Home Barista Workflow - Milk

It's easy to make great milky coffees at home with an Italian coffee machine and all machines that I sell are capable of delivering powerful steam.

The latte is the most popular espresso-based milky coffee, followed closely by the piccolo latte and the flat white. Some even enjoy an old school cappuccino. The latte is the tricky one so I have included a workflow below.

Part 1 - Steam your milk

  1. Give the steam wand a quick squirt to remove residual water and get to dry steam.  

  2. Place the wand tip just below the milk surface and angle the wand so that you get a whirlpool during steaming. 

  3. Start steaming your milk.  

    • From cold until lukewarm the tip should be near the surface to allow a small amount of air to be sucked into the milk.

    • From lukewarm to "uncomfortable to touch” the tip should be below the surface to stop any new air from being sucked into the milk. Keep the milk swirling to break down the air bubbles into very small bubbles (microfoam).

    • Just before "uncomfortable to touch” stop steaming. 

  4. Remove the steam wand, wipe the tip clean, then give the wand a quick squirt. 

Part 2 - Pour a heart

  1. Swirl your milk in the jug and tap town to remove any large bubbles. 

  2. Swirl the espresso in the cup to spread the surface crema.

  3. Angle your latte cup at 45 degrees.

  4. Pour from up high into the deepest part of the cup to push the milk and microfoam beneath the surface crema. 

  5. Towards the end of the pour, drop the jug down low and allow the microfoam to flow across the surface. The final step is to lift the jug up high again and cut through the center.

To practice the above without wasting milk I recommend adding a few drops of dish washing detergent to water. Steam this and you will get a good simulation of milk. Just don’t drink it unless you like soapy notes ;)

Getting great tasting milky coffees is easy but creating latte art is a different story. Latte art takes practice, practice & more practice. It's tricky, but when you get the hang of it and pour your first heart you will be rapt. 

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