How to steam the milk and make some latte art

Published by provosvet on

latteHi guys. Today I show you how to steam the milk and make some latte art.

The milk steaming is probably the easiest part in coffee making. I have some rules for it, simple rules which might be helpful for you and you could also pay attention to them.

Two rules

The first one is: it doesn’t matter which kind of pitcher or jug you’re using, always fill it up with milk half of its volume.

The second rule: milk has to be as cold and fresh as possible.

Especially for those who are new to coffee making, milk frothing and latte art. For the more advanced, it is possible to steam the milk when it’s hot or warm already, for example pre-heated to 40 degrees – but this needs a lot of experience.

Okay, next thing is you can use any milk, it doesn’t matter how much fat it has inside. If it’s 1.5% or 3.5%, it doesn’t matter.

With plant based milk it might be a little bit more difficult but today we are all only using dairy milk.

So, to learn how to steam the milk, first thing you have to do: stop over-thinking!

Don’t think too much, just do it okay.

Because when I personally watch a video on youtube myself, I even forget how to steam the milk.

So, I will make it simple and hope you won’t forget how after this post.

So, insert fresh milk until you reach half the jugs volume.

The auto steaming technique

To understand why I say don’t over-think it too much, I will be using the auto steaming technique.

That’s my stupid way to texture the milk. I call this my own way.

It’s proof that shows that it’s not difficult.

Of course it’s good to steam using your hands, as you have more control.

But learning auto-steaming first makes the manual way more easy to learn.

So, I marked the spot where the milk reaches half of the vessel’s volume.

I see you arranged some plates over there.

These plates have a specific reason … Dritan just purged the steam wand to get rid of the condensation water.

It doesn’t matter guys how you position the steam wand. Some people say like this or give you a certain way.

It’s simple for everyone to make a big fuss or story about it when in fact you can almost do it with your eyes closed.

So the angle of the steam wand doesn’t really matter.

What matters though is how you position the steam wand on the surface and it’s like it’s not even touching the surface.

It’s very close to the surface.

Going back, you’re going to see that Dritan will not be touching the wand. Check this out.

I think everyone can do this with their machine.

Steam power

In this case we are using a professional machine like La Marzocco but I think it also works with other machines.

But, let’s say you are using a machine with less steam power you might have to use a smaller pitcher and take more time to insert more air because of the lower power.

Machines with more power are better capable at injecting air. So, the idea is absolutely the same with any machine.

The technique is absolutely the same; you just might have to make small adjustments so take a smaller jug or insert a bit more air when you have a machine that doesn’t have like a big powerful steam wand. So, all ready to go.

So, introducing air, check the temperature with your hands.

Milk is rising now, the air that we introduced is being rotated and distributed in the milk.

You can feel it with your hands and hear the sound of the milk if you’ve reached the right temperature.

Now let’s see. Around 65 degrees is the right temperature guys. We want to hit the green range between 60 and 70 degrees.

So look at this guys, perfect!

65 degrees, that’s just amazing to see.

Easy. So don’t think, just do it.

To control the texturing

But I understand that a lot of people want to control the texturing.

This was like riding a bicycle with four wheels and now we’re gonna try to ride the bicycle with two wheels.

This is what I teach in my school. First I show them the auto-steaming technique to take away their anxiety. This is a Motta pitcher.

If you don’t have the experience with your jug you can use a scale to measure the milk you need inside.

So this is a 750ml milk jug and we’re just showing you that we need half of the volume that fits into the jug.

Keep in mind, the density of milk is not completely equal to 1ml = 1g. So half of its volume no matter which jug size you’re using.

350g because milk is a little bit heavier than water. 1 ml milk is 1.03g of milk.

That’s why I always say to try auto-steaming first, then manually with your hands.

So place the nozzle right on the surface again. For me as a Barista it’s easy of course.

I could go ahead and tell you: you have to place it in this or that angle, this or that way, 35 or 25 degree-angle.

Choose your own way

Many also suggest to use the spout as a guide but in the end it’s up to you. There are many ways.

Find your own way and upload your video on youtube and get your views.

But choose your own way and stick to the same technique and practice it in that way.

So, place the tip on the surface, start inserting the air The more air you introduce guys the more foam, the less air the less foam.

Once you are happy with the amount of foam that you need, a Cappuccino needs more than a Latte and so on but that’s a different thing.

You then need to rotate and the rotation is making sure that you have a very nice silky micro foam with just teeny tiny or close to zero bubbles.

No let’s pour some Latte Art.

We’re not using Flow/Pressure Profiling now, just make the shots As we were demonstrating the steaming just now we did that first, shots second.

But especially when you’re a beginner at texturing milk and pouring latte art you need to make sure that you have your shots done first and then the milk but if you have experience like Dritan it’s fine to have the milk sit a little while it’s absolutely fine because as you can see Dritan is using two jugs and that way he keeps he makes sure that he keeps the foam that he made just nicely blended in the milk just now so he can easily pour the latte art.

Latte Art

For Latte Art the same rule as for steaming: just do it.

So I will start with the basic heart for example.

You have to watch this video only one time next time you have to try it yourself okay?

So… Rosetta.

We move over to the next machine. Take the other one, this is for the bottomless Portafilter.

Sorry, this was adjusted for this kind of Portafilter, see bottomless.

If you are a little more advanced, start texturing while the shots are running.

Hear that noise/sound?

You can actually really know and tell by the noise if the milk reaches the right temperature or if you’re overheating and burning it.

So again using a second milk jug Dritan wants two identical cappuccinos so he’s saving some of the foam in the other one so he can have two identical drinks in the end.

The tapping on the counter is just a way to get rid of bubbles, which appear due to pouring from one into the other jug.

Let’s pay attention to the very first drop in the cup.

So, go up higher to prepare the surface, make sure it’s all brown.

Then you lower the tip of the jug.

It’s only when you lower and are you’re really close – see how close he is to the surface – that you start pouring the milk foam onto that brown surface that you prepared in the beginning which you’ve done by circling around from a higher distance to the surface.

Now we’ll try it again with another machine.

Coffee making is like football to me. So again, auto-steaming. Everyone can do this, everyone.

Here we go, not touching anything. In this case for example we don’t have so much power… not that powerful as the other one, so we have to adjust and raise the tip of the steam . Place it back onto the surface to introduce more air.

If you want to be a Barista, you don’t need to think.

If you want to be a scientist this is the wrong area. So, let’s make another pattern.

Make a swan. Show the beginning of the pour, it’s very important.

Now go down and the closer you get to the surface you’re gonna draw onto the coffee.

One more… Milk is a little bit thin guys because the machine didn’t have so much power but this

is the real life okay Unedited.

So, prepare the surface by circling around from higher up, the surface stays brown, then go down with the tip and you can draw your pattern.

Three machines, six cappuccino, very spontaneous, no preparation.

Le grand finale

Because she was the reason why we made this for you guys.

It’s true, I made him do this post… because she’s reading all your comments.

Yes, you always have the question on how to texture milk so we can keep these kind of

posts coming I think.

The first step: don’t think!

Second step: half a volume in the jug.

The third step: use cold fresh milk.

Next step: just put the steam wand on the surface not inside.

Maybe just a little bit (like one millimeter) or fully on the top. Depends on your machine.

Try auto-steaming two, three times and then you can start texturing holding it with your hands.

Feel the temperature with your hands, 65 degrees and you can listen to the sound that the milk makes.

That way when you use auto steaming you don’t even have to touch, you can tell by the “sound”.

I’m gonna enjoy some of these now.

Thank you and enjoy your day. Thank you so much guys.



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