How to Texture Milk for the Perfect Coffee

Brew guides

Milk texturing is one of the most challenging things to learn as a new barista. Not only is it technically complex, but it involves some intimidating equipment.

Getting comfortable in front of the steam wand may seem tough, but it is possible.

Let Gavin teach you how to create the perfect textured milk in eleven easy steps.

Step 1: Select and Measure Milk

Before you learn how to texture milk, you first need to select which milk you like. Some alternative milk can be harder to texture, which is why it’s best to learn on dairy milk if possible. Once you’ve selected which milk, pour it into a cold, clean jug.

Step 2: Purge the Wand

Always purge your steam wand and wipe it with a damp cloth to get rid of condensation before you use it.

Step 3: Angle the Steam Wand

Position the steam wand around 20-30 degrees towards you. Make sure that just the tip of the wand sits in the milk. Then, tilt the jug to the side.

Step 4: Be aware of the Temperature

Hold the jug to the side and start steaming. You’ll be able to feel it heating up.

Step 5: Check for Aeration and Texturing 

Perfectly textured milk will be well-aerated, or have enough air in it, and textured.

Step 6: Adjust the Jug Position

When the jug starts to heat up to approximately 37°C, it’s time to move from aerating to texturing. Lift the jug about 1cm so that the wand sits deeper in the milk to create the vortex you need.

Step 7: Pay Attention to the Temperature

The milk will continue to heat up. Start to tap the side of the jug to make sure you’re aware of the temperature.

Step 8: Stop Steaming

When the jug is too hot to tap, turn the steam wand off immediately. 

Step 9: Put the Jug Down

Place your milk jug on the counter, tap it and swirl the milk to remove any overly large bubbles. Your milk should be smooth and have a sheen to it. 

Step 10: Pour Your Milk

Now, you’re ready to show off your milk-making skills and pour that coffee of yours!

Step 11: Clean the Steam Wand

Using your cloth, hold the steam wand and wipe it clean. 

Once you’ve mastered the perfect milk, you’ll be ready to start your latte art journey.

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