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How to Steam Milk for Latte at the Comfort of Your Home?

During summer most coffee lovers prefer iced coffee or cold brew coffee. Well, you can say you don’t know why with the scorching sun you need something to cold. On cold chilly mornings or during winter the best coffee drink is latte. The stiff quaff of foam on a hot latte doesn’t happen by accident. Everything is crafted to perfection and every newbie will tell you this is an art that takes time to master. For you to make a high-quality latte drink you must know how to steam milk for latte. The procedure itself is simple but it requires practice to get it right. In this post, we shall show you how to steam milk for latte at home irrespective of whether you are using an espresso maker or not.

What is a latte?

It would be a crime to assume that everyone knows what latte is. The truth is, quite a handful of people reading this post can’t explain we a simple question like what is a latte? Well, a latte is a coffee drink that is made with steamed and foamed milk. There has to be a combination of steam and foam to make a perfect latte drink. So, what is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? The two are nearly the same only that cappuccino has more foam milk to steam milk.


Is there specific milk that should be used?

Milk is a great source of proteins and in small bits calcium. This explains why you had to be fed with milk alone the first 6 months after being welcomed to planned earth. That aside, when it comes to coffee drinks the secret is all hidden in the taste and flavor and this brings us to the question of the day; do we have specific milk suitable to use when making a latte drink? The answer is yes and no? Yes in the sense that only fresh milk should be used and no in the sense that there is no preferable brand. As long as the milk is fresh you are good to go.

Precautions when learning how to steam milk for latte

Just like most process steaming milk for latte also has its own set of instructions and things you should never do. These are the simple instructions that ensure you latte drink is mouthwatering and the flavors are well balanced.

Never steam milk twice

One of the most common mistakes made when steaming milk is steaming the same milk twice. This is very wrong here is the reason as to why. When milk is steamed the protein components in the milk change in texture and structure reacting to the heat and steam. When you steam the milk for the second time this will have the milk overcook and will have a rather bitter taste.

Don’t overheat

Ideally, the milk should be heat for no more than 70 degrees Celsius. Any degree higher and the milk will be burnt out and taste bitter making it not ideal for a latte.

Fresh milk is paramount

No matter how long you have been making coffee if you use milk leftovers then you don’t know how to make coffee. Before you can even learn how to steam milk for latte one thing should always be clear to you, only fresh milk should be used. Nothing short of fresh milk otherwise it will spoil the taste of the latte you are making.


Ensure that every object you are using to steam the milk is clean. Milk is easily contaminated and you don’t want those disease-causing organisms (germs) to find their way into your stomach.

2 Major ways on how to steam milk for latte

2 Major ways on how to steam milk for latte

Basically, there are two major ways in which you can steam milk for latte. That is through an espresso steamer wand or manually. In this post, we shall explain to you how you can steam your milk using either of the two. If you get it wrong again you will have no one to blame other than yourself. Wink!

A. Steaming milk for latter manually

The truth is, you don’t need an espresso machine for you to steam milk at home. There are a handful of manual ways in which you can steam milk and make a high-quality latte drink.

1. Using a jar

  • Find a clean jar with a lid and one that can be put in a microwave
  • Pour cold fresh milk in it, ideally, ¾ of the jar then cover the jar with the lid
  • Shake the jar continuously for approximately 40 seconds, the main goal of doing this is for the milk to bubble up.
  • Remover the lid then put the jar in the microwave
  • Heat up for 30-40 seconds
  • Your steamed milk is now ready to use.

2. Whisking

  • Get a clean cup or bowl and pour milk in it.
  • To prevent overflowing after being heat, it should be ¾ full
  • Put the cup of bowel in a microwave and heat for approximately 40 seconds
  • After heating, remove the bowl/cup putting in mind that it’s hot so you should handle it with extreme care.
  • Using a hand which, whisk the hot milk to your desired foam

3. Hand mixer

  • Repeat the above process of heading
  • Instead of using a whisk you will be using an electric hand mixer.
  • Personally, I find this more effective and produce a better foam on steamed milk.

B. Steaming milk for latte using an espresso machine

Steaming milk using espresso machine is one of the easiest yet so complicated procedure especially if you are a newbie. Milk steamed using espresso machine make better coffee than manually steamed milk and for this reason, if you want to enjoy a great cup of coffee then you should learn how to steam milk for latte using an espresso machine. The following is a step by step guide on how you can do this;

Step 1: Ensure that your steaming pitcher is in order

Most espresso machines have a steaming pitcher and it is this tool that makes it possible to steam milk with the machine. The first thing that you need to do is ensure that the steaming pitcher is in order. You do this by leaving it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. To save on time, first switch on the espresso machine and as it warms up the steaming pitcher should be in the freezer.

Step 2 :Pour milk

After 5-10 seconds remove it from the freezer and pour milk in it. Don’t fill it up, the milk should go halfway for effectiveness.

Step 3: Prepare the steamer wand

Before you can start steaming it is always important to ensure that the wand is clean and clear. To clear up anything in the pipes you are required to turn on the steamer for no more than 2 seconds. Different machines vary when it comes to turning on the steamer. If not sure on how to do it, kindly refer to the instruction manual.

Step 4: Put the wand in the milk

Submerge the ward halfway into the milk then turn on the steamer. It is not advisable to turn on the steamer until the wand is completely submerged. If you do so you might end up with soap water kind of foam and this is not what you want since it will affect the taste of the latte you are preparing.

Step 5: Listen and wait

This is where most people get confused. The few minutes of silence when the wand is submerged in the milk not knowing what to be on the lookout for! Most people are not sure of how steamed milk is supposed to look like. But, one thing is certain, it is nowhere close to soap foam. In my opinion, I would say it looks more of like white paint. Trust me, unless you made a hell of mistakes it will not taste like white paint. I have never tasted white paint but my judgment tells me it’s disgusting.

Step 6: How to know you are good to go

If you are a newbie it is recommended that you should have a thermometer. Your milk is ready after reaching 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything more of this is will overcook the milk and give it a bitter taste. Once you get used to steaming you will not need a thermometer, you shall be in a position to just by feeling how hot the steaming pitcher is and the condition of the milk. However, if you are a newbie kindly use a thermometer.

Step 7: Your milk is ready

Once your milk is ready you are good to make your favorite latte. Always remember latte tastes better when served hot. Thank me later.


When it comes to coffee drinks latte is quite a darling to many. But, there is one factor that hinders most people from preparing latte. That is they don’t know how to steam milk for latte. If you read this article this should not be an issue for you. Irrespective of whether you have an espresso machine or not you can still steam milk with the guidance if this post. If you found this article useful kindly share it with your friends informing them on the same.

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