It appears that the Italian’s, bless their hearts, are working on a national certificate program for espresso drinks. Italy aims to standardise the perfect espresso http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/26/wcoffee126.xml Some of the criteria for espresso: The colour of an espresso, for example, must be “of a hazelnut hue with ornate flourishes of red and a smokiness that creates a uniform tiger-stripe pattern”. [t]he “crema”, which sits on top, must be like a “tight sweater, with very fine bubbles, if at all, and of a height of between two and four millimetres”. [t]he cream must “remain for a long time on the surface of the liquid without breaking, and without holes opening in its centre. At the end of the coffee, it should form a crown around the rim of the cup”. Some of the criteria for cappuccinos: [t]he perfect cappuccino should have 25ml of espresso and 125ml of steamed milk. The froth should be white, and speckled with chocolate and optional hazelnut. It should have hints of dried fruit, toasted cereal and caramel, while the body of the drink should have an “almost imperceptible acidity”. Interesting.