From time to time, we mentioned that it’s important to pick a coffee machine or specifically an electric milk frother to make latte and cappuccino at home. Most importantly, making coffee at home can save you tons of money, ensure the coffee quality since you already know how and what is it made from.
Although steamng milk is quite easy, there are still some common mistakes that can ruin your cup of cappuccino.
Therefore, in this very article, we’re going to take a look into these 9 mistakes and how you can avoid it.
1 – Forget purging the steam wand
People might forget that steaming wands usually have water in and it can ruin your desired result when steaming. What you should do is to open the valve and start purging that water into a container and a drip tray.
After steaming milk, coffee makers usually turn off the steam with the wand still dip in milk. Just in a couple of seconds, the wand will quickly cool down that can leave some milk to get sucked up into it.
Thus, you can get rid of that remain milk by removing the pitcher and purge one more time. As a result, this step will keep everything clean and prevent bad smells. Make sure to wipe your steam wand after every use so the milk won’t get baked on.
2 – NO roll in milk jug
This mistake is caused by moving the steam wand everywhere as the milk never has a chance to roll.
The tip is to steam milk gently and steadily. With that mindset, you can find the proper position, which also known as the “W” spot to achieve a good roll. It’s important to acknowledge that they can help you to break up any large bubbles as well as to produce a good even texture.
3 – NO circa 1980’s cappuccino bounce
Well, now we get to the most common mistake. In fact, it took my parents years to get rid of this habit! The technique is basically bounced the milk frother jug up and down that can leave the fluffy airy bubble. You probably want to avoid it! You don’t have to move your jug around, just keep it stable and let the steam wand do the job for you!
4 – Using the wrong size pitcher
This is probably the most common mistake that people are making. Filling the proper amount of milk in your milk pitcher can make a huge difference to the result. You probably want to fill the jug to the bottom of the spout or about half full of it.
It is highly recommended to fill 300 to 400 ml for one cup, 600 ml for 2 cups. Enjoy!
5 – Put the Steam wand too deep
Are you hearing the sound of cat dying every time steaming milk? Most of the time, a weird noise means that you’re doing something wrong.
In this specific case, you probably place the steam wand in too deep, which cause flat and hot milk. Try to move the steam tip a bit higher until the squealing stops.
6 – Put the Steam wand too high
Apparently, you can’t put the steam tip too deep, but you can’t put it too high as well. Why? Well, we can answer that with these questions.
Are you running out of room in your milk pitcher? Any big air bubbles form in your jug? Do you have oodles of frothy milk?? Then this probably might be the main reason.
You should stop sucking after a couple of seconds and make a whirlpool as soon as possible. If you spend most of the time in this sucking stage, then lower the steam tip into the milk more, or move the pitcher a bit higher.
7 – Not wiping the steam wand
If you want your machine run smoothly and perfectly, you need to maintain it properly. It might sound as an easy task to do, but lots of baristas and coffee makers forget this simple step.
It only takes a couple of minutes to do, but can make a huge difference in terms of flavor and texture. If you leave it untouched, the milk will gradually build up and eventually break off into your milk.
Eww! You definitely don’t want it to happen, do you. Therefore, make sure to twist while wiping the steam wand start from the bottom to the tip.
8 – Making the milk too hot
Another common mistake is overheating the milk. Even though, it might seem an obvious one, but many people don’t know that this can ruin the texture completely as the protein start to denature once overheated.
The result is a very fluffy texture that tastes and smells like burned or off milk. If you want to make your drinks hotter, you can preheat the cup (strongly recommended using high-quality one that can retain the heat for a long time) with hot water.
How to check whether the milk is too hot or not. Very simple!
If the milk jug becomes too hot to hold your palm to its bottom, you’ve gone too far. Most of the time, milk starts to scald at approximately 165 degrees. You can use a thermometer to check the degrees. Keep in mind that there could be some lag, the milk could be 6 to 12 degrees hotter.
So I highly recommend 140 degrees for a small cup and 155 degrees for a big one.
9 – Leaving the milk sitting on the bench before pouring
The last thing you want to happen after spending time and effort to do all the good work is leaving the milk completely ruined all by itself.
While you read the newspaper and wait for the milk to cool off, it has already settled and begun to separate. As a result, you will find it quite hard to pour into your cup. You can check whether the milk has separated by simply tilt the pitcher about 45 degrees.
To prevent the milk from separating, you can swirl and jiggle the jug. Another great method is to pour all the milk into another milk pitcher and remix it all again. Make sure the jug isn’t too cold as it can ruin the flavor.
So how is your milk going? Is it fluffy or smooth? By avoiding these common mistakes, you can easily achieve the desired textures and enjoy your making milk experience even more.