Coffee is without doubt one of the most popular drinks in the UK, with over 70 million cups being drunk each day in the UK and two thirds of these being purchased from coffee shops. But why spend upwards of £252 a year on takeaway coffee, when you can create the perfect cup at home.
In our previous post “5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Coffee” we looked at the health benefits of regularly drinking a latte, flat white or Americano. In this post, we look at how to make the perfect frothy milk for your coffee, using either a milk wand or a battery operated milk frother.
Many coffee machines suitable for domestic use, as well as those used in the corporate coffee shops, come with a built in milk wand.
Whilst coffee wands are great for allowing you to create the frothy milk we expect when buying a coffee, mastering how to use the wand can be difficult. It requires a lot of patience and practice, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to enjoy perfect coffee at home all the time.
Before you can begin using your milk wand, you need to make sure you have the correct accessories to hand – and these are important to helping you achieve the perfect consistency of frothy milk.
- Steel Jug – the milk jug needs to be able to withstand the heat which the milk will be put under, whilst being wide enough to hold the amount of milk required. As you’ll notice, all coffee shops – from independent ones to chains – use a steel jug when heating milk.
- Milk Thermometer – during the foaming process it’s important not to overheat the milk. If the temperature exceeds 70⁰C proteins in the milk will start to break down, releasing sugars which will change the taste of your milk and ultimately your coffee.Ideally, the milk should be heated at a temperature between 65⁰C and 70⁰C – and using a milk thermometer will help you achieve this temperature. [source: http://www.iow-espresso.co.uk/knowledgebase-item.aspx?id=7]
With the right equipment to hand, you can begin frothing your milk, and to help you get the right consistency, we recommend you follow the following steps…
- Fill your cold stainless steel jug one-third full with cold milk
- Purge the steam for 5 seconds, this will help to remove any standing water left in the arm of your wand and help to build up pressure
- Position the tip of your steam want into the milk, near the bottom of the jug – this will help prevent milk from spitting out
- Open the steam
- Immediately move the tip of your steam wand to the surface of the milk, as it will need air to produce the froth. This is the hardest stage of frothing your milk, move it too close to the surface and milk will spit everywhere, keep it too far in the milk and you won’t achieve a froth.
- As the froth begins to expand, your milk will rise. At this point you’ll need to lower the jug to ensure the tip of the wand remains close to the surface of your milk so it can continue to draw air and froth the liquid.
- With your desired amount of froth achieved, slowly and smoothly move the tip of the steam wand into the milk and towards the bottom of the jug. Doing this will distribute the froth through the milk.
- Tap the jug on a hard surface (such as your worktop) to break up any large bubbles, and swirl the jug in a circular motion to encourage a silky finish and texture.
Following these 8 tips should give you the perfect foamy milk for your lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites, every time – and once you’ve mastered the art of creating the perfect milk for your coffee, why not turn your hand to some latte art?
Battery Powered Milk Frother:
Using a battery powered milk frother, such as Bodum’s Schiuma Milk Frother, the process of creating the perfect, silky milk you’ve came to know and love with your lattes and cappuccinos has never been easier.
Simply dip the Schiuma (or your battery operated milk frother of choice) into your milk, press the on button and leave it to work its magic, until the foam rises to your preferred level of thickness. Once this has been achieved, pour it into your espresso shot, and enjoy your coffee.
Creating frothy milk for your coffee is half the way to getting the perfect cup at home, and by following the advice outlined above there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the perfect cup at home, day or night.
Do you know a coffee aficionado who could benefit from this post? Share it with them via your Twitter or Facebook – and help them create the perfect cup of coffee for your next visit.