How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte Like A Boss!

How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte Like A Boss!

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 13:42

Learning how to make steamed milk for latte in several different ways using several different pieces of kitchen and coffee equipment comes in handy as you never know when you want that latte with the frothy milk and your situation dictates that you can’t use a milk steamer or a milk frother.

Keep reading to find out how to steam your milk using an espresso machine steam wand, a milk frother, a French press and more!

How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte

Making steamed milk for your latte is easy when you follow the instructions for the methods listed below. Included are several of the most popular methods of making steamed milk at home, both with a milk steamer, a frothing wand and everyday coffee gear and kitchen apparatus.

It is good to know several ways as you never know which you will need and when!

How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte
Steamed Milk For Latte Is Easy To Make

Read: How to make steamed milk at home

How To Make Steamed Milk With An Espresso Machine

Start by cleaning your steam wand with a cloth to remove any stuck or burnt milk and purge the wand.

Fill your milk jug to an inch below the spout. Any milk good to use, fresh, whole fat milk is best.

Inset the tip of your steam wand into your milk jug to just half an inch below the surface.

Open your steam valve and ensure that the tip is initially near the surface as it needs to draw air in order to create the froth. Keep your tip half an inch below the surface and create milk froth.

Once you have enough milk froth, microfoam, submerge your tip deeper, all the way to the bottom. Ensure that your milk pitcher is tilted at an angle and your wand is placed at the side of your jug.

You should start to see a vortex, a whirlpool forming. This part is what baristas call spinning. Effectively you will be turning your microfoam into your milk and mixing evenly. The objective of doing so is to create a good, even distribution of the texture.

When your milk reaches 140F (60C) your milk is at the perfect temperature to stop steaming. Tap your milk jug and give it a solid bang on the counter top.

This action of tapping and banging is to free any trapped air. Let your milk rest for a few seconds while the temperature is still rising.

Shine your milk by giving your milk jug a swirl. Swirl in the same way as you would swirl a glass of wine. This polishes your milk and leaves it shiny like a freshly opened can of paint.

Your steamed milk should now be ready for pouring. Pour slowly and steadily into your coffee and make some latte art if you so wish.

How To Steam Milk For Latte Without Machine

Obviously and by far the best way of steaming your milk for a latte, regardless of using almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, soy milk or regular cows milk, is to use an espresso machine and the steam wand attachment.


there will be time simply when that is not possible due to a number of reasons such as being away from home, not having yet invested in a home espresso machine and even your machine being in need of repair.

The following methods are all viable and quality alternatives. Even if you have a steam wand getting a handheld electric milk frother is still a great idea as you can use it to make cold foam, sweet cream, and it is ultraportable (hello campsite coffee King (or Queen!).

How To Make Steamed Milk With An Espresso Machine
There Are Many Alternatives To An Espresso Machine For Steaming Milk

Read: Steamed Vs Frothed milk

How To Use A Milk Frother To Make Steamed Milk For A Latte

Making frothed milk using a handheld electric milk frother is child’s play; it is so easy!

Grab a saucepan and add the milk of your choice. Heat slowly at a low temperature to 60C (140F).

If you don’t have a thermometer to measure the temperature, watch for steam starting to rise from your milk, and it’s starting to simmer; those are your visual clues that your milk is warm enough.

Transfer your milk to a tall glass. Fill to no more than half full or one third full. You must leave space for your milk to expand.

Insert your electric milk frother all the way to the bottom and start frothing. Slowly and smoothly move your wand to the top of your milk and back to the bottom.

Continue this action for 25 to 35 seconds until your milk is frothy and has the consistency that you desire. Pour carefully into your cup of coffee while holding back the milk foam and then scoop the froth onto your beverage.

How To Make Steamed Milk For A Latte With A Manual Whisk

This method is obviously excellent for the campsite or that weekend city break as a balloon whisk is very portable and easy to take with you everywhere.

It is also the “messy method” and produces the lowest quality of milk froth.

Start by heating your milk to 60C (140F). When your milk starts to simmer, your milk is at the perfect temperature. Always heat milk using a low heat.

Transfer your hot milk to a wide brimmed bowl. Tilt your bowl towards you and whisk manually with your balloon whisk with vigor and energy for approximately one minute. Your dairy or non dairy milk will start to froth.

