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How to make perfect milk foam

Recently purchased your very own espresso machine? Tried using the steam wand to froth your milk, but all you get is thin foam? You’re not alone! Making thick, creamy milk foam is a well-kept secret among baristas. But with a little practice, you can soon be frothing milk to perfection.

Choosing the right type of milk – a must!

Although 1% milk is easier to froth, the quality of the foam will be inferior to that of 3.25% milk. We therefore recommend that you practice with 1% milk and then move on to 3.25% when you’re more experienced.

For plant milk enthusiasts, almond and soy are the most popular choices and make a very good alternative. However, this type of milk doesn’t froth as well as cow’s milk and the foam will not hold as long. When foaming plant milk, we recommend that for best results you use a non-light type or the kind that baristas use.

In addition to the right tools and technique, you’ll also need to know the ideal temperatures and learn how to handle the steam wand.

9 steps to make perfect milk foam:

  • Before starting, it is VERY IMPORTANT to bleed out the water in the steam wand. Water in the valve will dilute your milk and prevent it from foaming.
  • Use a good pitcher, preferably one made of stainless steel. A good quality pitcher with a rounded bottom allows the milk to move around and helps create foam.
  • Make sure the pitcher is clean, cold and dry. Tip: keep your pitcher in the freezer to ensure it’s always perfectly cold.
  • Use very cold milk (if your milk has been on the counter for more than 30 minutes, you’ll get disappointing results).
  • Slightly heat your milk before frothing it by submerging the steam wand in the milk until it reaches approximately 60°C. You can use a milk thermometer or a pitcher with an integrated thermometer indicator. Tip: you must be able to hold the pitcher without burning yourself. Overheated milk prevents the formation of creamy foam.
  • When the milk is at optimal temperature, submerge the steam nozzle in the milk, staying close to the surface, and slowly move the pitcher up and down, allowing air to enter the milk. This is the most important step in successfully foaming your milk. Froth the milk until it has doubled in size. Then plunge the steam nozzle to the bottom of the pitcher to distribute the foam in the milk.
  • Gently tap the pitcher 2 to 3 times on the counter to remove excess air and to make the foam more compact.
  • Clean the steam wand with a damp cloth and bleed out the water again.

You now have the perfect foam to top off your delicious cup of coffee!

Visit a Centre du Rasoir store or centredurasoir.com to find more tips and all the accessories you need to bring out your inner barista!

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