Are you a true coffee lover? Then you know milk matters too. Coffee experts know that it also matters whether your milk is steamed or foamed! They are certainly not the same thing, so lets get into it!
What Is Steamed Milk?
You make steamed milk by heating it up all the way to the desired temperature. Afterwards, you will submerge a steam wand into the heated milk.
What Is Foamed Milk?
Foamed milk is basically milk that has been whipped. The process involves adding air into the milk by placing the very tip of the steam wand on only the surface of the milk.
Steamed vS. Foamed Milk – What Is The Difference?
They are different because both steamed and foamed milk will require different amount of each, depending on which type of milk you are planning on using.
For example, here are the different measurements for a cappuccino:
- 1/3 espresso
- 1/3 steamed milk
- 1/3 foamed milk
How Do I Know The Milk Is Steamed Properly?
Microfoam VS. Clunky Foam
If the milk is actually steamed properly, you will see microfoam, clunky foam is not smooth, and often looks rough and uneven in appearance. Microfoam however, looks smooth and flat, you should be able to easily tell if it’s microfoam, or clunky foam.
Whole Milk Or Skim Milk – Which Is Better?
- Whole milk – Most or all of the fat is left in.
- Skim Milk – Very little fat content.
- Better taste – things with fat in them just taste better!
- Better texture – More creamy, and thick.
- Improved experience – The fat will help lessen the intensity of drinking your coffee!
What Temperature Should You Steam Milk?
How Do You Steam Milk?
To steam your milk, you will need a few items:
- A steam wand
- The milk of your choice
- A pitcher
- Damp wash clothes (clean)
Purge The Steam Wand
Hold the steam wand over a sink, the drip tray, or cover it with a cloth. Afterwards, open the valve to let the steam out. This will remove any condensation that may have been left in the wand.
Pour Cold Milk Into The Pitcher
Regardless of the type of milk you chose, you will need to pour it into the pitcher. The milk at this point, should be cold.
Apply The Steam Wand To The Milk
Put the tip of the steam want into the milk (only the tip, do not submerge the wand).
Steam The Milk
Open the steam valve and gradually lower the pitcher until the tip of the want is on the surface. This will take a lot of practice to get the feel for it. You may not get it right the first try.
Submerge The Wand
After the milk has been foamed to your desired amount, submerge the wand into the milk so you can heat it to the temperature you desire.
Note: You are not submerging the wand to the bottom of the pitcher, you are only submerging it just below the surface of the milk, and off to one side of the pitcher. This will create optimal circulation.