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Brewed Coffee Guide


How to Steam Milk?

March 21, 2022 | Kurt Parker

steamed milk

Learning how to steam milk can make or break a café or coffee shop. Consumers today are more aware of what it takes to make delicious drinks. And one little detail could mean the difference between going under or staying in business.

In this article, we will elaborate the proper way to steam milk at home.

What’s in the Article:

Steaming milk is a necessary part of making coffee drinks. And as any coffee professional will tell you, the quality of your steamed milk can make or break your drink. While it’s relatively easy to steam milk correctly, many people still have difficulty with it. So we’ve made this guide to help you achieve that delicious smooth foamed milk. This is crucial in making latte too!

Let’s start.

What is Steamed milk?

steamed milk - milk jug

A type of milk that is heated until it forms a soft, white foam. Steamed milk is a layer of hot, dense milk foam on the surface of a beverage. It can be found in coffee and tea beverages as well as produce. You’ll most commonly find steamed milk in cappuccinos and lattes. The steamed layer is created by steaming the milk which is a warm liquid underneath the beverage.

Steaming vs Frothing

Did you know there was a difference between steaming and frothing? In this section, we’ll look at the difference between steaming vs frothing and reveal which method can actually make you foamier milk.

When steaming, the milk is heated just enough to produce steam. This means that it doesn’t reach a boiling point, and the milk’s fats don’t undergo any kind of significant change. Steaming is a great way to heat up your milk without burning it or changing its flavor.

Frothing, on the other hand, involves heating the milk to a boiling point. This causes the milk’s fats to change significantly, which gives it a thicker texture and a richer flavor. Frothing is a better option if you want to make foamed milk or lattes.

Frothing milk is the process of aerating, foaming, and emulsifying whole milk. The result is a smooth and creamy texture resulting in an aesthetic of gel latte art – not to mention deliciousness. You can use steam to froth milk, or you can use a separate steam wand. The steaming function on a latte machine will help you heat up the milk faster and more evenly. While using a steam wand enables you to control the microfoam better.

The steaming brewing method allows for greater versatility. With a richer choice of flavors, when compared to the frothing method. If you’re looking for an alternative to coffee and tea shops, the best way to prepare a number of drinks is with a steamer.

How to Steam Milk Using Espresso Machine?

heat milk in espresso machine

When you are looking to make latte art, one of the most important things is the temperature and texture of your steamed milk. If it is too cold, your espresso will not release enough microfoam when you inject it into the milk. If it is too hot, you can end up taking all the air out of your microfoam making a super foamy milkshake instead of a nice rich latte. It’s easy to steam milk using an espresso machine.

Fill the Pitcher with Milk

froth milk

If you have an espresso maker with a steaming wand, you can use it to steam milk. Fill the pitcher with cold milk and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that it will be cold. This will help to prevent the milk from boiling over. Remove the milk from the fridge and place it in the pitcher of the espresso maker.

Stretching the Milk

soy milk

Attach the steaming wand to the pitcher and turn it on. The wand will heat up and start to produce steam. The hissing sound you hear when you pour hot milk through an espresso machine comes from the air being pulled into the milk. Allow the steam wand to remain in this spot for as little as five seconds. This is how long it should take to generate enough foam for your cappuccino.

Whirlpool Effect

frothed milk

Slowly move the wand up and down along the side of the pitcher to create a whirlpool effect. The milk expanded as the steam heated up. Keep moving the wand until the milk is hot and has a foamy appearance, but there are no visible bubbles. Finish heating and stirring until it reaches the desired creamy texture.

Polishing and Resting

frothy milk

Turn off the wand and use a spoon to scoop out any froth that has built up at the top of the pitcher. This will prevent your drink from having a layer of foam on top. It should look creamy and smooth like melted ice cream. Remove the pitcher from the machine and immediately begin steaming more milk for your drink.

Pour Milk

 frothing milk

In the pour, there are two phases. In the first phase, most of the foam is on top. When you pour in your first shot of espresso, aim it to hit the bottom of the cup and then go straight back up. This will ensure that both the espresso’s flavor and its creamy milk are incorporated evenly into your drink. The second phase blended on top of a full-bodied microfoam base, this microfoam creates latte art.

How to Steam Milk Without Steam Wand?

froth milk air bubbles

The foam makes the drink more appealing and tastes more delicious. There are many ways to create foam. Some people use a steam wand. Some people do not like to pour the hot milk onto a steam wand because it contains metal and can damage your cup. Therefore, how to steam milk without a steam wand?

We will go through the basics of steaming milk without a steam wand and I promise it won’t be as difficult as you think. While the process is straightforward, making good milk foam requires practice and patience.

Automatic Milk Frother

There are many ways to steam milk, and I’ve looked at a lot of them. While there are plenty of DIY options, getting one that works as well as a steam wand can be difficult. Luckily, there’s the Automatic Milk Frother. It’s a simple device that makes steaming milk easy without all the stress and anxiety.

A milk frother is a kitchen gadget used to create foam from milk. It is a handheld device with a cylindrical barrel and a plunger. The barrel is filled with milk and the plunger is inserted into the barrel and pushed down to create foam. The foam is then scooped out of the barrel and put into a cup or glass.

Handheld Frother

Milk has been one of the fundamental ingredients in coffee. Because it is so important, steam milk to make excellent frothy milk for latte should never be skipped. Nowadays, a handheld milk frother is a great gadget to fulfill your demand about how to steam milk. This handy little tool will help you make delicious foamy milk for anything from a Latte to a steamy Cappuccino.

French Press

For those of us who own a French press, we know there are many different methods of making coffee and tea. One of them is steaming the milk. When you’ve preheated your milk, pour it into your French press and push down the plunger. Then, pull it up once. And again. And again. Repeat this process about 10 times until the milk has doubled in volume and a microfoam has formed.


Stovetop steaming is a simple and inexpensive way to produce great milk foam. Heat the mixture gently and whisk it rapidly using a balloon whisk until it has a frothy consistency.


You can either put the milk into a mason jar and cover it with a lid. After shaking it vigorously, you can heat it in the microwave. Or you can heat the milk first. Then use the pulling technique where you pour the mixture from one jar to the other one. Until you reach the consistency of the froth.

Best Kind of Milk to Steam

whole milk

There are many different types of milk that can be steamed for coffee. But the best kind is probably cold whole milk. Low-fat and skim milk tend to produce a less creamy and flavorful latte than whole milk. You can get the best results when using whole milk, but don’t feel that you have to use it 100% of the time.

Learning how to steam milk is an important step in becoming a skilled barista. Not all kinds of milk are the same, and you can use this knowledge to create the perfect cup of coffee. The best type of milk to steam for coffee is first cold whole milk. While it is more costly than the other types listed. It is the most delicious and creamy option that will make steamed milk with foam on top truly stand out!


skim milk

However, if you want a more controlled steaming process, the powerful steam wand of an espresso maker is the easiest and most effective way to go. And, with the right combination of temperature, agitation, and time, you can get a microfoam that rivals what any barista can make.

We hope that this tutorial about how to steam milk has been helpful. As you can see, there are several ways to steam milk, each offering its own benefits and disadvantages. Nonetheless, most methods have a few key things in common. Such as the use of a mister to distribute the steam evenly throughout the milk. And the ability to change settings depending on how heavily or lightly you want to foam the milk.

We hope you’ll find that steaming your milk will add a more professional finish to any coffee drink. And a little bit more comfort and consistency to your day, too.

Find more resources to gain knowledge on coffee brewing in our blogs.