Cappuccino Secrets: Creating the Perfect FoamExecutive summary about cappuccino secrets By Nicholas Webb
Here is an article that tells the secret of creating the perfect foam with steamed milk for making a wonderful cappuccino. Most places that serve cappuccinos in the United States have not trained their baristas in the art of properly frothing milk. With a little care, you can create steamed milk that is velvety smooth like the texture of wet shaving cream. Pour the milk into the steaming pitcher until it is just about 1/3 of the way full. Milk will double to triple in volume after the frothing process. A stainless steel pitcher works best. It will dissipate some of the heat, allowing more time to infuse air into the milk before the milk gets too hot.
For a home made cappuccino, you'll have to learn the art of creating a perfect foam.
Also use a thermometer to get the milk to the correct temperature of 145 degrees. There are many thermometers made for this purpose that will clip onto the side of the pitcher for convenience.
Purge the steam wand onto a damp towel by releasing the valve for a few seconds. Be very careful not to burn yourself, the steam will be extremely hot. This purging will get all of the water out so you don't get it in your milk.
Next, submerge the wand into the milk and quickly turn the steam on full power. Avoid letting the tip of the wand come out of the milk. This will cause splattering and create large, tasteless bubbles.
Then, slowly lower the pitcher until the tip of the wand is just below the surface of the milk (keeping the circulation going). When you can hear a hissing noise, similar to bacon frying, you have reached the perfect position for the wand to inject air into the milk.
Try to maintain this hissing noise while keeping the milk rotating. By keeping the milk flowing in a rapid circle, any large bubbles that are accidentally created will be rolled into the milk and eliminated. Continue steaming until the milk reaches 145 degrees. Be careful not to get the milk too hot, it will scald giving it a bad taste.
That's pretty much it! If you have a few large bubbles, you can try to get rid of them by tapping the bottom of the pitcher lightly on the counter. Serve immediately and enjoy some of the silkiest frothed milk you have ever tasted!
One more thing, now that you know how to properly steam the milk, notice how few coffee houses have baristas that take care in this process. Very few use thermometers and end up scalding the milk, or leaving it too cold.
Most will just leave the pitcher sitting there while the wand blows into the milk. Some will use an up and down motion, but this does absolutely nothing for creating tiny, velvety bubbles. It's the rolling action of the milk that's needed.