5 Tips For Steaming Milk On Your Home Machine
8 August 2023
Steaming milk to perfection is an art that can take your coffee experience to new heights. Whether you’re an aspiring home barista or looking to upgrade your milk steaming skills, mastering the art of creating creamy and textured milk is key to replicating your favourite cafe-quality beverages. In this blog, we’ll share five essential tips to help you achieve barista-level milk steaming on your home machine.
1 Start with a high-quality milk
The journey to steaming the perfect milk starts with selecting the right type of milk. The quality of your milk can significantly impact the taste and texture of your coffee. The cheap supermarket milks may be okay on your Weet-Bix but don’t deliver when heated up. They can be thin and bland, and most don’t go well with coffee.
Opt for high-quality milk, like Little Big Dairy Co, which delivers exceptional results in the cup. When it comes to alternative milks, Bonsoy rules the soy world and Milk Lab have an excellent almond milk and lactose-free milk. The downside is that these milks are expensive, but they are worthwhile if you can afford it. Investing in premium milk makes a noticeable difference in your coffee, both in flavour and overall satisfaction.
2 Choose the right milk jug
When it comes to milk jugs, not all are created equal, and you’ll need different jugs for various tasks. For drawing intricate latte art on a flat white, a narrow-spouted jug is essential. If you’re aiming for a cappuccino with plenty of foam, a wide, flat spout is the ideal shape. Ensure your jug size is suitable for the coffees you’re making, as overfilling the jug can make spinning the milk challenging, affecting the texture. The shape of the bottom of the jug is also important – a slight conical shape is the usual. Some standard jugs with home machines flare out at the bottom – avoid these!
3 Aim for the right temperature
Achieving the perfect milk temperature is essential for a delightful coffee experience. While individual preferences vary, we recommend targeting a temperature around 65°C. This is hot enough for most coffee enthusiasts but stops short of the milk taking on an undesirable “porridge” smell from overheating. Use a thermometer while learning or rely on your hand to determine when the milk is just getting hard to hold on the side of the jug.
4 Master the right texture
Texture is the key to creating that velvety, “silky” milk necessary for latte art and a delightful coffee cup. The technique we recommend for achieving fine bubble size is the “whirlpool.” Place the steam tip in the middle of the milk jug, move it slightly to the left or right of centre, and start your steam, getting the milk spinning. Keep the steam tip just below the surface to perfect the texture. Practice and patience will lead you to the sweet spot where the milk spins gracefully.
5 Keep your steam arms and tips clean
Maintaining cleanliness in your steam arms and tips is essential for consistent and efficient milk steaming. After each use, be sure to wipe your steam arm to prevent dried milk from building up. This simple practice not only ensures a clean appearance but also makes it easier to clean in the long run. If you encounter any build-up in the steam tip, a quick purge of the steam arm after steaming milk can help keep it clean. For stubborn build-up, you can remove and clean the tips or use a paper clip to dislodge stuck milk.
Steaming milk on your home machine can be a rewarding experience when you apply these five essential tips. By choosing the right milk, jug, and mastering the right temperature and texture, you’ll be well on your way to crafting barista-worthy coffee beverages in the comfort of your home. Practice, experiment, and savour each cup as you continue your journey towards coffee greatness!
For more tips on how to get the most out of your home machine, read our blog: How To Get The Best Coffee Out Of Your Home Machine