When your milk is ready, pour it into your coffee beverage while holding back the milk foam and then scoop the foam into your drink.

How To Steam Milk For Latte Without Machine
A Balloon Whisk Can Used For Making Steam Milk

Read: Steamed milk

Making Steamed Milk For Latte With A French Press

If you have a French press, it can serve as an excellent back-up to both your steam wand and electric milk frother.

If you are going to use this technique regularly, it will be in your best interest to invest in a manual pump milk frother as the technique is the same, and it will save your beloved French press from that extra wear and tear.

Start by gently heating your milk at a low temperature. When it starts to simmer and steam you can transfer it to your French press. Fill to no more than a third to half full. Plenty of space must be left for your milk to expand.

Raise the plunger and close the lid on your French press. Push up and down on the plunger in a pumping manner for 45 seconds to a minute until your milk doubles in volume.

Pour your milk into your drink and scoop in the froth on top.

How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte With A Blender

Making steamed milk for a latte using a blender is easy and effortless!

Start making your steam milk by heating it gently by using a low heat. While some like to use a low-medium heat, I prefer a low heat to avoid damaging any of the milk sugars, fats or proteins.

Once your milk is ready, add it to your blender and blend for 25 to 30 seconds. Carefully pour your milk into your coffee and scoop the milk foam on top.

Making Steamed Milk For Your Latte Using A Mason Jar

Start by gently heating your milk in a saucepan. When it starts to simmer and steam, take your milk off the heat and transfer to a mason jar.

Leave plenty of space for your milk to expand. Agitate and shake your mason jar with energy for 45 seconds to a minute and pour it on your coffee beverage while taking care not to pour your milk froth. Use a spoon to scoop it onto your drink for a foamy topping.

Making Steamed Milk For Your Latte Using A Mason Jar
You Can Also Use A Mason Jar

Read: Steamed Vs frothed milk

How To Steam Milk For Latte In Microwave

Using your microwave to steam milk for a latte, cappuccino or flat white is easy and very convenient. It needs a watchful eye to avoid making a huge mess and your milk spilling over.

This method is a little upside down.

Start by transferring your fresh cold milk into a mason jar or cocktail shaker and shaking with vigor and energy for a minute.

Transfer your frothy milk into a microwave-safe container and heat slowly in 5 to 10 second bursts.

The short frequent microwaving is to ensure that your milk does not boil over. Watch your milk expand and rise. Once it is hot, remove it before it spills over in your microwave.

Pour into your coffee and scoop the froth on top for a frothy coffee.

How Long To Steam Milk For Latte

How long to steam milk for a latte depends on the type of milk that you are using, and the method used. It should not take more than a minute from start to finish to steam your milk with any of the methods used.

The time frame stated is not including the time taken to heat your milk.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte

Is It Steamed Or Frothed Milk In Lattes?

A latte is made with steamed milk in an espresso to milk ratio of 1:2. A very fine cap of frothed milk is added.

Should I Heat Milk Before Frothing?

It depends on the coffee drink that you are making and what you are making the frothed milk for. If it is for a cold brew coffee (cold foam or sweet cream) there is no need to heat the milk or cream at all. For a hot drink like a latte, in order to keep the coffee temperature and not cool down your coffee, you must heat the milk before frothing.

Does Starbucks Froth Or Steam Milk?

Starbucks both has frothed milk and steamed milk depending on the drink that is ordered. Many drinks like a cappuccino and latte macchiato use both frothed milk and steamed milk.

Why Do You Tap The Milk After Frothing?

Tapping your milk jug after steaming is done to remove large trapped air bubbles. It’s then polished to give a shiny look that is not too different from white paint.

Do You Pour Coffee Or Frothed Milk First?

How frothed milk is poured depends on the drink that you are making. Most drinks, like a latte and a cappuccino, require that you pour the espresso shot first and then the milk in a manner to get an even distribution of the creaminess.

A latte macchiato requires that you pour the milk first and pour the coffee through the frothed milk to create a layered drink.

Why Does Cold Milk Froth Better?

Cold milk froths better as it takes in air better when it is cold. The low temperature also helps the milk to create a more stable foam.

Final Thoughts – How To Make Steamed Milk For Latte

Learning how to make steamed milk for latte has many advantages, namely knowing how to make expertly make it like a professional barista using a wide range of tools that you have available no matter what the circumstances are.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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