Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Instrunctional Video on Steaming Milk

Found a great step by step video on steaming milk. I was thinking about it after listening to the conversation in the wine/coffee bar I wrote about on Thursday and thought I would post something that was actually informative on the subject. I thought about writing a long winded article on the step by step instructions, but learning to steam milk is really a visual process (or maybe I’m just being lazy).

Okay I won’t be completely lazy and offer some general advice for learning to steam milk for cappuccinos and lattes (you steam the milk for cappuccinos and lattes the same, the difference is in how you pour it.)

The first step when learning to steam milk is to go out and by a couple of gallons of milk. Your going to waste a lot of milk in the beginning. I would suggest starting with skim milk to build your confidence and move up to whole milk when you are comfortable with the milk steaming process, plus skim is usually cheaper. When you steam milk a chemical process takes place that the fat in milk plays an integral part in. This is why whole milk is an infinitely richer when steamed but also harder to steam properly.

Okay so you have your milk. At this point I am going to let the video do most of the explaining since I think it covers all the steps pretty well. I will add a couple notes first, though. The demonstrator does not use a thermometer. It is possible after steaming lots of milk to determine when to stop by the sound the milk makes, but in the beginning stick to using a thermometer to avoid burning your milk. The other note and this is personal preference is that I felt the demonstrator emphasized the tapping a little too much. It is helpful to knock the pitcher against the counter a couple of times, but doing this too much or too hard can have an adverse effect on your steamed milk.

This video is geared a little more towards training a professional barista, but I think it is just as informative for the home barista

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