The humble latte is the most popular speciality coffee drink in the UK, with over half of all coffee drinkers enjoying some variety of it. Making perfect lattes is essential for any coffee shop to succeed in today’s highly competitive market, after all it only takes one bad experience to potentially lose a customer forever. The most important part of getting this right is ensuring that your milk is beautifully textured and heated to exactly the right temperature.
Step by step guide
Here’s our guide on how to make perfect textured milk for your lattes. You will need a good quality steel jug, milk thermometer, and a coffee machine with a steam wand. Plus some milk of course!
Step 1 – Measure milk and set up jug
Measure out how much cold milk you’re going to need and pour into your steel jug. Unless you’re very experienced you will want to use a thermometer in the jug to monitor the temperature.
Step 2 – Clean steam wand
Nobody wants bits of old milk floating in their latte! Purge the steam wand and wipe it down with a clean cloth.
Step 3 – Position wand and jug
Angle the steam wand towards you at approximately 30 degrees, with the jug tilted slightly to the side and only the tip of the wand in the milk.
Step 4 – Start steaming
You’ll need to make sure you have enough pressure, so turn the steam arm on to full power. Keep a hand on the side of the jug to monitor temperature if you’re not using a thermometer.
Step 5 – Adjust jug as you go
When the jug reaches approximately 37°C start lifting up the jug so that the arm sits deeper in the milk, creating a vortex. You will want to ensure that the tip of the wand is in the milk, not the foam.
Step 6 – Monitor temperature
If you’re holding the side of the jug to check the temperature, switch to tapping it as it heats up to avoid burning your hand. Keep an eye on the temperature to make sure you don’t overheat.
Step 7 – Stop steaming
Heat the milk to 70°C, then immediately turn off the steam wand. Heating any further will have a negative effect on the taste.
Step 8 – Put milk down
Carefully put the milk down on the counter and give it a firm tap to break any of the bigger surface bubbles.
Step 9 – Clean steam arm
Purge and wipe down the steam arm when you’re done, make sure you use a cloth as it will be very hot by this point.
Step 10 – Make your drink
Give the milk a swirl around to evenly spread the foam, and you’re ready to pour your drink.
Texturing the milk for a latte may only be one part of the coffee making process, but it’s vital to making a great tasting drink. Baristas make this look easy, but as you now know, it’s much more complex than you may have thought. What if you don’t have time to spend on training your staff to make beautifully textured milk every time?
The WMF Espresso machine, has both an automatic steam wand and a manual steam wand. The automatic steam wand is perfect for baristas who need to multitask (or those without training), producing consistently perfect textured milk when the pressure is on in a busy coffee shop. Fitted with an additional manual steam wand, this is a machine for both the skilled barista and the keen coffee lover.
There are other options out there that simplify the process even more so, by automatically producing perfect milk for a wide variety of drinks, such as the WMF 9000S. This professional bean-to-cup machine features the Dynamic Milk System, which allows you to make custom beverages using hot or cold milk, with a wide range of milk foam consistencies available.
Download a brochure to see the whole range.