Enjoying a Latte at Home (Part 2)

Since people have been changing their dining and working habits this year, we know that lots of our customers have been learning to enhance their at-home coffee routines. In Enjoying a Latte at Home Part 1 we taught you how to make a espresso substitute right on the stovetop with a moka pot. Once you have some strong brewed coffee, you need some sweet and creamy steamed milk to add to it. I’ll show you a few ways to steam milk at home and how to combine them into your favorite milk-based coffee drink. We encourage our customers to use plant-based milks, but just note that they may take a bit more care as some steam better than others. Let’s jump into some ways you can get steamed and foamy milk at home.

One of my favorite ways to create a creamy textured milk for lattes at home is with a French Press. Usually this full immersion method is used to make delicious heavy bodied coffee, but you can also use the press to foam warmed milk. Start by heating milk on the stove until it reaches about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour warmed milk into the bottom of a clean and empty French press, and pump the screen up and down a few times to add a silky microfoam texture. If you continue to pump, it will create more foam – so keep that in mind. Pour or spoon the warm and foamy milk onto your favorite coffee along with whatever flavorings you like.

If you want a more hands-off approach, there are plenty of milk warmer and frother combos on the market. I like this one from Bodum because it has a temperature control that protects your milk from scalding. You can make hot foam for your coffee beverages and even cold foam if you’re more of an iced coffee drinker.

Finally, if you want to steam milk with actual steam pressure, I recommend a Bellman Stovetop Milk Steamer. This can be a little intimidating because it works with steam pressure, but it is absolutely the closest that you can get to a truly café-quality steamed milk. If you like practicing your latte art and being super hands-on, this is the method for you. You fill the reservoir up with water and heat on the stove until steam has built up, then turn the nozzle to introduce steam into your pitcher of milk. By moving the pitcher and keeping the tip of the steam wand at the surface of the milk, you can add a foam while the steam adds heat. Once the pitcher is hot to the touch, or around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, close the valve and remove the Bellman from the stovetop to cool.

Steamed milk is a wonderful compliment to coffee and is a great way to elevate your at-home creations. You can add steamed milk and foam to your hot coffee for a café au lait, or add a lot of foam to make something that more resembles a cappuccino. Experiment with flavors too! Adding flavored syrups, spices and different sweeteners can be a fun way to design your new favorite drink. Even something as simple as steamed milk, maple syrup and cinnamon can transform your regular daily coffee into a French Toast Latte.

– Christelle, Head Coffee Trainer/Technician