After getting my milk steamer, it took me a long time to figure out how to use it correctly. It’s surprisingly difficult, but I finally figured out exactly how to make myself a perfect latte. I suppose it would be easier using an electric steamer instead of a stovetop, but I really don’t want a huge machine on my counter. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Fill the steamer and put it on the stove. Heating the water in the steamer will take more time than anything else, so it will help if you fill it with hot water.
- Prepare the espresso maker while the steamer is heating. Unless you have large units, you can probably put the maker and the steamer on the same burner. Make sure you put them near the edges so the handles aren’t over the heat!
- The espresso will probably finish first. Take it off and set it aside when done. Don’t worry, it will stay hot.
Steam your milk.
- Make sure you build up steam. If you don’t have enough steam, you won’t have enough pressure to properly froth the milk until its hot. It will also take a lot longer to heat the milk. You know you have built up enough pressure when steam begins to come out of the safety valve on the top of the unit. Don’t worry if steam leaks out of the wand a little bit.
- Use a lot of steam. If the milk backfills into the end of the wand, you won’t get a froth, although it will heat the milk. The steam valve has to be open wide enough to allow for the steam to completely fill the wand.
The milk heats up very fast when steamed correctly, and it builds up a huge head of froth. Be aware, and don’t overheat or spill.
- Pour the espresso into the cup.
- Pour the steamed milk into the cup, using a spoon to catch the froth. Once the cup is almost full, add the desired froth.
- Rinse out the frothing pitcher right away, and wipe as much milk off the wand as you can. It is really hard to clean milk once it cools, but it is ridiculously simple when it is hot.
- Enjoy your latte!
I should get a job making corporate coffee.