March 21, 2008, Newsletter Issue #152: Making Steamed Milk

Tip of the Week

To make steamed milk, also known as microfoam, for an espresso drink like cappuccino, you will need an espresso machine with a steam wand.

How to steam/froth milk:
- Fill a stainless steel milk pitcher with milk.
- Place the steam wand in the pitcher and open the steam valve.
- Put your steam valve hand under the pitcher so your palm touches the bottom of the pitcher
- Place the steam tip just below the milk's surface. If it's too high, the bubbles will be too big, too low, you won't get bubbles at all. The steam tip should be exactly in the middle so that tiny bubbles will rapidly expand the milk. Raise the wand as the milk expands. Be sure to listen for the whispering/hissing/sucking noise.
- If the pitcher against your palm is body temperature (about 37 degrees Celsius), stop expanding the milk and lower the wand slowly into the milk. Whirl it over the bottom to heat the milk slightly.
- If the pitcher against your palm becomes too hot to touch, turn off the steam, knock the pitcher gently on the counter, and whirl the milk slowly for a couple of seconds.

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