Whether you’re on a budget or you don’t have any coffee shop nearby, you can make a cup of delicious latte at home. The trick is to learn how to steam milk for a latte.
With a little bit of practice and patience, you can learn how to duplicate different types of latte from famous coffee shops.
If you think it’s too complicated to make a latte at home without an espresso machine, keep reading.
You will find out how to steam milk for a latte at home in 3 different yet simple ways.
Does The Type Of Milk You Use Matter?
There are many types of milk available on the market these days, and each one has its advantages and drawbacks. When it comes to latte, it’s recommended to use whole milk.
Not only does it steam better than nonfat or low-fat milk, but it also ensures smooth microfoam and slightly creamy texture. If you’re lucky to find organic whole milk, you can enjoy the buttery sweetness in your latte.
Experiment with different brands of milk until you find the best one for your steamed milk drink.
If you don’t drink cow’s milk, you can use alternative types of milk. However, not all plant milk work well for a latte.
Soy milk is an excellent alternative to whole milk as it also gives your latte a bit creamy and foamy texture. The problem with soy milk is that not all store-bought varieties are healthy.
Almond milk is often used for making plant-based lattes in coffee shops. It creates wonderfully rich foam and gives a drink a slightly sweet taste.
The consistency and taste of almond milk latte are similar to the ones whole milk latte has. An added bonus: You can make your own almond milk for your latte drinks.
If almond milk is too expensive, opt for oat milk that you can also make at home. Although the foam won’t last for too long, oat milk will make your latte smooth and sweet on a budget.
If you want to steam oat milk, it’s best to make your own one as a store-bought variety can be too watery.
Other types of milk like coconut, cashew, or hemp aren’t recommended for lattes and other milky drinks.
Steaming Or Frothing?
Some people steam milk for a latte while others froth it. What’s the difference? You'll need to froth milk if you like a latte with a creamy and airy texture and fluffy and dense foam.
Steamed milk, on the other hand, creates more delicate foam, also known as microfoam. The steaming process makes the milk a bit aerated, producing tiny air bubbles.
Since the milk becomes slightly heavy when steaming, your latte gets a velvety texture.
3 Ways To Steam Milk For Latte
There are three ways to steam milk for a latte – be it whole milk or almond milk. Each of these ways is easy and saves you time.
1. Microwave and Shaker
Pour ½ cup of milk into a shaker, and shake it for about a minute or so until milk is doubled in volume. Pour the milk into a mug or glass jar and microwave for 30 seconds on the highest setting.
As the heat of the microwave warms your milk, the foam starts rising to the top of the mug.
Use a spoon to hold the foam while pouring the milk into a cup of coffee. Gently spoon the foam on top and enjoy your latte.
2. Traditional Stovetop Method
The traditional method of steaming milk involves using the stovetop and thermometer for controlling the heat. Begin with pouring the milk of your choice into a saucepan.
Place it on the stovetop and warm up the milk over medium heat to 140°F (60°C). It’s best to measure the temperature with a thermometer.
If you don’t have it, though, pay attention to small bubbles that indicate that the milk is 160°F (71°C). Remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as you see small bubbles appearing.
If you use almond milk, warm it up to 130°F (54°C). Soy milk should be 140°F (60°C). It’s important to keep the milk from boiling. You can do it by stirring it occasionally.
Once your milk is warmed up, pour it into your espresso. If you want more foam, use your French press and froth it for a few seconds the milk is foamy. You can also use a whisk instead of a French press.
3. Microwave and Whisk
When you’re in a hurry but still want a latte, you can use this method of steaming milk. Place your milk in the microwave for 30 seconds on the highest setting.
Grab a whisk – be it electric or manual – and whisk the milk until it doubles in volume for about 30 to 50 seconds.
If you use an electric whisk, make sure you foam the milk at the lowest speed. Now slowly pour the milk into your coffee and enjoy a creamy latte.
Is A Milk Frother Worth It?
If you want to save time and avoid a mess in the kitchen, you can invest in a milk frother. There are different types of milk frothers.
The cheapest one is a frothing wand that you can use to foam the warm milk (you’ll need to warm it up separately.)
If you’re a latte fan who can splurge on a milk frother that has its own heating system and some frothing discs for a variety of foams, it’s definitely worth your money.
Now you know how to tame your latte cravings without heading to a coffee shop. While latte is generally made using a special espresso machine, it’s possible to go without it.
You can make a successful latte in your kitchen by learning two skills – how to compress your espresso and steam milk.
The aforementioned tricks will surely help you. It typically takes less than 5 minutes to steam milk for a latte at home.
Additionally, if you are looking to take your love of espresso, we highly recommend purchasing a home espresso machine! You will truly love it.
Thank you for reading this article on how to steam milk for a latte at home!