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How to Steam Milk the Proper Way

Perhaps a few words should be said here about how to steam milk properly with your home espresso machine for your cappuccinos and lattes. In the first place, always start off with a cold pitcher (you can place it in the refrigerator beforehand). A stainless-steel pitcher works best.


Nonfat and low-fat milk are most widely used—although regular milk can be easily steamed once you get the hang of it. Just fill the pitcher about one-third to one-half with the milk (no more than half, because the milk will expand when steamed).


Place the nozzle of the steamer on the surface of the milk and turn the steam pressure all the way on. As the steamer begins to froth the milk, lower the pitcher while the milk expands, keeping the nozzle about 2 inches under the surface of the milk. Be careful not to let the milk boil, as it may overflow or have a bit of a burnt taste. When the foam that you’ve produced by steaming the milk begins to rise to the surface of the pitcher, you can turn the pressure down or take the pitcher away from the steamer, as the milk is now just about to boil.


Ideally, steamed milk should contain very small bubbles throughout the liquid, and the foam on top should have a sweet or light taste to it. While steaming milk may seem rather awkward at first, with just a little bit of practice you’ll really get the hang of it, and before long you should become an expert!

Special Thanks to Mathew Tekulsky for his wonderful coffee tips.

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