Steaming milk for the perfect latte


Last week we looked at how to create the perfect coffee shot at home! So now that you’re a whizz at the good old extraction, we move on to how to produce barista-quality and super-creamy milk on your machine at home. It can be tricky but we’re here to help with some insider tips and tricks you can play around with the next time you make a latte or cappuccino.

How to steam milk

1. Purge

Basically this means simply letting the excess water flow out of your steam wand so those pesky drops don’t end up in your milk.

2. Milk jug

Choose the right milk jug to suit the type of coffee you’re making. Ensure it’s not too big or you’ll waste precious milk. By having a few different sized jugs on hand will help with prevent wastage.

3. Milk quantity

Fill your jug of choice to about 1/3 full. Not too high, not too low, just right. Full fat milk will give you a nice creamy texture but if you’re not able to stomach cow’s milk, check out our post on 7 Milk alternatives for coffee to see which option is the best for you.

4. Stretch away!

Stretching is different to heating. It actually gives you that lovely creamy texture that makes a latte or capp so enjoyable. Here’s how to stretch your milk…

  • Make sure your steam wand is at a 70º-80º, keeping your jug as flat as can be.
  • Place the steam wand halfway between the centre and the edge.
  • Immediately turn on the steam.
  • Ease the wand up towards the surface of the milk. This allows a small amount of air to stretch your milk. It sounds a bit like a hiss. Note: Big bubbles are a no-no, so if this  starts happening, lower the wand slightly.

Here’s a slo-mo vid we’ve made to show you the whirlpool/circular motion you’re looking for…


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5. Heat your milk

When the milk reaches 40º celsius, it’s time to heat! You can tell when the milk is at this temp when the jug feels the same temperature as your hand. To heat the milk, submerge the steam wand until, maintaining a whirlpool-style action, until it reaches 60º-65º celsius. By now the jug will be really hot to touch.


6. Clean machine

Now it’s time to turn off the steam and pour your lovely creamy milk into your coffee shot. Don’t forget to wipe and purge your steam wand before embarking on the next coffee.

7. More help needed?

Ok, so if this has gone a little over your head, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Sacred Grounds Organic is running a Milk Texturing Coffee course next week. Contact us here if you’d like to attend! All these tips and more have come from our amazing trainers who know their coffee back-to-front!


Share your beautiful milk piccies with us! We’d love to see them.


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