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How to foam milk for coffee .
Foaming milk for your cappuccino or latte is pretty easy in theory.
Often people are trying too hard to achieve the best results, it should be a straight forward affair, but it is one that usually requires practice to get right.
What you are looking to do is basically stretch the milk, that is create more volume from the amount of milk that you start off with in the jug, in order to create the foam, don't concentrate too much on the stretching element though, as you'll end up with stiff foam on the top and milk at the bottom, you want to achieve a foamy milk texture more or less throughout the jug.
You need to start off with the freshest milk you can find, when in the supermarket or the shop, ignore the cartons at the front of the shelf and delve towards the back.
This is where the freshest milk can be found, so make sure you have the longest used by date on offer, anything less than 3 days and you should try another shop.
When you heat the milk in the jug you separate the fat from the protein and once this has occurred you are unable to produce any more foam from that point onwards, that is why a fresh milk supply is so important.
Milk that has been partially frozen in transit will not foam so if you are a commercial coffee outlet that has milk delivered by a supplier, that may be why, in which case you should call the supplier and demand a free replacement.
Whether you use semi skimmed or full fat milk is down to you, we prefer semi skimmed as do most of our customers, so this may be a good place to start.
Milk should be foamed at a temperature of no higher than 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature is between 140 and 160 degrees.
The best way to measure the temperature is to use a Motta milk thermometer which is in our online shop.
The milk thermometer simply clips onto the edge of the jug and it is easy to see where you are going by keeping an eye on the fog free dial.
A good way to use this thermometer is to start turning the steam off when it goes just past 130 degrees, that way you rarely go above the 140 degree mark which is where we think the best results are gained.
Milk foaming procedure
Fill a 0.6 or a 1 Litre jug to just under where the bottom of the spout starts inside.
Now aim the bottom of the steam wand towards the drip tray of the machine and give it a 3 second blast, this gets rid of all the condensation that builds up inside when not in use.
Rest the edge of the steam wand against the inner edge of the milk jug, placing the tip
just below the surface of the milk.
Turn the steam wand using a 180 degree turn, if you get a whistling sound your wand is too deep in the milk, if you get an airy bubbling sound, it is too high.
What you want is a smooth sound with the odd sound from time to time that sounds like a Swan Vesta match being struck against the side of the match box.
When you have it right you will see the milk swirling in the jug, rolling in a circular motion
You need to lower the jug ever so slightly now and then to ensure that the tip of the steam wand is sat just under the surface at all times, whilst the milk is rising in height and volume.
Once the thermometer has reached 130 degrees start turning the steam knob anti clockwise and pull the amount of steam going into the milk to a gradual stop.
Now you should have nice foamy milk, if you don't read the procedure again and try again, it can take some time to grasp the technique, so be patient and you will get there in the end.