Quick & Easy Cappuccino in a Motorhome – Without a Machine

Who would like to know how to make the perfect Cappuccino in their motorhome?  With no need for expensive, heavy machines and 240 volt electricity supplies?

Well me for one!!  It’s been a bit of a bee in my bonnet for months now.

“There must be a way to do it without a machine.”  I moaned forlornly to Jay at every opportunity.  While completely failing to apply the simple wisdom of Google to the problem at hand.

Jay quietly didn’t hear a word of it and carried on using his head to think about something more interesting like politics, or saxophone riffs, or how many cans of beer were left in the fridge.

Hmmmm.  I really wanted cappuccino.  A cheap, cappuccino.  Not a £3 coffee shop cappuccino.  Hmmmm.  Time for that Google then…

Five minutes later and I knew everything I would ever need to know about the age old art of cappuccino making.  It’s easy!!  So a quick jaunt to IKEA and TK Maxx for some low cost, lightweight equipment later and I brewed up our very first homemade cappuccinos there and then in the retail park carpark.  Yummm!!!!

So three days later and I thought I would make you all a quick “How To” guide while fixing my afternoon brew.  Which I’m drinking right now.  And it’s scrumptious!!

With no further ado…

  • Step 1 :- Gather your equipment ; Stainless steel milk jug, Battery milk frother, Small pan, milk, Stove top coffee perculator, Coffee, Hot chocolate for sprinkling if desired, 1 x desert spoon, 1 x teaspoon. 

    Ready DM?

  • Step 2 :- Measure one third of a cup of milk for each person into the pan.  I’m only making one cup of cappuccino here so I’ve used one third of a cup of milk.
    Place pan on full heat.

Doesn’t look like much eh?

  • Step 3 :-  While milk is warming pour cold water into bottom section of the espresso perculator.  We have a large 9 shot espresso pot.  For both of us we fill it close to the top. ( the little nut you see in the picture is the safety valve.  DO NOT put water past the bottom of the valve.  I don’t know what happens if you do, but I don’t think it’s pretty!! Yikes!!) Today it’s just me so I’ve filled it a little less than half.

    Don’t go past the safety valve!


  • Step 4 :-  Add coffee grounds to the filter and place on top of water reservoir.  I’ve filled it halfway with coffee grounds as I’m only making half a pot.  Don’t tamp down the grounds to get more in.  It might not look like much, but it will be perfect.
    Now screw the top section back on to the pot and put on stove on full heat.
    (Make sure you don’t have flames coming up the sides of your pot though.  It should fit fine, but depending on sizes you may have to adjust the flame just a little.)

    Almost done.


  • Step 5 :-  In the short time that took your milk should be ready to take off the heat.  Don’t boil the milk.  Just heat it until there are bubbles starting to form at the edge of the pan. (See pic)  Then turn off heat and transfer the milk to the jug.

    Bubbles! Good to go.


  • Step 6 :-  Whisk the milk with the milk frother until you have the required amount of foam.  A perfect cappuccino is 1/3 coffee, 1/3 milk, 1/3 foam.  I love the foam so usually go a bit crazy with it!

    That’s about the right amount of foam…

    …and that’s about how much I like!


  • Step 7 :-  While frothing your milk you’ll have heard some funny noises coming from your perculator as it “perked” your coffee.  Once the noises stop the coffee is ready to go.  Here’s a peek inside once it finished.  It’s very quick and should be ready about the same time as your foam, or just after.

    Mmmmm! Freshly perked coffee!!


  • Step 8 :- Fill your cup to about one thirds with the fresh coffee.

    Almost ready…


  • Step 10 :- Now fill the cup to 2 thirds full with hot milk from your jug.  Hold the jug a few inches above the cup to start with so that the milk mixes with the coffee.
    Hold the desert spoon between the foam and the spout while you’re pouring so that the foam stays in the jug.  It’s very easy and stays put pretty good!  Don’t worry if a little does slip through – it’s not the end of the world!  But it probably won’t.

    Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this bit because I needed one hand for the jug, one hand for the spoon, and one hand for the camera.  That’s three hands and I only have two!  Sorry guys!

    p.s. in Italy they sometimes sprinkle a teaspoon of hot chocolate powder on top of the hot milk/coffee mix before they add the foam.  We think it’s yummy that way so that’s what I do too.

  • Step 11 :-  Pour/Spoon the foam on top.  Sprinkle with hot chocolate powder/cinnamon etc. to personal taste.

    How good is that?!!


  • Step 12 :- Enjoy with a friend as you write your afternoon blog post.  Sooo good!!  And really quick to make!  Yum to #vanlife!

    Well I wish you’d said you wanted one while I was making it DM!!


Our 9 cup espresso perculator was £12 from TK MAXX.
The milk frother was amazingly just £1 from IKEA!!  Couldn’t believe it so we bought two in case it doesn’t last long.  We’ll let you know…  It takes 2 x AA batteries which we think will probably last for ages.  We have rechargeable batteries and a 12 volt charger so that part’s pretty much free.
The stainless steel milk jug was also from IKEA and cost £6.
Total cost £20.
I reckon it probably costs about 25p-30p a cup for each cappuccino – including the gas.  Tiny cost for gas as it’s very, very quick.

So as you can see it’s not going to take very long for us to make our money back!

It’s fun.  It’s quick.  It’s cheap.  And most important of all…they’re absolutely delicious!


Fi. xx


p.s. Tip:  rinse the milk pan and jug immediately you empty them and they’re effortless to clean too.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.