When steaming (semi-skimmed) milk with the steam wand on my Espresso Machine I tend to end up with quite an even texture throughout. I always steam the milk until it reaches the 'steam zone' on my thermometer which is between 65 and 70 degrees Celsius. My technique for steaming the milk is to 'skim' the steam nozzle on the top of the milk so as not to create huge bubbles.

However, I only have this one technique for steaming milk, therefore I can't distinguish between say a cappuccino, flat white, or latte - which each require varying amounts of steamed and foamed milk.

1 Answer 1


You're on the right track for good foam by keeping the tip of the wand close to the surface. To end up with less foam, submerge the tip as the temperature rises and the hiss drops to a whisper; I usually dip down after the first 15 or 20 seconds or so for a latte, longer for a cappuccino.

When you hear milk "screaming" in coffee places, that's the sound of a submerged wand in cold milk. The result is milk that tastes flat and has little or no foam. As long as you keep the wand near the surface until the milk warms up and quiets, you can experiment with time and depth until you're getting the results you want.

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