How to Steam Milk – the Art of Steaming Milk

While a good espresso pull is one half of most quality specialty drinks, skillfully steamed or frothed milk makes up the other half. Different types of milk have different frothing properties, so it will take some experimentation on your part before you have the technique down. Here are a few tips:

¨ Cold milk froths best. Keep your pitchers refrigerated.

¨ Always run the steam wand in an empty pitcher first to blow out any condensation.

¨ Keep the wand tip near the surface of the milk for foaming. If the milk heats too quickly, you won’t have enough time to create enough foam. This will require lowering the pitcher as the milk expands.

¨ Once the foam is formed, sink the wand into the pitcher to finish heating the milk.

¨ Heat milk to 150-155 degrees. You will need to shut the wand off 5-10 degrees before the desired temperature is achieved.

¨ Give the pitcher a firm knock on the countertop to settle large bubbles.

¨ Wipe down the steamer wand with a warm, damp cloth after every use. It is very important to have a dedicated towel for this; don’t use the same towel that was just used to wipe down the countertops! Change it out as often as necessary to keep your wand in pristine condition.

You want to achieve a microfoam, or fine, dense bubbles, for your foam. The amount of foam that is required will depend on the drink; lattes take a little foam while cappuccinos are defined by their thick foamy caps.

Latte Art

Looking for that little something to make you stand out for your customers? Mark their lattes with hearts, apples, rosettas, swirl art and other designs.

Latte art is that extra little step in customer service that adds a wow factor. The level of detail that a little art can add shows your customers that you care enough to treat their drinks individually. Plus it’s fun. Like a shamrock in the foam of a Guinness, it will serve as a source of joy and wonder.

There are many resources available on the Intranet to learn the techniques for creating multiple designs.

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