It's easy to make great milky coffees at home with a quality Italian espresso machine and all machines that I sell are capable of great steaming to give you that true home barista experience.
The latte is the most popular espresso-based milky coffee. Here is my latte workflow.
Part 1 - Steam your milk
Give the steam wand a quick squirt to remove residual water and get to dry steam.
Place the wand tip just below the milk surface and angle the wand so that you get a whirlpool during steaming.
Start steaming your milk.
From cold until lukewarm place the tip near the surface and allow a small amount of air to be sucked into the milk as it swirls.
From lukewarm to "uncomfortable to touch” the tip should be well below the surface so that the milk swirls vigorously and breaks down large air bubbles into smaller bubbles (microfoam). No new air should be injected at this stage.
Just before "uncomfortable to touch” stop steaming.
Remove the steam wand, wipe it clean, then give the wand a quick squirt.
Part 2 - Pour a heart
Swirl your milk in the jug and tap town to remove any large bubbles.
Swirl the espresso in the cup to spread the surface crema.
Angle your latte cup at 45 degrees.
Pour from up high into the deepest part of the cup to push the milk and microfoam beneath the surface crema.
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.