What is the difference between frothing or steaming milk? – Life Savvy
If you’re new to making espresso or other coffee-based drinks, words like “microfoam,” “foam,” and “steam” can be a little confusing. If you like hot, frothy coffee drinks but find the learning curve a bit steep, we can help. The first thing you need to know is the difference between frothed and steamed milk.
Frothed milk is indeed different from steamed milk, but we’ll show you what you need to make both! We’ll also discuss which types of milk work best for making both delicious upgrades to your morning brew.
What is frothed milk?
To froth milk, aerate it with a frother or steam pipe. The method you choose will give different results, but both will yield a much better drink than a regular cup of coffee.
Foam is one of the few essential components of luxury espresso drinks, such as cappuccinos and caffe lattes. Fortunately, making frothed milk at home is fairly easy and doesn’t technically require heat unless you’re making a hot drink.
You can use a relatively cheap tool, like this portable milk frother. It quickly and easily creates small bubbles that create a lighter texture with more volume. However, if you do use this, you have to heat your milk separately for hot drinks.
For an all-in-one gadget that froths and heats your milk, go for something like the Breville milk frother. The frothing jug allows you to adjust the temperature with induction heating, and it has a frothing disc for all your frothy desires.
What is steamed milk?
As you might have guessed, you make steamed milk by exposing it when it’s cold to steam. This heats it up and creates a silky, fine foam called “microfoam”.
You immediately notice the difference between foam and microfoam. Microfoam has tiny air bubbles that almost look like thickened, rich milk, rather than frothy or airy milk.
The texture of steamed milk is also velvety and heavier than the airy froth of frothed milk. If you don’t have a fancy espresso machine, you can make steamed milk instead using a steam wand on the stovetop.
This one portable machine steams milk quickly. Simply add water and then use the steam wand to heat and froth the milk for all your delicious coffee needs. It helps to have a designated steaming canalso to prevent the milk from burning.
A reliable temperature to steam your milk at home is between 145-155 degrees Fahrenheit. Milk proteins start to break down around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, causing your milk to burn or burn.
Collecting multiple tools over time is a good way to eventually collect everything you need to make a great brew in the morning. However, if you prefer (and you have the counter space), you can buy an all-in-one espresso machine.
The Breville Barista Express is equipped with a steam nozzle with which you can froth milk (after some practice). The integrated conical grinder and precise espresso extraction deliver the silkiest espresso shots, perfect for luxury coffee drinks.
Like any new hobby or skill, making espresso based drinks takes time and practice. But hopefully we’ve cleared up some of the confusion. After you’ve frothed and steamed, it’s time to make the perfect latte.