How to Make a Latte with Latte Machine
How to make a latte?
In case if you don’t have one from those super gadgets who can make you latte, cappuccino or any other coffee beverage just with a push of button then it is really useful to read some advices about techniques how to make a latte. What is the main factor in the process of preparing latte? How to make a latte – fine and tasty? If your espresso machine can make you good espresso and it has almost steam wand then what else remains? Certainly – steaming milk.
How to steam milk?
If you want to find answer to the question how to make a latte then beforehand it is better to get to know how to steam milk. Steamed milk is the second ingredient after espresso which forms good latte.
That is very interesting that we can find a huge amount of complains in different latte machine reviews that steam wand don’t work appropriate. Besides, such statements can be found absolutely about all brands and all models of home latte machines or espresso makers with steam wands. There is no doubt that certain rate of these claims are really reasonable but in most cases these claims tell us only about some problems and lack of appropriate skills of steaming milk.
What do you need to steam milk with your latte machine?
There are just several things you need to prepare your latte (except your latte maker and espresso):
Frothing Pitcher – better stainless steel, at least 12oz;
Stainless steel frothing pitcher certainly is better because in the steaming process milk will heat up. You can find frothing pitchers in different sizes but 12oz will be enough. You can find frothing pitcher in price range from $8 till $20 but you can find some even about $50.
In case if preparing latte is important to you and you want to get the best result that would be better to get frothing thermometer. Especially at the beginning if you don’t have appropriate skills to operate with steam wand of your home latte machine and steam milk correctly. In this case frothing thermometer can make process easier. Price of good frothing thermometer is about $15.
You can use any kind of milk, any that you prefer. You can use whole milk, skimmed milk or soya milk and even rice milk. The main term have to be taken to account without exceptions – take cold milk, better from your fridge.
Different brands of soya milk will froth differently. Admittedly that rice milk most likely wouldn’t froth very much or better say – not so good as cow milk. The higher the fat content in the milk (cow milk) the denser the froth will be. Milk with too little fat content may not steam at all. Don’t try to re-use once steamed milk again. Taste of second time steamed milk wouldn’t be good and most likely that in result you will get burned milk.
Steaming milk with home latte machine
Preparations for steaming
Fill in the frothing pitcher cold milk. Try to remember that milk have to be cold, better from fridge. In steaming process milk will heat up. At the beginning fill pitcher for one third but not more than half with milk. During steaming process it will expand. When your latte machine is ready to do work for a few seconds run some steam to an empty cup or in drip tray if it’s possible. This allows you to empty condensed water from the system of steam wand.
Milk frothing tips
Insert spout of steam wand into the milk just below the surface. At the beginning it can take several times of trying while you will find the right position of the steam wand. However you have to low it enough to avoid splattering of milk. Keep spout high enough to allow create thick froth.
Move your pitcher very gently up and down. With this action you will create foam. During process additionally keep your eyes on thermometer. When temperature rises between 90 and 100 degrees (F) sink steam wand down toward the bottom of the pitcher. Continue to heat milk till 140 degrees (F) and turn of the steam wand and extract it from the milk. That is interesting that milk continues to heat till the 150 degrees (F). After steaming bang (lightly) the pitcher down onto the working surface. This allows breaking large bubbles because they are weaker than the small bubbles. Then slowly rotate pitcher. As a final point pour steamed milk into the cup with espresso.
Cleaning of steam wand
Don’t forget to clean up steam wand immediately after each use. That is easy and takes just a few seconds. Cleaning allows you to avoid build up of milk deposits. With rag wipe excess of milk off the steam wand. Steam jet is cleaned by running through a shot of steam.
Note! Opinions about the right position of spout differ. Some enthusiasts of latte maintain that better is to keep spout of steam wand at the beginning of steaming process near the bottom. More believable is that they have just found their own “way” of steaming. You can do the same!
Now you have answers to question – how to make a latte. If after all your efforts you are still not satisfied with quality of steamed milk and performance of your espresso machine’s steam wand then don’t forget about opportunity to use hand held milk frother. Maybe it is the best solution exactly for you. But from other side maybe to reach better result and create good and tasty latte with good steamed milk you only need to practice just a little bit more than others. Sometimes even if you have chosen from espresso machines best one exactly for your needs and desires you just have to get accustomed with your gadget.
Now when you know how to make a latte you can even start to experiment and find your own techniques and become awesome barista.
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