Texturing Milk for Latte Art » How-to Guide
So we are now three weeks into our bootcamp - we've learn about freshly roasted specialty coffee, and how to extract the best out of those beans to give us a delicious espresso base. From here, a majority of people then add a whole lot of milk. Again - there are just a few simple steps to getting good quality milk - using great milk to begin with, knowing how to texture it properly, and pouring it carefully into your espresso.
If you'd like to learn this information with visual examples, check out the video. Otherwise - feel free to read on.
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Using a Quality Milk
The first thing to consider when texturing milk is to use a high quality product. You've spent more because you enjoy quality, freshly roasted coffee. To add 90% cheap milk to your cup seems like a big shame! Full cream milk is the best to texture, but you can certainly texture skim as well as all of the alternate milks aswell. Buy your milk from a quality-focused dairy company, or when it comes to alternate milks - buy ones that are specifically designed for use with coffee. A number of alternate milks can react badly with the acidity in the coffee, so for alt milk drinkers, this is especially important!
Correctly Texturing Milk
There are two main things we need to do when texturing our milk - get a whirlpool going and adding air so we make that perfect velvety milk. The whirlpool is all about the positioning of the steam wand, as well as having the correct volume of milk in the jug you're using. If you're just making one regular sized cup of coffee, make sure you have a smaller 400mL Milk Jug so that you can have an appropriate volume of milk (half full in the jug!), without having lots of extra milk left over after pouring your coffee.
Sit the steam wand in the jug with the steam tip slightly submerged in the milk. Position the wand in the spout of the jug, and have the wand half way between the centre and the edge of the jug.
Turn on your steam wand, and you'll notice the whirlpool start straight away. Lower the jug so that the tip of the steam wand is now sitting on the surface of the milk. You'll hear a sucking sound, as air is added into your milk. Keep an eye on the increasing volume of milk in the jug, and once you've added about 1cm in volume, raise the jug so that the steam tip is back below the surface of the milk. From here, just keep the milk spinning until you hit your desired temperature (60-65°C).
Once you've hit your temperature, turn the steam off, sit your milk jug down, and give the steam wand a good wipe. Also purge some steam out of the wand to make sure there is no hot milk stuck up in the tip of the steam wand.
The last thing we need to do before we are ready to pour is to give the milk jug a knock or two on the bench to remove any big bubbles, and then a good, vigorous swirl. After this the steamed milk should look like wet paint and you're ready to go.
Pouring the Milk
The last part of of creating your milk coffee is pouring your milk into the espresso. Pour carefully from a medium height, and be careful not to break up the crema. Once the crema has been set with the frothy milk, you can start pouring slightly faster until the cup is full. Again, for an example - check out the video for extra guidance.
We are now half way through the 6-Week Home Barista Bootcamp, but there is still a lot to learn. If you have any questions from the lessons so far, please contact me as I'll use your questions for the last 'troubleshooting' episode. You can find me on social media, and that will also make it easier for you to find the next episodes!
If your coffee supply is running low and you haven't yet used the discount code, you can use code '6weekbootcamp' when you check out for 20% off your next coffee purchase. My blend Keyboard Warrior is designed specifically with milk in mind.
Of course if you're loving this content and you'd really like to support Coffeefusion, you could consider a Coffee Subscription. All subscriptions start with a Free Sample pack, so you can try a selection of my coffees first to decide which ones you enjoy most.
Excited for the next episode? Make sure you've learnt everything about texturing and then click for the next lesson.