There are divided opinions on what is the most important ingredient to create a perfect cup of Espresso. Some may say that the collection of fresh ground coffee beans plays an important role in creating Espresso while some argue that the grinding of the beans and giving a proper texture and levelness to the beans, which brings out the best in your Espresso. For others, creating the perfect conditions such as setting the perfect temperature or applying controlled pressure is of paramount importance. But one thing all the coffee enthusiasts can admit is that good quality steamed milk is an indispensable part of the cup of coffee. It can enhance the taste of the coffee or make it unfit to consume.
What is Steamed Milk?
In an Espresso Machine, Steamed Milk is the product of steaming the milk in the chamber with the steaming wand of the machine. It causes the proteins to de-naturation. It allows the milk to pull the gas particles to the top of the surface and holds it in its place. It has an extremely fine foam covering and there are no bubbles visible on it. Steamed milk is also sometimes referred to as ‘Microfoam’ or as wet foam.
Why is Steamed Milk so important?
The Steamed milk is an important ingredient in Espresso for the following two reasons:
- It is highly regarded as an alternative to normal milk. It is tastier because the properties of Normal milk are altered at high temperatures.
- It is also very crucial for the lane art. It adds a layer of style and class on any cup of coffee.
How to Steam Milk perfectly?
Now we will look forward to how steam milk perfectly to add to your cup of coffee. We would divide this process into 4 different stages. You won’t be able to get the perfect ‘Microfoam’ overnight. It is a testament of your continuous practice and skill. The first time results might not be as good as you would be expecting but continuous practice.
Stage 1: Gather all your materials and preparing them beforehand
First of all, identify the type of Espresso Machine you will be using. Find the nozzle, steamed wand and a metallic curve rod which has a bulge on its tip. The bulge should have one or more holes. The first thing you will require is milk which is to besteamed. You can use the full milk to get best possible results. Otherwise, even half milk can also be used to get desired results. Low fat or skim milk may not give the best results as they do not have the same flavor, taste or the same volume as full milk. You will also need metal pitchers. One thing to keep in mind is that both the pitcher and milk used should be cold.
Stage 2: To measure the amount of milk to be used
Measuring the amount of milk to be used may sound simple at first, but it is sure a delicate process. Using a larger amount of milk than what is required will create problems to steam the milk to the desired temperature. It may also scorch the cream from the milk or create a lot of bubbles in the milk. If you use too little milk, you may not get enough to create a cup of coffee or the milk might remain too thin to use. Ideally a half filled pitcher is the level of milk that is required.
Stage 3: Stretch the milk to form whirlpools
This is the part where we start the actual foaming of milk. It is usually associated with two parts – stretching and spinning. Before stretching, clean the wand thoroughly. To do so, turn the steam wand on, let the steam run out and wiping the wand clean. To start stretching, introduce the wand just below the milk. It will produce Microfoam. Make sure the milk is spinning while you doing it. It would take only a couple of seconds to do so. After the creation of Microfoam, it’s time to spin the milk. Sink the steaming wand down the pitcher. Slightly tilt the pitcher to one side. Then let the milk whirlpool till the pitcher heats up too much.
Stage 4: Resting the Milk
You have done steaming the milk. Now, disperse away all the bubbles. This can be done by tapping the pitcher gently with a spoon. Also swirl the milk with a spoon to polish it at the end. Remember to clean the Espresso Machine and the steaming wand after use to avoid clogging for the next time.
Using good quality milk is a key ingredient to make a perfect cup of coffee. Although you can use normal milk as well, steamed milk is preferred as it creates a perfect appetizer to your regular cup of Espresso and provides us with a better taste. Make sure that you steam the milk properly using espresso machine.