Steamed milk for latte and or cappuccino?

by Debra-Lynn Bellefeuille
(Cornwall, Ontario)

Bialetti and a saucepan of milk.

Bialetti and a saucepan of milk.


QUESTION:


Do you know of a good milk steamer for making Latte or Cappuccino's? I normally grind my beans daily to use in my French Press. However I like to have a Latte or Cappuccino once in a while. I have a Bialetti to make espresso. Can you recommend and good frothier?

Debra-Lynn


ANSWER:


Debra-Lynn, hi

First, I’m going to get technical on you. :)

When you make a cappuccino or a latte, you use a shot of espresso and a mix of both steamed and frothed milk.

A cappuccino has about the same amount of steamed milk as frothed milk. A latte more steamed milk and less frothed milk.

This frothed milk is also known as milk foam.

What’s the difference between steamed and frothed milk?

Steamed milk is made by immersing the steam wand on an espresso machine into the milk. The steam blasts into the milk and heats it.

Frothed milk is different. With frothing you are adding air to the milk. If you are using a steam wand, you hold the wand at the surface of the milk, not immersed in it, pushing air into the milk.

So...technically, you can’t make either a cappuccino or a latte simply with frothed milk. You need steamed milk too.

OK...so now let’s back away from the technical stuff.

If you want to make a coffee drink that tastes very much like a cappuccino, by all means use a milk frother. You can probably find one at your nearest Wal-Mart. If not, you can buy a milk frother at Amazon.com.

However, you may not need to do that.

Let’s say you are making your espresso with your Baletti. (And we won’t worry about the technical details of making a real cappuccino, because technical folks would also say you can’t make a “true” espresso with a Bialetti.)

To make your frothed milk, first heat the milk in a saucepan. Then pour it into your French Press, but only to about the half-way mark. Now put the lid on the French press and move the plunger and filter up and down, in and out of the milk. You want to do this vigorously, to add air to the milk, but carefully, so you don’t get splashed with hot milk.

Do that for a little while and you’ll get some nicely frothed milk.

Add the frothed milk to your Bialetti espresso and you’ll have something pretty close to a cappuccino.

See? You can make frothed milk with your French press.

Technically it might not be perfect, but it will still taste pretty darned good.

Let us know if this work.

Nick

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