Europe issues coffee foam directive

We have been asked by our European parliamentary representatives to remind the trade that the European Cappuccino Directive comes into effect this morning (1st April).

It is now compulsory for all caterers serving coffee to comply with the main requirements of the Directive, with immediate effect.

It has been determined by Strasbourg that: ‘cappuccino foam is considered a constituent part of the volume of a cappuccino for retail purposes, inasmuch as the consumer does expect to see a not-unreasonable amount of froth on the top of the drink’. However, the European Froth sub-committee has also been required to rule on the particular problem in regard to 16oz and 20oz takeaway drinks, in which froth quantities of 5oz-7oz have recently been recorded.

The Froth sub-committee has now ruled that the customer is entitled to see exactly how much of their drink is composed of froth, and the Directive requires that as from this morning, all caterers will now be required to mark their chosen ‘froth line’ on both the inside and outside of takeaway cups and chinaware. The volume up to each line is to be clearly recognisable as ‘coffee’, and anything above the line distinguishable as ‘froth’. Takeaway cup lids must now be made of a suitable see-through material, so that the customer can inspect the drink offered to them.

It will also be a requirement for any catering establishment serving takeaway cappuccino to sign the Cappuccino Register, held at their local Trading Standards Office, which will register the cup sizes used by every caterer, and the individual ‘froth line’ measurements used by each catering outlet.

This also comes into force today, April 1st.


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