How to Steam Milk Perfectly

The most talked about secret in any café is how to steam the perfect milk. We have all heard from crop to cup when it comes to the bean but how about from ‘cow to cup’. Sure the technique is important when making the cup but how important is the type of milk? Full cream milk will provide a rich full bodied cup with the ideal balance of taste & texture while skim milk will provide a sweeter cup that lets the espresso’s flavour shine through.

Technique

  1. Use cold milk directly from the fridge as well as a cool jug
  2.  Use a suitable volume of milk for the quantity of beverages you are about to prepare. From a one litre jug you will make three cups of coffee.
  3. Place steam wand over drip tray and remove steam to release water. Then lower the wand in the milk jug so it sits just below surface.
  4. Turn on steam to full power then lower the jug until the tip of the steam wand is just below the surface of the milk. You should hear a slight hissing sound. Make sure the tip is low enough so that the milk doesn’t splatter and high enough to create a delicate textured milk. Ensure that your steam wand is just off centre and a whirlpool should form.
  5. As the milk expands, slowly move the jug down so the hissing sound remains. Repeat this until you have your required amount of milk and the temperature is 45 degrees or the jug starts to warm up in your hand,.
  6.  Now lower the stem wand down to heat the milk. Note, do not have the steam wand too far into the milk, just enough to stop the hissing noise.
  7. Turn your steam off when milk temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius and remove from steam wand. The temperature will continue to rise close to 70 degrees Celsius. This is the correct pouring temperature and at this temperature you receive maximum flavour characteristics.
  8. Keep your milk circulating moving the jug in small steady circles. This will keep the milk and thinner delicate milk combined.
  9. If your milk and froth is combined together when it hits your espresso, you will have a combination of milk froth and espresso. This makes a beverage that is rich creamy and full of flavour.

Milk Steaming Tips:

  • Starting with a cold milk and cold jug essential
  • Do not re-heat steamed milk
  • Do not leave fresh milk standing at room temperature
  • Do not leave steamed milk standing for too long. You should pour immediately
  • Pour Cappuccinos first then pour Café Lattes and Flat Whites to make sure you have enough foam
  • Use the correct size jug for the amount of beverages

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