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Cappuccino Foam

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What's the best way to get the best foam? I have a machine and I think it's 15 pumps/minute (or second...can't remember now) and I usually use fat free milk. Am I doing it right? I have a thermometer, and it does get foam, it just doesn't stay that way.

The foam I get from Starbucks or Coffee Bean seems to last for hours...any tips?

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  1. you can check out the coffee geek website http://www.coffeegeek.com for lots of coffee (and foaming) related tips.

    technique has a lot to do with it, but i'm not sure how the non-fat milk works... i've always used 2% and had no problems with tiny bubbles sticking around.

    good luck!

    1. Skim milk actually foams better than higher fat milk, apparently (I think I may have read this on coffeegeek.com or wholelottalatte.com). The trick to getting really good, dense foam that lasts is to start by putting the tip of the steamer just barely under the surface of the milk, off to the side of the milk container. The action of the steamer should swirl the milk around in the container. And if you can pull the slightest bit of air in with the tip (i.e., it is almost, but not quite submerged), you will get that lovely microfoam that lasts and lasts. Once you have the foam you want, then you can plunge the whole wand in to heat the milk. Cold milk foams better than warm milk, so always heat the milk after foaming. If you check around on coffeegeek or wholelottalatte, I believe there is a video demo that shows you the technique. It's how I finally mastered foaming. G'luck!

      Oops... just realized that I wrote the wrong web site. It's www.wholelattelove.com. Sorry!

      2 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        This is exactly what I do, after watching and reading the tutorials on coffeegeek.com. After you try a few times, you'll learn to listen for the right whooshing sound that means the milk's being steamed while air's still being pulled in.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I worked for Starbucks for 6 years--this is the way we did it. If it's a home espresso maker, take off the rubber tip--it makes horrible foam and simply gets messy. Just use the metal part. The milk will make a sucking sound when it's being properly foamed. If it's making more of a whirring sound you have the steam wand in too far.