Steamed Milk – Make It In 9 Simple Steps!

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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
 
Remember that there is definitely a difference between the two when you are making your favorite cup of joe!

How Do I Know The Milk Is Steamed Properly?

You will be able to tell properly steamed milk based on the appearance of the foam!

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?

The only difference is the level of fat content in the milk.
 
  • Whole milk – Most or all of the fat is left in.
  • Skim Milk – Very little fat content.
 
Fat has benefits, the main ones are:
 
  • 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?

You should steam milk 140°F. The temperature you steam milk at is important, this is because of the proteins in the milk! These milk proteins will start to “denature” at 154 degrees fahrenheit. 

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)
 
If you don’t have a pitcher to steam the milk, you can get one on Amazon.

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.

Is The Milk Hot Enough?

Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the milk. If it is not hot enough, keep heating it up until it is!

Put The Steam Wand Away

After your milk is heated to the proper temperature, close the valve, clean the wand, and store it for later use.

Let the foam sit

If you have bubbles in the foam, tap the pitcher gently against the table or countertop to remove the bubbles.

Don’t Forget To Swirl!

Now that you have perfectly steamed milk (hopefully), give it a swirl to mix the micro foam and milk! Now it is finally ready to serve!

Frequently Asked Questions

Nope, just remember to look at the fat content!

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