Whether you have a simple or advanced espresso machine these tips will go along way in showing you how to steam in. If you have ever tried it at home you already know it is not an easy task. All you need is a few insights to be an expert.
Making an espresso is easy compared to steaming milk since the latter involves different, less-developed senses and also happens very fast.
First, make sure your machine is in a position to create a steam pressure of between 1 and 1.5bars which is ideal for making a microfoam nirvana. Check the operating manual before you purchase a new unit or the gauge of your equipment if you already have one. If it can generate more pressure the better since the steam pressure reduces when you make shot of coffee because water temperature decreases.
Note, milk is a food and addition of steam just like in other foods changes its nutritional properties considerably. The proteins in the milk reacts and their form change when subjected to heat. What makes it to form is the reaction of the proteins with air. In the light of this nature of milk, you are advised not to steam the milk twice or mix the steamed milk with cold milk and steam it again. Every time, use fresh, cold milk and always steam just what you need at that particular time.
Espresso machine produce a frightening sound especially when you are close. Do not fear if you are to get the best results. Also, remember you cannot perfect at your first instance, you have to keep on trying.
Milk Steaming Tips
- Take milk directly from the fridge and put in a cool jug.
- Put appropriate amount of milk depending on the volume of beverage you want to make.
- Place steam wand just above drip tray and allow steam to release water. Then put the wand in the milk jug a few inch below the surface.
- Turn on the steam full blast with your strong hand, lower the jug until the steam wand tip is just below the milk surface. At this point you should hear a slight hissing sound as air is being introduced into the milk. Avoid splattering of milk by making sure the tip is low enough. Also it should be high enough in order to produce fine textured milk. Ensure the steam wand is just off the center for the formation of a whirlpool. If this does not happen tilt the jug at an angle of 45-degrees. This will result in the steam at the top creating fine-textured milk.
- Hold the jug with your hand, it is no longer cold no warm. Its temperature is or about same with that of that hand. Move the jug down slowly as the milk expands while ensuring the hissing sound is maintained. Repeat the process until you have the required amount of fine-textured milk.
- When you have the desired quantity of milk, lower the steam wand until such a point that the hissing sound ceases. Although you have added enough air for good foaming, you are not yet over with heating. That is why you lower the wand to heat the milk.
- When the temperature of the milk reaches 60 degrees C, the jug is too hot to touch, switch off the steam and remove the steam band. Allow the machine to stop vibrating to avoid spraying foam on your face. Note, the temperature continues rising to 70 degrees C. At this juncture you are assured of maximum sweetness. To keep your steam wand clean, release a little steam to clear the milk gunk. Immediate cleaning is important for good hygiene.
- Start circulating the milk in the jug slowly to keep your milk rolling. This ensures the fine-textured milk and the rest of the milk remain combined. The large bubbles on the visible bubbles which are on the surface also disappear.
- Once the froth and the milk combine you have your espresso. The final beverage will be rich in cream and have the best flavor.
Armed with these tips you can invite your friends to your home to enjoy an espresso. You will even have courage to teach them and showcase your great skills.