Australia loves milk coffee! Even in our KoffeeWorks – where we attract the most discerning coffee drinkers – Flat Whites, Lattes and Cappuccinos make up 90% of the orders going through our cafe tills. It’s important then when we make our milk coffees, we are able to texture silky milk, if we are going to pour it into 90% of the delicious espresso shots we produce. Is your milk game not quite up to scratch? Never fear. We are here to break it down, step by step.
- Start with fresh, cold milk. It’s going to be easiest to work with full cream milk, but it’s possible to work with skim as well as the many alternative milks too. Just remember when it comes to the alternative milks – try and find ones specifically designed to work with coffee, otherwise they can react with the acidity in the coffee and create a less than pleasant drinking experience.
- Think about the coffees you’re making, and how much milk you’ll need in your jug to make them. Ideally when you finish pouring your coffees, you should have just a little bit of milk left in your jug. This way you can happily rinse that milk out, and start fresh again for the next coffee. If you steam too much milk for the coffees you have to make – you may then be left wanting to reuse the milk, or at the least be worried about the milk you’re wasting. It’s also best to have a couple of different size milk jugs – as you need to fill the jug to the bottom of the jug’s spout to get a nice whirlpool going.
- Next to think about is the type of coffees you’re making. Are you making flat whites? Cappuccinos? Think about the desired amount of microfoam for these coffees, and make a mental note of how much air you’ll need to add to your milk to make these drinks. For example, if you have two flat whites to make, with about 0.5cm of micro foam in each, you’ll need to make sure that your finished textured milk has at least 1-1.5cm of additional volume – otherwise there’s no way you’ll be able to pour the coffees you have to make.
- When it comes to the actual steaming – get the whirlpool going by angling your steam wand on a 45° angle, half way between the centre and edge of the jug. Move the steam wand tip to the top of the milk to add air, and drop back below the surface when the desired foam level is reached.
- In terms of your milk temperature, 65°C is generally accepted as the standard temperature for milk coffees. At this temperature, the coffee can be enjoyed over several minutes without getting too cold, but you can take a sip of the coffee straight away. The easiest way to accurately measure the temperature is with a milk thermometer. However, seasoned baristas may use their fingertips to test the temperature of the bottom of the milk jug. When it feels too hot to touch for more than a second at time, you should be fairly close to your desired 65°C temperature.
Hopefully these tips have helped you get nice, silky textured milk with your coffee machine. Bear in mind that your home machine might not have the same steam capacity as a commercial machine – so it might be a bit harder to get really silky milk. However, if you follow the tips above you will get the best quality milk with your equipment.
If you live near one of our stores – you can book in to our Barista Induction course to get some practical experience texturing milk. Read more about our locations here.