Steamed Milk Temperature For Perfect Coffee

Steamed Milk Temperature For Perfect Coffee

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 14:18

Getting the perfect steamed milk temperature for making the perfect frothy and foamed milk for your coffee is important and can be critically important depending on the type of milk that you are using as some milk curdles easier than others when steaming.

This article has a cool table for you to take a screenshot of and use as a reference and even stick it to the side of your espresso machine.

Keep reading to find out what the perfect steamed milk temperature is for various types of milk.

Steamed Milk Temperature Celsius And Fahrenheit

When you steam your milk, the temperature plays a very important role in the end result. Too low is not good as you won’t get the rich, velvet-like texture or milky sweetness. Too high and you will get terrible tasting burnt milk sugars.

Slow and low is best. Slow heating at a low temperature. The perfect temperature of steamed milk is 155F to 165F (68C to 73C).

When your milk reaches 150F (65C) take it off the heat as steamed milk still continues to rise for a few moments and will increase slightly above 150F (65C) and reach the perfect temperature on its own.

Steamed Milk Temperature Celsius
Steamed Milk Temperature Celsius

Read: Designs made with steamed milk

What Temperature Should Milk Be Heated To For Coffee?

The temperature range to heat your milk to for coffee is 155F to 165F, which is 68C to 73C. This is the same temperature range for all types of milk, be it dairy milk, plant based milks, or nut based milks.

Almond Milk Temperature For Steaming

Treat almond milk the same as you would with dairy milk and heat to 65C (150F) and follow the slow and low rule: heat slowly at a low heat until it reaches the perfect almond milk temperature for steaming.

Oat Milk Temperature For Steaming

Oat milk heats well as other alternative milks with the sweet spot for heating it to get the sweetest and best taste. The temperature range is lower than cows milk at 55C to 58C, which is 130F to 135F. 65C (150F) would result in destroying the sugars and having a burnt taste.

Soy Milk Temperature For Steaming

Soy milk is a little more sensitive to temperature changes and may curdle easier than other milks. Take care while heating and use a low temperature and heat gently and slowly.

The ideal soy milk temperature range for steaming is 60C to 65C (140F to 150F). I strongly advise sticking to the lower end of the range.

Soy Milk
Heat Soy Milk Slowly And Carefully

Coconut Milk Temperature For Steaming

Coconut milk, like oat milk, is low in protein and needs a longer steaming time. Follow the golden rule of slow and low as to not spoil the tasty milk.

150F (65C) is the perfect temperature for steaming coconut milk.

Milk Temperature For Flat White In Celsius And Fahrenheit

The milk temperature for a flat white when steaming is the same as it is for all coffee drinks. The temperature does not change depending on the coffee beverage.

The perfect temperature depends slightly on the type of milk that you are using and not the drink itself.

With non dairy milks you need to be careful of your milk separating and curdling and heat slow and low!

Type Of Milk Celsius Fahrenheit
Dairy Milk 68C To 73C 155F To 165F
Oat Milk 55C To 58C 130F to 135F
Almond Milk 65C 150F
Coconut Milk 60C to 65C 140F to 150F
Soy Milk 65C 150F

Stick to the temperatures indicated in the table above and heat slowly.

How Long To Steam Milk For Latte

Steaming milk, regardless of what type of milk is used, is something that can be completed from start to finish in around 2minutes, including nay latte art.

The time is not something to count more monitor the temperature that the milk is being steamed to and to slowly and gradually let the temperature rise. Measure by heat, not by time.

How Should Steamed Milk Be Poured

Pour your steamed milk from a height of about 3 inches above the top of your coffee cup and pour into the dead center of your espresso shot.

Pouring in this manner ensures a perfect distribution of milk and its creaminess. It’s also a perfect technique for making latte art.

The Problem Of Overheated Milk

When you heat your milk and the temperature increases, your milk foam and froth gains in stability. This is because the increased temperature causes an increase in the denaturing of the milk whey proteins.

The increase in temperature also causes a reduction in the viscosity, the thinning of the milk and makes it more watery. The denatured whey proteins stabilize the air bubbles.

If you overheat your milk of any kind, it will become impossible to taste the subtle flavor of your coffee beans. Heating too long can even result in a sulphur-like taste and aroma.

The off tastes are due to the lactose and proteins reacting. The fats also oxidize, which also taste off.

The Problem Of Overheated Milk
Overheated Milk Is Not Good!

Read: Steamed milk

Underheated Milk

Underheated milk is just as much of a problem as overheated milk but in a different way. When you heat your mil to a low temperature, the foam is unstable and thin with uneven and different sizes of air bubbles.

This typically happens when the denaturing of the whey proteins has just started, and you have a mix of solid and liquid milk fats.

The solid fats at a low temperature end up destroying the milk foam by piercing the lipid membrane and because of this you end up with a partially liquid fat entering the fragile air bubbles which were initially formed by the denatured whey proteins.

The air bubbles are missing the required protective elastic layer around them to prevent this from happening. The bubbles are also missing the required proteins due to being displaced by the liquid fats which results in the bubbles coalescing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Steamed Milk Temperature

When your milk temperature reaches 60C (140F) you should remove your milk from the steam wand. The temperature should rise to almost 70C (158F) which is the correct and perfect temperature for pouring.

What Temperature Is Steamed Milk?

The perfect temperature for steamed milk is from 158F (70C). Your milk should be heated slowly to help develop the milk sugars and create a sweet taste in your milk. The temperature of your milk plays a very important part in the quality of your steamed milk.

When you are steaming milk for a latte, cappuccino, flat white, macchiato, mocha, cortado or any coffee drink it is always the same – 158F (70C) is the perfect pouring temperature.

Heat slowly to 60C (140F) and let the temperature continue to rise without the application of heat until it reaches the perfect temperature.

Professional baristas heat their milk to a temperature of 60C (140F) and then let the milk’s temperature rise to 70C (158F), which is the perfect temperature for pouring. If a Professional barista makes steam milk all the way up to 70C (158F) the temperature will continue to rise and will end up with milk with flavors of burnt sugar.

The steamed milk at Starbucks is approximately 160F (71C). When an extra hot milk is requested, the milk is steamed to 180F (82C).

The easiest and most convenient way of knowing if your milk has reached 60C is to use a color-changing temperature tag and stick it to the side of your milk jug.

After a while and when you are experienced, you will be able to accurately know when you milk it at the perfect temperature by touching the side of your jug. It should be too hot to hold for more than 3 seconds.

Final Thoughts – Steamed Milk Temperature

Now that you know what the perfect steamed milk temperature is for various types of milk all that is left of you to do is buy and use an espresso thermometer or a color changing temperature tag and stick it to the side of your milk pitcher and use it ensure that you stick to the temperature range for the milk that you are using. 

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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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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