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How to steam milk

Quick guide to steam milk at home!

I have read many books, researched online and have been making coffees, espressos, and cappuccinos at home for many years, and I am sharing with you the tips I have learnt for you to get started without getting all geeky on making frothy milk.

It may not look like in the baristas, but it will taste great when you get the hang of it!

Getting started

Have the espresso machine turned on and ready to go.

Purge the steam wand (run some steam through the wand to make sure it is clear from any old milk or water).

Pour milk into the jug approx ¼ to ½ way up.

Place steam wand into the milk, turn on steam and allow a bit of air into the milk 

Frothing Milk

then gently tilt jug to side to make the milk swirl in the jug and heat the milk

The milk should heat up and foam.

When the jug feels quite hot, then turn off the steam wand. 

The milk should be frothed up and milk hot.

Steaming milk using a steam wand will take a bit of practice to get it right but not impossible!

Tip: milk doesn’t need to be boiling, or it will burn the milk.

Also, purge the steam wand again to clear out any milk or water and wipe it down.

If you have an espresso machine that does it automatically, you can skip this section, but I still recommend cleaning out the milk jug and steamer after use.

If you don’t have an espresso machine with a steamer, try the following options.

Heat milk in a saucepan gently. 

Heating Milk

When it starts to slightly bubble, whisk till foamy, be careful not to burn the milk.


Heat up some milk in the microwave, start with 30secs in general and test to see how hot it is. Heat again if necessary.

Then either 

pour it into a shaker and shake it till foamy

Or whisk it till foamy.

Or use a french press and press the plunger up and down a few times to foamy.

What to do next?

Cup of Coffee

Try one of the methods above.

Then finally, pour into espresso gently to make your delicious coffee drink and enjoy!

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