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Aug 18, 2012 04:42 AM

Tips for frothy cappuccino creaminess

My husband gave me an espresso/cappuccino maker. I don't drink coffee regularly, but will indulge on an occasional espresso or cappuccino. He on the other hand loves coffee and uses a French Press every morning for his own brew. So he's having fun with the new machine.

The problem is he hasn't mastered the art of steaming the milk. The froth is coming out too thin. He looked at a website Talk About Coffee:

He knows he needs to make some adjusments, like not frothing too much milk at a time. But he's not sure what else to do. But he is having fun playing with his... I mean my.... new toy.

Comments on Talk About Coffee are across the board as to what type of milk to use.... whole, skim, 2 %.... all have their proponents. Does that matter?

Do you have any tips for frothy cappuccino creaminess?


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  1. I've worked as a barista for a few years and what can I say, steaming your milk correctly takes practice. The places I have worked used 2% and occasionally skimmed or whole, getting the milk to foam ideally is more down to technique.

    Give your steam wand a quick blast before you put it in the milk, this gets rid of any water build up. Don't overfill the milk jug, then turn on the steam wand as soon as it enters the milk. You'll want to keep the wand near the edge of the jug and a bit below the surface of the milk, you also need to keep the milk rotating. You want to expand the milk by about 50%, and the bubbles need to be so tiny it makes a creamy froth.

    Hopefully this video can explain it better than me!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Musie

      2% makes easier foam, but whole milk is traditional and packs way more flavor.

      patience and practice.

      also bleed the wand to express water before putting it in the milk.

      1. re: Musie

        I have never been without an industrial espresso machine in my home.....many, many years.
        Your stainless pitcher MUST be very cold....I keep my empty ones in the freezer. My unused pitcher of milk or half-n-half I keep in the refrigerator.
        Turn the wand on and extract steam before placing it right below the surface of the milk or cream and keep the wand toward the edge of the pitcher, at a tilt.
        It should be a slow process, don't rush yourself, and if you start to see larger bubbles appear then you know you're going too fast or something's not quite right.
        Also, it's good to have a barista thermometer (hot beverage) inside the pitcher to show you the temperature at all times. There is a temperature margin that's perfect.
        Practice makes perfect :).

        1. Thanks for the tips and those links, it's going to take some practice!