shot of espresso just like all other types but with more steamed milk than the others and with a thin layer of milk foam at the top.
  • Super Wet Cappuccino – A specialty beverage that will contain lots of steamed milk and no milk foam at all, and it will be more like the flat white than a cappuccino, and it is the complete opposite of the bone dry cappuccino
  • Dry Cappuccino – More like the wet cappuccinos as it also contains some steamed milk. However, it will have very little milk and lots of milk foam but still not as much foam as the bone dry.
  • Bone Dry Cappuccino – Consists of a single shot of espresso and with lots of milk foam and no steamed milk at all.


Cappuccinos are just delightful, and this should explain why they are among the most popular coffee types across the globe. But, if you want an even more interesting experience with this coffee type, it is a great idea to try out other variants like the bone dry cappuccino.

With the bone dry cappuccino, you get a more distinct coffee texture and also get to enjoy the strength and boldness of the espresso in the drink as it is not watered down by the addition of milk.

Although it will take some extra effort to foam all the milk required and you will probably need to practice to get the foam texture right, dry bone cappuccinos are quite easy to make. And all you will need to do is invest in a steam wand or milk frother if you do not already have either.

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