With the popularity of milk-based coffees (think cappuccino, flat white, latte, mocha and macchiato), foaming the milk is an extremely important part of making the perfect coffee. It is a “practice makes perfect” activity, some consider it an art. Your aim is to make a smooth, velvety textured foam to blend with your espresso shot to create a harmony of favours – not a meringue to sit on top! So here’s how to create perfectly foamed milk…
1. Fill a small stainless steel jug with cold milk (to no more that halfway as the milk expands in volume).
2. Purge the steam wand of any water residue by turning the steamer on and off rapidly.
3. Place the jug under the steamer with the steamer wand in the milk before turning the steamer on. (This prevents milk from splattering!)
Heating the milk:
4. Hold the jug so that the tip of the steamer sits below the milk surface and produces a hissing sound, then lift the jug so that the steamer tip is a few millimetres deeper, tilt the jug on an angle and the milk should start to “roll”. The hissing should stop and be replaced by a deeper rumbling sound.
5. If the milk is making a “screaming” sound, release some air by raising the steam tip to the surface and quickly re-submersing it.
6. Keep the steamer tip at this depth in the milk by slowly lowering the jug as the volume of milk increases.
7. Heat the milk to between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius. Gauge this by using a thermometer or until the bottom of the jug becomes too hot for your hand to be left there. The rumbling sound should become a low purr.
8. Do not overheat the milk as it will scald and taste bad.
9. Turn the steamer off before taking the jug away (again, to stop milk splattering).
10. Gently tap the milk jug a few times on the bench and swirl it to mix the milk into a consistent lather and remove air.
11. Pour straight away to avoid “layers” forming.
12. Tilt the cup slightly so the tip of the jug is closer to the espresso surface. Pour with a consistent speed and to the centre of the cup.
13. For a cappuccino, pour a bit more quickly so that the dense part of the milk gets into the cup.
14. Always wipe the steamer clean after every use for good hygiene.
15. Do not re-heat the milk. Each time it is heated it loses sweetness and body.
Or if this is all too much, you can use the automatic cappuccinatore on the Saeco and Jura machines we supply!