How To Steam Milk Like A Pro
When your customer orders a hot beverage that calls for some sort of steamed milk (whether it be almond, soy, coconut, camel –yes we are serious), there are many different things to consider to convert an average drink to a perfect one.
Steaming milk is not just about heating the milk to the proper temperature, it’s about texturing that milk to create a delicious, dense head of foam (or froth) that adds sweetness and insulates the rest of the beverage. Having the best coffee equipment also helps.
To take your milk texturing to the next level, consider these steps.
- Use a clean, cold milk steaming pitcher with the appropriate amount of milk for the size coffee you’re making. Keeping your pitchers refrigerated gives you a little more time to get that ideal texture.
- Start with the tip of the steamwand submerged in the heart of the milk.
- Turn the steamwand on, and quickly lower the steam pitcher so that the surface of the milk is touching the tip of the steamwand.
- Hold the steam pitcher at a slight angle and position the steamwand to one side of the milk pitcher. This will create a “vortex” or cyclone effect, allowing you to better control the bubbling, swirling milk. Listen for a slight “CHHHHH” sound. If your milk is squealing, you need more air. If your milk is bubbling too much and creating large, bath bubbles, you need less air. As the milk heats up, the sound will change from the “CHHHH” sound to a low rumble, almost like water rushing through a pipe or a plane flying high overhead.
- As the milk reaches the proper temperature, turn off the steamwand.
- Immediately clean and flush the steamwand to prevent old, spoiled milk from remaining in the steamwand.
- Settle the milk by tapping the milk pitcher against the counter and swirling it. Pour the milk into the espresso or syrup and watch for the two to mix.
- Slow your pour towards the top of the cup to create beautiful latte art!