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A step by step guide on how to make perfect barista milk.

You will need

  • Espresso machine set up
  • Milk pitcher
  • Cold, full fat milk
  • Cup
  • Cloth
  1. Decide upon which size milk pitcher you are going to use, then fill the pitcher with cold full-fat milk to just below the bottom of the nozzle/ spout. If you are using a 12oz pitcher this will be about 9oz of milk. This will give you room to spin and stretch the milk.
  2. Purge your steam arm over the drip tray and ensure that it is clean by giving it a wipe down with the cloth.
  3. Place the steam arm into the milk pitcher so that only the tip is submerged. You want to place the steam arm slightly off center in the pitcher as this will help you to spin the milk.
  4. Turn on the steam to full power and lower the pitcher until the steam arm is almost at the surface of the milk. At this point, you are adding the air that will determine how much foam you will create. For example, if you are making milk for a cappuccino you will need to add more air than you wold for a flat white. As you add the air you will hear a slurping sound.
  5. Once you have added the desired amount of air, preferably before the milk is warm, you want to raise the jug back up so that the tip of the steam arm is fully submerged within the milk. Angle the jug so that the steam arm is set to one side of the jug. This will force the milk to start spinning and create a vortex in the centre of the jug. This spinning will break down the bubbles and create the micro-foam we are looking for. By this stage, the process should be relatively quiet.
  6. While continuing to heat the milk, carefully place your hand at the bottom of the pitcher. This will tell you when the milk is at the right temperature. When the jug becomes uncomfortable to touch remove your hand and continue to steam for a further 3 -5 seconds. You can also us a thermometer and stop at 62 degrees. However, if you are using a thermometer make sure you calibrate it a least once a week as they can often give you an inaccurate temperature reading.
  7. Once the milk is at the correct temperature turn off the steam arm and put down the milk pitcher.
  8. Wipe the steam arm clean with your cloth and purge the steam arm to remove any milk left inside it.
  9. Pick up the milk pitcher and gently tap the bottom to remove any large bubbles that may be remaining on the surface. After taping swirl the milk to bring all the foam together.
  10. The milk should now be completely flat and have an almost metallic shine to it. No big bubbles should be visible.
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