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Brew Tip: Got Two Turntables and Microfoam

Nov 14, 2008 · how-to · Legacy
Brew Tip: Got Two Turntables and Microfoam

If you're looking to rock like a pro barista, you need to perfect the art of microfoam -- that glossy smooth steamed milk that makes latte art possible. It's really not that difficult to pull off once you know the step-by-step process:

  1. Keep your steaming pitcher in the refrigerator/chilled
  2. Start with icy cold milk (about 34F degrees)
  3. Begin steaming by getting the milk to spin rapidly clockwise, then work the surface of the milk for about 15 - 20 seconds in one of the following ways:
    • Standard Steam Wand: Bring the tip of the steam wand to the top, so that it just barely breaks the surface to suck in air and milk simultaneously
    • Panarello Steam Wand: Submerge the wand so that the top of the milk and the air intake slot or hole are even, allowing milk and air to be drawn in evenly -- if you submerged it above the air intake, you'll just steam the milk; if you submerge it well below the intake, you'll end up with fluffy, bubbly foam
  4. Plunge the steam wand all the way into the milk and then roll the milk for the remainder of the steam
  5. Temperature-wise, your milk should measure between 140F - 180F degrees -- if it's too cold, it will be chalky; if it's too hot, it will be scalded
  6. Tap the pitcher on the counter to settle the milk and force any air bubbles to the top
  7. Prior to pouring, roll the milk slightly around the pitcher to incorporate the foam and the milk. The milk should have a shiny, glassy smooth surface that is free of any bubbles
  8. Pour to make your favorite latte art
More visually inclined? Check out our video.

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